Tuesday, June 29, 2010

IFKAD 2010

Back from Italy and reflecting on what was a terrific IFKAD Conference, which seems to get better year on year. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones, fantastic conversations and presentations, all set in the beautiful town of Matera – what more could you ask for? Well the beautiful full moon over the Sassi at the reception at Baccanti was a bonus, the thought provoking key notes (who could believe accounting could be so enthralling), and that sensational pecorino cheese also helped. Staying in a cave as a hotel room adds a little something, and the fascinating creative contributions of the MAP consortium cascading through the events all combine to make it a memorable trip. Tampere has a challenge on its hands to top that next year.

On a more specific note I had a series of particularly interesting conversation with Rob McLean about the similarities of the challenge with CSR reporting and IA reporting and the possibility of using his Value Stream concepts as an alternative to Elkington’s Triple Bottom Line. We also considered the application of Social Media tools to introduce a concept of what we described as “emergent reporting”, a method not only of satisfying reporting demands through genuine transparency but also a method of generating fantastically deep insight to stakeholder issues. More on all of this in some later bloggs.

It was interesting to hear talk in one of the plenary sessions around the progressively constrained publishing of academics and it strikes me as an interesting bifurcation with the potential opportunities for mavericks in business made possible by what are increasingly described as “portfolio” careers. The tension in this it seems to me is that if academics are not supplying some innovation to transfer into business will they be progressively compelled to take a passive reporting stance as opposed to a proactive or initiating stance on business innovation?

As always JC Spender was one of the most thought provoking speakers and conversationalists. As someone who very early on saw the limitations of the generally applied information bound KM paradigm you can always rely on JC to push the debate forward. I was particularly pleased to find that we have a shared interest in the historical perspective of business and particularly in the origins of trading companies, and what can be learned from their experience, which have many contemporary parallels. Again some more bloggs to come on this over the next week or so.

The Stream of papers I co chaired with my colleague Daniela Castrataro of the IA Centre on the implications of Social Media on IA/IC and KM had some fascinating papers and, as we expected, proved to be a very fertile field for study.

So thanks to Giovanni and the team from University Basilicata for hosting us so well, and we look forward to next year.

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