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Interview: Joaquim Carbonell, Diploma in Business Administration, Marketing Management and Master in e-learning.

bsoco: Joaquim, can you briefly introduce yourself?

Joaquim Carbonell: I work accompanying organizations in their processes of improvement using knowledge management models and a set of different learning tools. I develop my work sharing my knowledge and experience and accompanying people in the choice of the best path for their professional improvement.

I have developed my professional experience as a sales and marketing manager of different companies of the services industry, for 9 years. Since 1999, I'm working in projects related to people's learning and organizations improvement. I have worked as an external consultant for different functional departments: CEO, Human Resources, sales and marketing and quality assurance.

bsoco: Which is the most important aspect of your expertise?

Joaquim Carbonell: The design and implementation of improvement projects that integrate different learning and knowledge management tools. Many organizations rely only on training the learning management of their teams. Apart from training, there are some other tools that used in a coordinated different manner can help us to identify and spread the knowledge throughout the organization. Every one of each has a different purpose and we are not always able to take full advantage of them.

bsoco: Can you give us an example?

Joaquim Carbonell: Yes, of course. Many companies have implemented a MBO (management by objectives) model. Not all of them, know how use the assessment meetings as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement and get the commitment from the team. Others have a directory of employees, but few knows how to use as the place to find the expert knowledge from the people within the organization. Few companies add to their project management model a final review to identify achievements and mistakes to share the learned lessons with the entire organization. In other cases they have a document management system available, but locating the desired information is really complex. Definitively, having the tool does not mean to know how to make the most of it.

bsoco: What might be some of these tools?

Joaquim Carbonell: Some may be:

Knowledge bases, composed of knowledge pills. Those pills could have information about internal precesses or procedures or tips and tricks that might hep to solve frequent problems.

Communities of practice, groups of volunteers with a common interest, willing to share knowledge and personals experiences.

Yellow pages of corporate experts on relevant topics.

Training workshops, optimally based on a blended learning model. Those workshops should integrate the online delivery of content (concepts and activities to work collaboratively)  and some classroom sessions to promote personal debates and to resolve doubts about the syllabus and the activities.

Coaching and mentoring sessions.

Assessment sessions to evaluate the compliance of the personal objectives and the development of professional skills.

After action review sessions to identify the key factors of their success or the potential causes of failure.

Knowledge communities to crop out the critical tacit knowledge of the company. Those communities should be lead to write down structured documents to spread the identified knowledge through out the organization.

bsoco: What should consider an organization that wants to develop a strategy for the knowledge and learning management?

Joaquim Carbonell: People's knowledge is a critical and intangible asset for companies. Knowledge and learning management should be part of the key strategies of any organization. Knowledge and learning management requires the commitment of significant resources. Is therefore essential, to align the knowledge and learning plan with the strategic plan of the organization.

bsoco: What is your forecast for 2015?

Joaquim Carbonell: My impression regarding the coming years is that learning management will be integrated solidly in the models of knowledge management. Remember that knowledge is in people and knowledge acquisition takes place through learning. To the extent that organizations promote cultural change and made available tools to facilitate learning, they will increase their competitiveness and their capacity to add value to their environment. We will need to change behaviours and attitudes so people “learn to learn”.

bsoco: Thank you for your answers.