Dave currently lives in Saint John, New Brunswick. He’s been in the communications, knowledge management and business process engineering fields for over 20 years, and is also active on a volunteer basis in disaster management planning and response.

About communications

Good communications is essential to virtually every enterprise, and everyone in your organization needs to be able to communicate effectively. The root causes of most incidents and organizational failures include breakdowns in communications.

Communications is also important outside the business world. Communications is the very fabric of society, and our ability to communicate effectively has an enormous impact on our societies and on our lives as individuals.

Specific professional communications disciplines include:

  • Corporate (business) communications
  • Marketing
  • Technical communications and documentation
  • Academic writing
  • Instructional design
  • Public engagement
  • Media relations and journalism
  • Crisis communications

Regardless of the discipline, good communications comes down to understanding your goals, your audience and your medium.

About knowledge management

Put simply, knowledge management is about making sure that people have the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs.

Knowledge management is a discipline that strives to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable the adoption of knowledge, both within individuals and within organizational processes, practices and cultures. Knowledge management turns intangible skills and experience into a manageable asset within an organization, enabling opportunity and risk management of organizational functions that rely on the integrity and application of that knowledge.

Knowledge management typically includes or interfaces closely with the disciplines of knowledge architecture, instructional design, technical writing, human resources management, information management, and systems design.

About business process engineering

Business process engineering is about looking at how work gets done and finding ways to improve it.

Process engineering — also known as process change management, process re-engineering and process improvement —  involves the analysis and design of workflows and processes within an organization. Process engineering’s goals are to improve efficiency, reduce or mitigate risk, identify latent opportunity, ensure consistency, enable quality control, and make human resource management more effective.

About human performance management

Human performance management’s goal is to prevent human error and reduce the effects of errors.

Human performance management is a discipline focused on optimizing outcomes in systems that rely on individual action and behaviour. It brings together behavioural and cognitive psychology, quality control, process improvement, instructional design, knowledge management, organizational systems design, human resources management, and risk management.

Human performance management is crucial in sectors and industries where significant liabilities can be introduced through failures in job performance — that is, where mistakes have serious consequences. Examples include the nuclear and petrochemical industries, healthcare, the military, and aviation. (It is estimated that two-thirds of all aircraft accidents are caused at least in part by human performance issues.)