Making Knowledge Work

February 25, 2010

Community of Ideas

Filed under: Uncategorized — virginiahenry @ 2:24 pm

A good week for exploring ideas.  It kicked off with a David Gurteen knowledge café on Monday evening.

The topic for discussion was ‘the 10 year impact of communities’ – and Richard McDermott set the framework by explaining that ten years ago successful communities tended to be voluntary, ‘outside’ of the organisation, and relied on the passion and commitment of the community leader.
Now they are integral to the organisation, have goals and deliverables, and leadership is an acknowledged element of a person’s official role.
The question was how would they develop over the next decade, now that social media was in the mix?

Lots of good ideas got thrown around:  someone said that sharing knowledge “in the open” was catching on, and that organisations were more successful when they were open in their sharing.  That was backed up by those of us with experience as suppliers or consultants – being enabled in our roles by having been ‘let in’ on clients’ knowledge systems.  Supply-chain knowledge-sharing came up a couple of times in the discussion.  As did the issue of ‘trusted sources’ and how, in a time of seamless connectivity, you evaluate the people you talk to and the information they share.  Which, inevitably, led to talk of ‘information overload’….

I shared a table with a number of people whose practical experience of making knowledge work was impressive.  Among other things we talked about the challenges of engaging senior management in the knowledge endeavour (more than one of us had tales to tell of distant interest and delegated support), and incentives and rewards for people who ‘get it’, and do get engaged.
Recognition, low-value (but thoughtful) rewards and the inclusion of knowledge management activities in peoples’ formal roles were seen as most effective

Michael Norton, Knowledge Projects Manager for the Improvement and Development Agency for local government, had some interesting examples of supporting people with straightforward technical remedies to their collaboration issues.

We ended the evening with more questions than answers.  But the general feeling was that the 10 year impact of communities had been positive, and there was a lot to look forward to.

Tonight it’s the first anniversary LIKE meeting.  Not such a capacious venue as the Deloitte canteen (which Kevin Wheatly had kindly loaned for the knowledge café), but a friendly and welcoming Bloomsbury pub – with good food, great company and, this evening, the fascinating subject of taxonomies to mull over…..

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