Keith February 5th, 2013
“Recent research has shown that conversation is important for improving innovation. It has also been found that conversation improves group and individual performance and knowledge sharing. This article will address some of the principles of innovation and how conversational techniques can be harnessed to improve business outcomes.”
My previous article on The Art of Conversation has now been updated and published as a chapter in the Ark Group report Innovation and Transformation Through Knowledge Management, edited by Evie Serventi. This version is repitched as The innovation conversation. This came along just after I presented on the topic at KM-UK in London in June last year.
The report can be ordered from Ark Group here. You can also see the contents listing and a summary here.
Other chapter authors in this report include Dave Snowden, Stephanie Barnes, Debra Amidon and Nick Milton.
Keith January 21st, 2013
I am going over my notes for a university workshop on language that I am running tomorrow, and am once again reminded why I find both the government and opposition rhetoric on asylum seekers so abhorrent.
In 2011, 4,565 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat – less than 3 per cent of our total permanent intake in that year (ASRC). Why should this be considered as sufficient for us to require better ”border protection”? This policy does have a precedent:
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
“… Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
- Hermann Göring, 18 April 1946 (Gilbert, GW 1947, Nuremberg Diary).
Keith April 30th, 2012
I am talking about Twitter at the First Tuesday Blog Club tomorrow night. This may be an odd format for a blog post, but here are some of the ideas I may or may not talk about, depending on how the session goes, with links to the places some of the ideas are derived from:
- Why do you use Twitter?
- Do you want to use Twitter for business or pleasure?
- What to you want to achieve with Twitter?
- Does it matter?
I won’t be telling you how to get 300,000 followers; but I can tell you how I have got to 1,400!
Why I use Twitter
- Working on joint project – questions and answers.
- Offering tech help – stuck volume control on iPad.
- Retweeting observations: “If only they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
- Reading thoughts: “Closed networks are ignorance amplifiers”.
- News: The world’s lightest material has been created – a nanotechnology metal grid 100 times lighter than polystyrene foam.
- Sharing domestic activities: Making Christmas pudding.
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Keith April 25th, 2012
Seems I’ve been featured in IABC Victoria online properties three times recently.
I was interviewed in March on The link between comms and knowledge management for the chapter blog, and I was profiled in the February Connect newsletter.
Now I am the subject of an article published on the main web site – Tweak your business conversations to achieve more, highlighting the topic that has been discussed on this blog before, and mentioning my upcoming appearance at KM-UK in London in June.
Keith April 3rd, 2012
I recently wrote a series of three articles for Star News Group’s Business West magazine on Social Media. One of these is mentioned in the previous post here – now I can upload all of them here in a set. They are:
Let’s talk Social Media (Nov 2011)
Social media is not only something you can no longer ignore, it’s part of a bigger shift that is changing everything…
To tweet or not to tweet (Dec 2011)
Let’s first dispel the myth that it’s all about telling people what you had for breakfast…
Time to face facts (Feb 2012)
The real power of social media is in opening the shop or factory walls, and letting the customers in – making them part of the business…
Do these reflect your experience of social media? I would love to hear your thoughts…
Keith November 20th, 2011
Well, that was my working title for an article published in the November issue of Business West. The title for the published article ended up as the more prosaic – but probably more appropriate – Let’s talk social media.
A PDF version of the article is now available for download from this site.
This is planned to be the first in a three-part series at Business West. I have just submitted article number two, titled (for now) To tweet or not to tweet. You’ll see it first on Business West.
Keith June 11th, 2011
David Gurteen has recently posted an article comparing his Knowledge Café concept and World Café, which are similar processes, but with “some subtle but significant differences”.
As I have been doing a fair bit of both work and writing on collaboration recently, I have been attempting to sharpen up my own ideas about these techniques and the differences. In practice, I tend to modify the techniques to match the context, rather than necessarily follow a strict format, but it is useful to understand the origins and strengths of the different approaches.
David has spelt out the differences quite thoroughly in his article, but I thought that it may be helpful to put together a bit of a summary here, also drawing on my own experience and observations.
| World Café
|Started in 1995.
||Started in 2002.
|Described in community language.
||Described in business language.
|Used to address social issues and build community.
||Used to address business issues and build business communities.
|Defined structure and process.
||Structure and process can be adapted to meet business needs.
|Uses Table Hosts.
||Does not use Table Hosts.
|The results of conversations are “harvested”.
||The conversations themselves are important – results are not normally harvested.
As David is at some pains to point out, he is not saying that there is anything wrong with the World Café approach – it is just different. Each approach has its place and purpose.
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Keith May 13th, 2011
Later today I’m speaking at Knowledge transfer in a digital age - a free Information Awareness Month event in Melbourne, jointly promoted by a number of organisations in the “records, archives, library and information management community”.
I am presenting an updated version of the Knowledge Transfer Toolkit presentation - read more about the background on this site, including this recently published article. The outline of the presentation is as follows:
Building and managing a knowledge transfer program:
How do you encourage technical experts to share their knowledge with others in the organisation that need it to do their jobs? How do you maintain currency and accuracy? This case study presentation will explain how to build a successful knowledge transfer toolkit.
- Encouraging knowledge-sharing behaviours
- Building a program-managed multimedia toolkit, comprising content, communication, learning and social media
- Governance – keeping content up to date
- Engaging the target audience in improving content
- Using social media principles to build trust and engagement
View or download the slide pack on SlideShare here.
Keith May 9th, 2011
Further to previous posts here on the transformative power of conversation – the Ignite presentation at KMLF, and the trampoline presentation - I have now also written an article on the topic, which was published by Thomson-Reuters’ Online Currents last month.
This article has documented in a little more detail the recent research that highlights how conversation can actually make us smarter and more innovative – this research is from:
- Anita Williams Woolley et al, who found that “small groups demonstrate distinctive ‘collective intelligence’ when facing difficult tasks”.
- Steven Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From, on cultural progress and how innovation really works.
- Oscar Ybarra et al, showing that even brief, friendly conversations can improve individual mental function.
This research is summarised and drawn together in the article, along with other thoughts on conversation, change and social media.
Download a copy of the article here.
Keith April 22nd, 2011
So just over a month ago – just after landing back from my few days in Brisbane - I spent a few days down at Wildwood Retreat in Pennyroyal Valley with twelve other people.
We came together to talk about – and experiment with – various tools and techniques of group facilitation. The retreat was arranged by Viv McWaters (@vivmcw) and Johnnie Moore (@johnniemoore), who had also just flown in from a couple of weeks of facilitation in the Solomon Islands and other places.
As much as it was about learning and doing stuff, it was about relaxing and having fun. I was there as Matt Moore (@engin_eer) had invited me. (Thanks, Matt!) Although I did already know some of the other people there, it was also a great time of meeting new people. It was also the first time that I had picked up a guitar for over a year – Geoff Brown (@geoffbrown3231) very kindly didn’t protest when I borrowed his every time he put it down!
Wildwood was a bit run down, as it was actually on the market, and the owner was no longer resident on site. The catering was excellent, and the location marvellous, but the nights were getting cooler, and the wood fire heating was rather short of fuel. Some of us tracked down some wood, and Geoff kindly wielded the splitter. Given my experience with wood fires at Blackwood, I got the Coonara going on the first morning there, and kept it stoked up for the duration. (For which I was christened “fireguy” by Johnnie.)
One of the highlights was the evening that I was sitting around fiddling with the guitar (or guitaring, I guess), and Johnnie suggested we improvise a song. After a bit of work, we got a chorus going, and improvised as many verses as we could as the others came into the room – and then ran away to the other end of the room as quickly as they could!
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