Archive for the 'Communication' Category

The AcKnowledge Urban Challenge

Keith January 7th, 2014

Are you leading an organisation in Melbourne? Looking for a good, fun team-building event? How well do you know Melbourne? Try the AcKnowledge Urban Challenge!

melbourne

What is it?

The AcKnowledge Urban Challenge is part race, part scavenger hunt and part puzzle. Armed with a clue sheet, map and a list of questions, your people will attempt to find locations and solve challenges across the Melbourne CBD, in teams of four to six, over two hours.

This event is a game of strategy that involves walking, teamwork and using collective brainpower to plan a route around the city. At the locations, they will solve puzzles – including trivia, history, mathematics, geography and observation – and perform a few light physical endeavours.

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Personal branding – it’s about you

Keith October 19th, 2013

Personal branding is about you. It’s about you presenting yourself to an audience. It’s about you standing out.

But there are two sides to this coin. On one side, you need to understand your audience, and you need to know what will speak to them – what it is you need to present that will connect with them. The other side of the coin is you. It’s who you are. You are the sum total of your experiences and what you represent to your audience.

But who are you?

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The Persuasion Paradox

Keith June 24th, 2013

“One way of talking that inhibits the exchange of knowledge is speaking with conviction.  That may seem contrary to what we’ve all learned in communication and leadership workshops, where one of the lessons often taught is to speak with confidence – “sound like you mean it”. Yet, as I examine conversations in the work setting, stating an idea with conviction tends to send a signal to others that the speaker is closed to new ideas.  When speaking with conviction people sound as though no other idea is possible, as though the answer is, or should be, obvious. “

Preaching

This quote is from Nancy Dixon’s recent blog post Bringing the Flow of Knowledge to a Standstill by Speaking with Conviction, cited by David Gurteen in his post To improve learning – don’t speak or write with conviction.

David also ties this concept in with a related concept about learning by Ellen Langer, from her book The Power of Mindful Learning. Her point is that if we are taught to do something by repetitive practice to the point that we can do it without thinking then we are unable to discovery or deal with situations that may require a different approach.

I would also like to introduce a third concept here – the idea that listening to inspirational teachers may be more enjoyable than listening to boring speakers, but that we actually don’t retain learning any better  from the inspirational speaker. This idea comes from recent research by Shana Carpenter, discussed by Annie Murphy Paul in the post Do We Actually Learn Anything From TED Talks?.

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The politics of fear

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).

Comms, KM and Conversation

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.

A Tale of Two Cafés

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 Knowledge Café 
Started in 1995. Started in 2002.
Community focussed. Business focussed. 
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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Information Awareness Month

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.

Topics include:

  • 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.

Art of Conversation – article edition

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.

The Art of Conversation – trampoline edition

Keith April 16th, 2011

So today I presented this topic at trampoline.  Trampoline is a “self-organising event for those who find the world interesting, have something to offer and share, and have an inquisitive mind”. I’ve been at some of the earlier trampoline days, and it’s great to get back and get energised again!

@kdelarue on conversation #trampoline

photo: thesquigglyline

This morning, I presented on the same topic as my last KMLF presentation – see this post for the details.  This time, I have tweaked the presentation a little, and had the luxury of enough time to get the audience engaged in the conversation. Since the KMLF presentation, I have also  written an article on this topic for Online Currents, which is being published this month. A copy of the article will be posted here a little while after the magazine is out.

The new slide pack is now up on SlideShare.  One thing that has emerged from this work that is added to this version of the presentation is my proposed Innovative Meeting Test:

  • Have we all been introduced?
  • Is everyone open and willing to change?
  • Are we all taking equal turns?
  • Is the talk friendly and constructive?
  • Do we have sufficiently diverse viewpoints?

What’s a KM guy like me doing in a comms place like the IABC?

Keith March 21st, 2011

I have just written a guest post for the IABC Vic Chapter blog. It summarises why I see a strong connection between KM and communications, with a bit of history on my membership of the IABC.  It also touches on why it is important to maintain an interest in fields outside your own core expertise. Have a read.

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