Blog Post

Knowledge Cafe

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 18 August 2002



Knowledge Cafe
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Posted DateSunday 18 August 2002 23:18 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
CategoriesKnowledge Management; Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Cafe
CountryUnited States

I received this e-mail in response to my last knowledge-letter and my idea for setting up a regular meeting in London to have "interesting conversations" on KM related topics ... only goes to show that even the simplest of knowledge-sharing systems can work ...

Just a quick note to thank you for this newsletter, and to tell you about another "knowledge café".

I started working for a small consulting company in Portsmouth, NH (U.S.) this April, and when I came on board, I quickly found that there was no electronic means to share any previous knowledge. Everyone kept their final research, proposals, reports, and other important documents on their own laptops. With no good way to reuse that information, we found that we were reinventing the wheel many times over.

To address the problem, we have recently set up a very basic directory structure on the network to place information, with folders for client info, marketing collateral, research, etc. (yes, I know this sounds SO BASIC, but you have to start somewhere!). And rather than introduce it to the troops as "that directory on the network", which is just one more thing for them to forget about, we called it the Knowledge Café. We chose this name because we wanted to communicate the concept of knowledge sharing as an inviting, enjoyable, comfortable thing to do. And it has worked. Consultants are finding valuable sources of information from their colleagues' previous work, sharing more ideas, and becoming more effective.

There is more work and training to be done on our Café, but I thought you might be interested in hearing how a virtual version of same has had happy results. I wish I could attend yours, but it's a bit of a haul to London from here!


Kelly Belmonte

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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