I started running my Knowledge Cafes over 10 years ago out of my frustration with death-by-power-point presentations. Little did I know back in 2002 that they would take over my life!
Since then I have run many hundreds of them all over the world and have further developed the concept. What I love about the Knowledge Café is that it works in all the cultures I have encountered.
Gather people in small groups of 3 or 4, remove the barriers to conversation especially fear, allow people to converse in their native tongue around a topic in which they feel passionate and they will engage enthusiastically every time.
Today, my interest has broadened to the concept of “Organizational Conversation” and "Conversational Leadership" and the multitude of ways that conversation can be used in organisational life.
So I was delighted when Dr. Vincent Ribiere of the The Institute for Knowledge and Innovation (IKI) - South-East Asia and Thailand Office invited me to be the editor for the May Edition of their iKnow Magazine for Innovative Knowledge Workers and agreed I could build the issue around the topic of Organizational Conversation.
I am delighted to have some wonderful contributors. First, I take a broad look at conversation. Nancy Dixon looks at what makes a conversation effective. Keith de la Rue talks about conversations for innovation. Shawn Callahan writes about the role of storytelling – a very natural form of conversation. Mariette Peters takes a practical look at what it takes to get lawyers to open up, talk with each other and share their knowledge. And Carla Sapsford Nemman looks at conversations as catalysts for inciting strategic storytelling.
I believe that conversation is our most powerful business tool and that each and every one of us has the potential to leverage our personal effectiveness by taking a conversational approach to our work.
So let's have no more of the “stop talking and get to work” and more “get to work and start talking.”
It's a superbly produced magazine and you will find back copies here.
This is a short video of a Knowledge Cafe I run for the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)
in Dubai on 29th October 2013 on Knowledge Sharing.