I am often asked how to get started designing and running Knowledge Cafés.
Given that the outcomes of the Knowledge Café are sometimes seen as “soft” by more hard-nosed, business focused managers, and by those working under time pressure, you may have difficulty convincing people of their value, and so it is essential to think carefully about how to get started.
I suggest you do not try to run a Knowledge Café with the sole purpose of convening some “interesting conversations.”
What you have in the Café is a powerful business tool, so when you see opportunities to use the Café for a real business purpose then seize the opportunity.
Offer the Café as a response to an issue – maybe don't even call it a Café and do not try to “sell it” in a traditional way.
A Café should always have a strong business purpose.
If you are a manager, then you should not have too much of a problem as you have the authority and power to do new things, but even if you are lower down the organizational hierarchy and do not manage people, then it is still possible.
Taka look here at some suggestions I am putting together for my blook on Conversational Leadership.
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