On the Tuesday evening I run a Knowledge Cafe at the National Library and was delighted to have about 40 people turn up for the event.
And then on the Thursday afternoon I ran a half-day version of my Effective Knowledge Worker workshop. Or at least I ran about thirty minutes of it! I had 14 people who had chosen to come to the workshop and pretty much all of them were Knowledge Managers from a range of organizations. In my usual conversational style I let them ask lots of questions; took my time to answer them and to connect them with each other in the room and as we did we slowly moved off topic.
But the engagement and the energy of the conversation was magic - I did not want to kill the conversation to get back to my workshop. So I agreed with them that I should stop and we carried on with our conversation! (They were also eager to talk after 2 days of wall to wall presentations - 9:00am to 8:00pm in the evening - the longest conference days I have ever encountered.)
The topics that were engaging us were "How do we sell KM to senior management?"; "How do we demonstrate the ROI to senior management?" and "How do we get the people in the organization enthused and passionate as we were about KM?". Yes that's right - hardly new questions but ones that almost everyone in the room were grappling with.
The afternoon came to an end and no one seemed to want to leave and we called in one of the Ark Group administrators to take photos of the group with our respective cameras but then someone asked them to take a video. I think you can see the energy of the group in the photos and the video. We had great fun and swapped email address - even gave ourselves a name the "Dare to Share" group after a slide I had just happened to have left running while we spoke.
But a couple of things went through my mind:
- Would the organizers have allowed me to run a workshop where all I would have proposed was a conversation around 2 or 3 questions that the group got to determine on the day!. I strongly suspect not.
- This conversational format worked so well however, I plan to propose it at future conferences where I am asked to run a workshop. I just need to figure out how to sell the idea to the organizers!