Blog Post

Some notes from KM Australia

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 July 2011



Some notes from KM Australia
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 133
Posted DateWednesday 27 July 2011 14:01 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
CategoriesKnowledge Management

I chaired KM Australia last week though on reflection, I don't like that old fashioned word "chaired". Lets say I facilitated it.

I did not sit on stage. I briefly introduced the speakers. I did not read out their full bios. I kept them to time as best I could. I did not give lengthy summaries after their talks - that time was better given over to conversation. And I encouraged, supported and facilitated conversation and Q&A around their talks.

I really enjoyed the conference and felt the conversational format worked well and from the feedback I have seen so far the conference participants (note I try not to use the word audience) did too.

Some great tweeting went on and even some Google Plussing.

A few little things stood out for me. First, Peter Williams, CEO, of Deloitte Digital, during his talk said this about innovation : "Innovation is not about defining it, it's about doing it." This resonated strongly with my own view on KM. "KM is not about defining it or arguing whether it is dead or alive, its about doing it."

Second, what was interesting, in the conversations, someone made the point that we really needed to agree a common definition on KM if it was to have any future. Now, if you have been around KM as long as I have, you will know that agreeing a common definition is as far away as ever and may never be achieved. So I asked the conference participants what they thought. Overwhelmingly they thought it was not an issue. Thank God that I am not the only one who does not think this is a problem!

Thirdly, another conversation that stood out for me was one around the skills that we felt were needed today as knowledge workers. I noted down the items suggested. And then did a very rough and ready poll on the top three. This was the result:
  • leadership
  • influence
  • flexibility/adaptability

The ability to lead and the ability to influence. Interesting. Well worth reflecting on.

Finally, given all the challenges that Knowledge Management faces, I concluded the conference with my favourite quote from Ghandi.

We must become the change we wish to see in the world.

I enjoyed the conference so much, I must try to talk the Ark Group into inviting me again next year even though it rained almost all day, every day for the week I was in Sydney.

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
David Gurteen

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