Yesterday I attended day two of the actKM conference in Canberra. The day was full of thoughtful speakers and enjoyable conversation. The venue was in an unpretentious room located in the lovely grounds of University House at the Australian National University.
David Gurteen opened the morning session with an overview of a range of social networking tools and technologies. David emphasised the practical and the simplicity of these tools in his usual conversational way. His enthusiasm and commitment are infectious! It was good to catch up with him after having met him over a few beers in Fleet a couple of years ago.
Patrick Lambe followed with a workshop using workplace personality archetypes as points of discussion for the active participation of attendees. I have heard Patrick speak about archetypes before. The archetypes reinforce to me how important communication style and personality preferences can be in communicating with people, let alone communicating for influence [it was also good to catch up with Arthur Shelley and finally get a copy of his book on workplace behaviour, called The organizational zoo].
After lunch, Matt Moore facilitated a great participatory workshop on improvisational approaches to brainstorming. Matt used a three stage approach to get people thinking about a particular issue, KM or otherwise. We moved from thinking through standard solutions within our established confines to opening our minds to some outrageous possibilities from where we could refine and develop really useful and practical ideas.
I love hearing Matt talk (and see him facilitate) as he truly loves to think about things and explore possibilities across a range of subjects – always a thought-provoking experience!
Deborah Blackman from the University of Canberra spoke next with a presentation (with Monica Kennedy) about “knowledge management and governance in higher education”. The key thinking point for me was in Deborah’s challenge to use governance as a knowledge generating activity, not solely as a documented record. She made the point that tracking back over governance records yielded little in understanding the thinking and discussion on how decisions were actually made. As part of the analytical framework, Deborah briefly discussed Cook and Brown’s four forms of knowledge – something for me to look into further at a later stage. One of the key questions that Deborah and Monica wanted to address in terms of knowledge and governance was: “how do we really report something” based on who needs to know and why, and how it will be transformed to those who need to know.
After the mid-afternoon break (at which I unfortunately had to go back to the office), Colette Raison from AdeptKM was scheduled to talk on “managing to measure or measuring to manage”. The concluding paper was from the effusive Nerida Hart, “Knowledge for regional natural resource management”. Nerida’s group at Land and Water Australia are doing some really wonderful KM work with remote communities so it was a shame for me to miss her presentation. I’ll catch up with Nerida in due course.
I understand that the presentations will be posted on the actKM website in due course. Congratulations to the actKM conference committee and the speakers for a really great day.