Copenhagen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass June 2011


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Copenhagen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass June 2011

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Copenhagen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass June 2011

  1. 1. The kind of conversation I’m interested in is one in which you start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person. Theodore Zeldin Conversation Theodore is an Oxford Historian
  2. 2. Gurteen Knowledge Café
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>16:00 – 16:20 Business is a Conversation (20 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>16:20 – 16:40 Knowledge Café Process (20 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>16:40 – 17:00 Conversation + Q&A (20 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>17:00 – 18:00 Knowledge Cafe (60 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>18:00 – 18:30 Types of Café & Applications (30 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>18:30 – 19:00 Action Circle (30 mins) </li></ul>
  4. 4. The birth of the Gurteen Knowledge Cafe London, September 2002
  5. 5. Our job is to have interesting conversations
  6. 6. Business is a conversation Business is a conversation because the defining work of business is conversation - literally. And 'knowledge workers' are simply those people whose job consists of having interesting conversations. David Weinberger The Cluetrain Manifesto
  7. 7. Conversation is a meeting of minds Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don't just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards. Theodore Zeldin Conversation
  8. 8. KM is about understanding For all our knowledge, we have no idea what we're talking about. We don't understand what's going on in our business, our market, and our world. KM shouldn’t be about helping us to know more. It should be about helping us to understand. So, how do we understand things? It's through stories that we understand how the world works. David Weinberger, The Cluetrain Manifesto
  9. 9. Dialogue The kind of conversation I’m interested in is one in which you start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person. Theodore Zeldin Conversation
  10. 10. Principles of Dialogue <ul><li>Suspend assumptions, do not judge </li></ul><ul><li>Observe & listen to one another </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome differences & explore them </li></ul><ul><li>Allow taboo subjects to be raised safely </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to your inner voice </li></ul><ul><li>Slow the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Search for the underlying meaning </li></ul>Dialogue is based on the work of the physicist David Bohm
  11. 11. Summary <ul><li>Business is a conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation is creative </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding is more important than knowing more </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue is the key to quality conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation is a powerful learning tool </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conversation and Q&A
  13. 13. Gurteen Knowledge Café Process
  14. 14. What is a Gurteen Knowledge Café? <ul><li>A Gurteen Knowledge Café brings a group of people together to have an open, creative conversation on a topic of mutual interest. </li></ul><ul><li>To surface their collective knowledge, to share ideas and to gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Leading to action in the form of better decision making & innovation & thus tangible outcomes. </li></ul>
  15. 15. What resources are needed? <ul><li>Not a lot! </li></ul><ul><li>A group of 20 – 30 people </li></ul><ul><li>A speaker and a facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>A room or other venue </li></ul><ul><li>Tables & chairs to seat 4 or 5 people per table </li></ul>
  16. 16. What do you need in the room? <ul><li>Unthreatening and hospitable environment </li></ul><ul><li>Good ambience, small cosy, good acoustics </li></ul><ul><li>Small round tables and 4 – 5 chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Optional: paper table cloths, felt tip pens, toys </li></ul><ul><li>NO flip charts </li></ul><ul><li>Refreshments </li></ul>
  17. 17. What’s the process? <ul><li>Speaker makes a short presentation 5 – 10 mins </li></ul><ul><li>Poses a trigger question </li></ul><ul><li>Small group conversations at tables </li></ul><ul><li>Three rounds 10 – 15 mins </li></ul><ul><li>Whole group conversation in a circle 15 mins </li></ul><ul><li>Share actionable insights 15 mins </li></ul><ul><li>1.5 to 2.0 hours in total </li></ul>
  18. 18. What subjects are covered? <ul><li>Any subject can be addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Explore questions that matter to the participants </li></ul><ul><li>Explore only one theme & question </li></ul>
  19. 19. What’s the role of the facilitator? <ul><li>Need not be a specialist </li></ul><ul><li>Should not take a lead in the discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Wander around and listen into the groups </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve any issues </li></ul>
  20. 20. What’s the role of the participants? <ul><li>To be prepared to emerge a slightly different person </li></ul><ul><li>To listen more than speak </li></ul><ul><li>To welcome differences </li></ul><ul><li>To withhold judgment </li></ul><ul><li>To avoid position taking </li></ul>
  21. 21. How do things work in small groups? <ul><li>No leader or chairperson </li></ul><ul><li>No reporting back </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is equal </li></ul><ul><li>No group note taker </li></ul><ul><li>Can make own notes </li></ul>
  22. 22. How does the large group sit? <ul><li>In a circle </li></ul><ul><li>Takes 2 minutes to move chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator & speaker sit in circle </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone can see & hear each other & are equal </li></ul>
  23. 23. How does the circle work? <ul><li>Group talks, minimal intervention from facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>No reporting back </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator may need to encourage participation </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator gently ensures that no one person or group dominates the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Connects diverse perspectives </li></ul>
  24. 24. Sharing actionable insights <ul><li>Facilitator goes around the circle </li></ul><ul><li>Each person in turn shares something </li></ul><ul><li>A thought, an idea, an insight, something learnt </li></ul><ul><li>Preferably an action </li></ul><ul><li>OK to pass </li></ul>
  25. 25. What are the outcomes? <ul><li>Outcomes are what you take away in your head </li></ul><ul><li>Deeper understanding of the issues discussed </li></ul><ul><li>Deeper insight into other people’s perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Better appreciation of your own point of view </li></ul><ul><li>Position to make more informed decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Improved relationships </li></ul>
  26. 26. Café Principles <ul><li>Relaxed, non-threatening, open conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Close to a pub conversation as possible </li></ul><ul><li>No manipulation of people; no hidden agendas </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone equal; no table leaders; no reporting back </li></ul><ul><li>No one forced to do anything – OK to just listen </li></ul><ul><li>Trust people to talk about what is important to them </li></ul><ul><li>OK to go off-topic </li></ul><ul><li>No summarization or attempt to reach consensus </li></ul><ul><li>No capture of outcomes; no flip charts in the room </li></ul>
  27. 27. The Café is NOT about <ul><li>Making decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Gaining consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Capturing stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Making plans </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulating people in some way </li></ul>
  28. 28. Café Magic <ul><li>No explicit or hidden agendas </li></ul><ul><li>No command and control </li></ul><ul><li>No desired outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>No push for consensus </li></ul><ul><li>OK to go off topic </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom to speak your mind </li></ul>
  29. 29. Questions and Discussion
  30. 30. Lets run a Knowledge Cafe
  31. 31. Café Conversation How do we convince senior management of the value of conversational tools like knowledge cafes and pro-active reviews?
  32. 32. Café Conversation What is the role of conversation in organisational life and how do we encourage more of it?
  33. 33. Café Applications
  34. 34. Forms of Café <ul><li>Traditional Knowledge Café </li></ul><ul><li>World Café </li></ul><ul><li>Gurteen Knowledge Café </li></ul><ul><li>Gurteen Action Café </li></ul><ul><li>Other conversational tools </li></ul>
  35. 35. How is the Gurteen Knowledge Cafe different from the World Cafe? <ul><li>World Café 1995; Knowledge Café 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>More business oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Usually shorter </li></ul><ul><li>For smaller numbers of people </li></ul><ul><li>No table leaders </li></ul><ul><li>No reporting back </li></ul><ul><li>No capture </li></ul><ul><li>Less preparation required </li></ul><ul><li>Paper & pens on tables optional </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly less controlling </li></ul>
  36. 36. Conversational tools <ul><li>Knowledge Cafes </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Jams </li></ul><ul><li>Peer Assists, After Action Reviews, Retrospects </li></ul><ul><li>(Learn before, learn during, learn after) </li></ul><ul><li>Anecdote Circles </li></ul><ul><li>Ritual Dissent </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse Brainstorm </li></ul><ul><li>Open Space Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Unconference, unworkshop and Barcamps </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation Dinners and Walks </li></ul>
  37. 37. Applying the Café <ul><li>Pure conversational Cafés </li></ul><ul><li>Cafés can be adapted for specific purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Café techniques can be used in other activities </li></ul><ul><li>Café style talks </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Café + Open Space </li></ul>
  38. 38. Where might you use the Café? <ul><li>Surface hidden problems & opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage knowledge sharing & informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Improve decision making and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Address disengagement and lack of voice </li></ul><ul><li>Help people make sense of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Help people feel ownership of things </li></ul>
  39. 39. Some actual Café applications
  40. 40. Trinidad & Tobago Oil and Gas
  41. 41. Canal Boat Café <ul><li>On canals in Amsterdam </li></ul><ul><li>At end of week of workshops & visits </li></ul><ul><li>To help summarise the week </li></ul><ul><li>Develop plan for action </li></ul>
  42. 42. Café for a UK government body <ul><li>Day long workshop </li></ul><ul><li>3 presentations on social tools </li></ul><ul><li>A knowledge Café </li></ul><ul><li>Future leaders in the group </li></ul><ul><li>Future leaders determine action plan </li></ul>
  43. 43. ISN Knowledge Café The knowledge café has led to a dramatic improvement in terms of inter-team dialog, collaboration & knowledge sharing. Many internal work processes are now being overhauled for the better as a result of these knowledge cafes & we have seen an explosion of new ideas & initiatives on the part of staff at all levels of the organization. Simply put, the knowledge cafe format has empowered all our staff to speak up and take the initiative in ensuring the successful development of the ISN. Chris Pallaris, Chief Editor ISN, Zurich
  44. 44. Statoil <ul><li>To surface issues as a result of a merger </li></ul><ul><li>Series of Cafés to bring retiring experts together with younger members to transfer knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a community hall on an allotment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geophysicists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion of preferred technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exchange views on experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Management Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But not called a Knowledge Café </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Questions and Discussion
  46. 46. Action Circle <ul><ul><li>What is your one actionable insight from the Café? </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. David GURTEEN Gurteen Knowledge Fleet, United Kingdom Tel: +44 7774 178 650 Email:
  48. 48. Licence <ul><li>You may use these slides under the following Creative Commons Licence </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>