Liberating Structures for Knowledge Sharing


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Slides and harvest from a webinar I facilitated for the Mid Atlantic Facilitators Network on February 7, 2104. This is a cleaned up version of the slides with the chat notes processed into the slides as a "harvest" of people's inputs and participation

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  • This is reflected in the work of thinkers such as Pierre Levy on reciprocal apprenticeships.
    Reciprocal apprenticeship - Pierre Levy
    “Les arbres de connaissances" (Trees of Knowledge)
  • I recently facilitating a group working on “knowledge sharing” (in the field of international development) and it was remarkable how many unhappy faces walked into the room. People were internally focused. As we started, each was hungry to have his or her say. Few were listening and engaging with each other. They had their own agendas. I’ve seen this in many contexts. It is a painful place to feel unheard. It is an unproductive space to not truly hear others. This is NOT the springboard for knowledge sharing.
  • For another great illustration of the ladder of inference, see
  • Wicked questions  15% solution  Purpose to Practice
    Nine Whys  25/10 Crowdsourcing or Improv Prototyping  Ecocycle
    Social Network Webbing/Appreciative interviews  Discover and Action Dialog  User Experience Fishbowl
  • Note:
    “Where is your 15%?” Where do you have discretion and freedom to act?”
  • Liberating Structures for Knowledge Sharing

    1. 1. Infecting Knowledge Sharing with Liberating Structures WITH MAFN, February 7, 2014 Nancy White @NancyWhite channeling Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz from
    2. 2. With a deep bow of appreciation to Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz …
    3. 3. The Design Storyboard of our time together today…
    4. 4. Knowledge sharing is a well understood and vital practice… Put a mark along the spectrum to indicate your perspective! (Variation on Agreement/Uncertainty Matrix) What ARE you talking about? Agree strongly
    5. 5. What are we talking about when we say “knowledge sharing?”
    6. 6. 1-2-4-All (variation) Let’s Experiment with 1-2All Adey PM’s Althea 1.First, think quietly on your own about the question ‘What are we talking about when we talk about “knowledge sharing?”’ 2.Next we are going to break up into pairs. Look at the Participant list in the upper left hand corner of your screen. I will pair you off two by two. 3.Now, lets go to the next slide…
    7. 7. Let’s Experiment with 1-2-All Adey PM’s Althea 1.First, think quietly on your own about the question ‘What are we talking about when we talk about “knowledge sharing?”’ 2.Next we are going to break up into pairs. Look at the Participant list in the upper left hand corner of your screen. I will pair you off two by two. 3.Now, the first person in the pair will private message (PM) the second person. This is now a two person chat. Hover your mouse over the person you want to private message chat with and click on “Start Private Chat.” Voila! 4.When you hear us call you back, you want to return to group chat. Let’s figure that out…
    8. 8. Harvest from Paired Conversation: What do we mean by Knowledge Sharing? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • This is knowledge sharing/connecting! • I agree Headset attachments for milkshakes - new 'must-have"' tool for virtual meetings :) Two-way dialogue sharing what works, what doesn't work (and why), and sharing of tips and guidance to help my colleagues and clients be successful in whatever they are doing sharing is about listening and asking powerful questions contrast between business and government perspective on knowledge sharing Learning from each other - best practices Sharing between "sectors" - for e.g, research results to clinicians in practice, and vice versa Its about creating an environment for thinking Unfortunately people sometimes think it's about top-down "knowledge dumping" In the moment sharing with one or more individuals. We had a most interesting conversation that ranged from communicating visually to our shared hesitancy related to working collaboratively w/ clients via drawing tools such as Prezi. Must have an environment that rewards/incentivizes sharing, as opposed to "knowledge is power" disincentive for sharing I really like Dorothy's reference to internalizing special understanding from experiences. Creating a *deliberate* process for sharing learning among people on a team/org I think of knowledge sharing as including the increased awareness that occurs between people that occurs in the interactions difference twixt KS in personal context vs work org context. There's a fear of the unknown, This fear keeps us from sharing all that we really can share Formal and informal, based on specific needs versus for a future need
    9. 9. Harvest from Paired Conversation: What do we mean by Knowledge Sharing? • • • • • • • • • • • Knowledge exchange occurs between those who distribute the knowledge (producers) and those who use and/or receive the knowledge (adopters). It closes the research-practice gap and supports the use of recommended practices. It implies a two-way dialogue for information exchange (Garcia, 2006; Gravois Lee & Garvin, 2003). It emphasizes interactive, mutually respectful, collaborative approaches driven jointly by researchers and practitioners (including policy makers). Anything from showing my husband how to use TuneWiki (last night's after dinner conversation) to hundreds of people sharing knowledge in a conference -- online or otherwise and everything in between? whether it is good enuf is up to the receiver more than the sender The down-side of sharing an embarrassing lesson can be offset by reducing the ire of those affected. seeing if our "reality" is the same as others "reality" sharing perspectives, creating connections and insights from shared perspectives Group collaborative tools -- a little more powerful that this one ... Allows for everyone to see everything that's been shared. See for example ThinkTank or GroupSystems to HARVEST group work. I explore something called 'Clean Language' to promote what Izzy is advocating. Fascinating stuff. Rather than centering the learning dialog on failures or errors, it can be constructive to focus on what worked and what can be done better next time -- I can’t remember who developed that LB/NT model Sharing knowledge differs from sharing information in that it results in some change in the person(s) on the receiving end. knowledge sharing is having a conversation about a topic with others that deepens my understanding as well as creating spaces where everyone feels valued up front
    10. 10. Reciprocal Apprenticeship See Image: (Levy)
    11. 11. The KS Gap
    12. 12. How we shape our mental maps (from Senge, 1994, adapted by Ian Metcalf)
    13. 13. Moral “The moral of this tale is simple. Most knowledge workers (not just software or IT) suffer under mountains of work in process. This largely happens because knowledge work is invisible. Although no change is easy, immediate improvements to team throughput and effectiveness can be seen by simply visualizing the work and limiting the work in process. Visualize the work to understand it. Limit the work in process to complete it.” Jim Benson Gerry Weinberg context switching image
    14. 14. One avenue is LIBERATING STRUCTURES…
    15. 15. Liberating Structures …including and unleashing everyone Keith and Henri…
    16. 16. A repertoire to help us… 1. BE together 2. Engage WITH each other to share/make meaning of knowledge 3. Unleash everyone to create/share/use knowledge
    17. 17. McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    18. 18. McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    19. 19. McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    20. 20. McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    21. 21. Inspired by McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    22. 22. Principles McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    23. 23. TRIZ
    24. 24. Let’s TRIZ Together: "If our approach to knowledge sharing was totally obliterated last night, what parts would you re-establish?" Type your answer in the chat …
    25. 25. Let’s TRIZ Together: "If our approach to knowledge sharing was totally obliterated last night… What new functions or attributes would you add? Type your answer in the chat …
    26. 26. TRIZ Harvest Slide What would we keep doing? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • People feelings Framework for dialogue start records mgmt from scratch A way to collaborate asynchronously so people can participate anytime, anywhere a tool to support the dialogue conversation as an essential one-on-one dialogue connecting people to talk to each other goodwill lots of attractive work and relax space Reach out to all in the group personally Coffee just-in-time Curiosity Discussion of implications of research for practice Consistent Structure Do all you can to maintain informal mentorprotégé or coach-coachee or sensei-student relationships. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • more human interaction we have regular group chats where we talk about common themes serious play not so much paper hope survival needs/fill them lean coffee lunches techniques and approaches for power sharing Create a large OPEN SPACE to recreate the knowledge base small group discussions a board of what people want to know visual note taking visualizing what folks need, and letting others fill in Intuitive, easy way for people connect when they want/need to open space comes to mind @Izzy ... Not so serious play (might) work too.
    27. 27. TRIZ Harvest Slide – What patterns did we notice? Pattern = keep "liberating" structures and processes :) Belinda Spohn: the people element is common to many Fran Lowe: collaborative Nancy: Conversation, dialogue essential Althea Middleton-Detzner: side by side rather than top-down Izzy Gesell: staus levelers Ruth Britt: things that encourage connection Adey Makonnen: the need for a space Iantha : an environment that truly creates possibility for all Bill Hurlbut: conversation Larry: some useful tools Karen Buehler: Is coffee & conversation a survival skill? John Lesko, CPF: We might need to re-create the language of "shared space" around knowledge and sharing.
    28. 28. The longer form of TRIZ…
    29. 29. McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    30. 30. This is called “stringing structures…”
    31. 31. Examples from  the First Seattle  LS Workshop Seattle Workshop 1 AGENDA 1. Impromptu Networking A G E N D A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 < lunch > 9 10 11 12 13 14 2. TBD 3. 1-2-4 All 4. 15% Solutions 5. Troika Consulting 6. Nine Whys 7. Generative Relationships 8. Users Fishbowl Lunch 9. TRIZ 10. What³ Debrief 11. StoryBoards 12. Celebrity Interview 13. Panarchy 14. Webbing or Mad Tea McCandless and Lipmanowicz
    32. 32. Stringing Patterns… a few ideas • Divergent  Convergent  Select/Decision making • Focus  Prototype  Evaluate • Relate/Relationship  Discover  Apply
    33. 33. A community heartbeat is… At t en tio n …a sequence of activities and events that occur with some regularity! Get Stuff Done Toget he r ntion Inte Libe Stru rating ct u res 33
    34. 34. Let’s harvest…
    35. 35. What, so what, now what?
    36. 36. What, So What…. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • (W)3 = AAR ==> CPI ... Love it! (Continuous Process Improvement) You teased us with oh-so-many cool techniques and tools. Exciting to have a name for what I have been doing with groups and to have more techniques, too! Sparked my interest in learning more! The sheer number of structures facilitators can use. Learned new models, approaches and tips for sharing knowledge in both FTF settings and virtual . So what? Lots of great stuff I can share with my clients who have dispersed global teams. new lenses/labels for solutions that support my work Important for me to see how the techniques can be used in the online environment Getting to experience the small to large group work in online environment; significant because I can see it can work and now am inspired to try it What? This was the first time I recall a MAFN webinar using paired chats. This was "liberating" in itself. It was very useful to have some experience doing these facilitation techniques on line, since many times I'm working with virtual teams MAFN might consider launching (again) our FBoK project; including a section on Liberating Structures (of course) Experienced actual knowledge sharing, learning that we do this some, and can do a lot more (as a facilitator). Outside of the box, techniques for facilitating. We practiced what we were learning about. Outstanding tools for actionCreating a shared naming convention for structures that i have been using and sharing with other new facilitators for years... AND learning a few new ones in the process! I have a new client (contract came in while we've been on the webinar) and I can use these with that client! WOO HOO! Now What….
    37. 37. What, So What…. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • I like the visuals for the various structures. So what: also in doing this sharing with each other, I made at least 2 meaning connections with others. saw that the overriding principle for a practical approach for engagement and action movement so what -- realization there are ways of knowledge sharing with limited resources. meaningful... We played with a few techniques & applied them to the online world (with some difficulty) liked the idea of destructive thinking. Reminds me of an Improv game called "World's Worst " I like the visual construct for a very structured agenda Many techniques immediately applicable - as in, my next client call! YEs, destructive thinking was thought provoking Re: Now What ... Imagine if MAFN were to host a series of workshops on-line or F2F when we might dive deeply into each of these tools. @ Linda - real Just in Time learning! I see that too YES John - more sessions on this - deeper dive methods and processes matter. empowerment-based and liberating structures can create an empowering and liberating experience for those participating SO What? self awareness Yes, visual construct for agenda was one of the first ideas I decided to use from today's session! There are so many amazing gems to work with as a facilitator. I feel as though I have added tools to my tool box. I really appreciated the eco cycle and the concept of the liberating structures Jon, John - agree! more and deeper session on this would be fascinating there is hope - may be able to help clients determine what to stop doing. I think Jon said it -- A lens for understanding the tools we use Oh, and a way to get out of my methodological rut Now What….
    38. 38. The 15% solution Noticing and using the influence, discretion and power individuals have right now. – Keith McCandless 38
    39. 39. 25/10 Crowd Sourcing “If you were 10 times bolder, what big idea would you recommend? What first step would you take to get started?”
    40. 40. URLs/References Mentioned During Presentation • • • • • • Liberating Structures Knowledge Management for Development CoP Knowledge Sharing Toolkit LS LinkedIn Group home=&gid=4810141&trk=anet_ug_hm The F2F Horrors of Bad Telecons v=DYu_bGbZiiQ Books: – The Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments view=allpages – NO MORE TEAMS by Michael Schrage – Training from The Back of the Room • People – Gerry Weinberg / Kanban
    41. 41. Thank You! @NancyWhite