Gurteen Knowledge
Conversation is dialogue
The kind of conversation I’m
interested in is one in which you
start with a wil...
Gurteen Knowledge
Gurteen Knowledge Café
Masterclass
Wellington
November 2010
The birth of the
Gurteen Knowledge Cafe
London, September 2002
Gurteen Knowledge
Begin with the end in mind
• Raise awareness of the role of
conversation in your business
lives
• To tea...
Gurteen Knowledge
Agenda
• 09:30 – 10:00 Introductions (30 mins)
• 10:00 – 10:30 Business is a Conversation (30 mins)
• 10...
Gurteen Knowledge
Photographs
Gurteen Knowledge
Speed Networking
Gurteen Knowledge
Business is a Conversation
Business is a conversation
Business is a conversation because the
defining work of business is conversation -
literally.
A...
Gurteen Knowledge
Conversation is a learning technology
Conversation is the most powerful learning
technology ever invente...
Gurteen Knowledge
Conversation is our
most effective KM tool
Our most effective KM tool is conversation.
The words we choo...
Conversation is a meeting of minds
Conversation is a meeting of minds with
different memories and habits.
When minds meet,...
KM is about understanding
For all our knowledge, we have no idea what
we're talking about.
We don't understand what's goin...
Gurteen Knowledge
Conversation is dialogue
The kind of conversation I’m
interested in is one in which you
start with a wil...
Gurteen Knowledge
Principles of Dialogue
• Suspend assumptions, do not judge
• Observe & listen to one another
• Welcome d...
Gurteen Knowledge
Summary
• Business is a conversation
• Conversation is creative
• Understanding is more important than
k...
Gurteen Knowledge
Conversation/Questions
Gurteen Knowledge
Gurteen Knowledge Café Process
Gurteen Knowledge
Principles of the Gurteen Knowledge Cafe
• All about relaxed, non-threatening, open conversation
• No on...
Gurteen Knowledge
What are the outcomes?
• Real outcomes are what you take away in your head
– A deeper understanding of t...
Gurteen Knowledge
Knowledge Circle
Gurteen Knowledge
What resources are needed to run a
Knowledge Café?
• Not a lot!
• A group of people
• A facilitator or h...
Gurteen Knowledge
What do you need in the room?
• Some formats have special requirements such as
round tables, paper table...
Gurteen Knowledge
How do you run one?
• Knowledge Cafés can be run in different ways
• I use a simple format
• Runs for 90...
Gurteen Knowledge
What's the process?
• Facilitator takes 5 - 15 minutes to introduce the
Knowledge Café and the theme
• P...
Gurteen Knowledge
What subjects are covered?
• Any subject can be addressed
• Explore questions that matter to the partici...
Gurteen Knowledge
What’s the role of the facilitator?
• Facilitator need not be a specialist
– Nor disciplined in facilita...
Gurteen Knowledge
What’s the role of the individual?
• Theodore Zeldin : to be prepared to emerge a slightly
different per...
Gurteen Knowledge
How do things work within
the small groups?
• Don’t appoint a leader or chairperson
• Everyone should be...
Gurteen Knowledge
How does the large group sit?
• Bring everyone back into a relatively tight group so
that every one can ...
Gurteen Knowledge
How does the whole group work?
• Individuals asked to remember that their comments
are for the whole gro...
Gurteen Knowledge
How does the facilitator work
with the whole group?
• The group should be doing the work with minimal
in...
Gurteen Knowledge
Conversation/Questions
Gurteen Knowledge
Lets run a Knowledge Cafe
Business is a conversation
The characteristics of conversations map
to the conditions for genuine knowledge
generation and...
Business is a conversation
People implicitly acknowledge that they
don't have all the answers (or else the
conversation is...
Business is a conversation
If you think about the aim of Knowledge
Management as enabling better
conversations rather than...
Gurteen Knowledge
Café Conversation
What is the role of conversation and how do
we encourage more conversation
in our orga...
Gurteen Knowledge
Lunch
Applications of the Café
Gurteen Knowledge
What are the outcomes?
• Real outcomes are what you take away in your head
– A deeper understanding of t...
Gurteen Knowledge
Where might you use the Café?
• Surface hidden problems & opportunities
• Encourage knowledge sharing & ...
Gurteen Knowledge
Generic Applications
• As part of any presentation
• To glean feedback on say a policy document
• Replac...
Some real Café applications
Gurteen Knowledge
ISN Knowledge Café
The knowledge café has led to a dramatic improvement in
terms of inter-team dialog, c...
Gurteen Knowledge
Café for a UK government body
• Day long workshop
• 3 presentations on social tools
• A knowledge Café
•...
Gurteen Knowledge
Canal Boat Café
• On canals in Amsterdam
• At end of week of workshops & visits
• To help summarise the ...
Gurteen Knowledge
Trinidad & Tobago
Oil and Gas
• Expert talks
Gurteen Knowledge
StatoilHydro
• To surface issues as a result of a merger
• Series of Cafes to bring retiring experts tog...
What applications do you see for the
Knowledge Café?
Recording Outcomes
Gurteen Knowledge
Recording Outcomes
• Café is about the transfer of tacit knowledge –
not about making tacit knowledge ex...
Gurteen Knowledge
Recording Outcomes
• Why?
– That’s what we always do!
– As a record
– Share with others who were not the...
Gurteen Knowledge
Ideas for recording outcomes
• Appoint an external person to take notes
– Direct capture to laptop!
• Ca...
How would you capture outcomes?
Gurteen Knowledge
Tips and techniques
Gurteen Knowledge
The theme
• A topic people feel passionate about
• Complex issues
• Only ONE question
• Open ended quest...
Gurteen Knowledge
The conversation
• The question is only a seed
• OK to go off topic
• Conversation as close to a
convers...
Gurteen Knowledge
The speaker/facilitator
• Speaker and facilitator need
not be the same
• Facilitator: involved/not
invol...
Gurteen Knowledge
The facilitator
• Important to be yourself
• Do not control
• Experiment a little
• Take some risks
• Do...
Gurteen Knowledge
The venue
• Need not be a room
• Boat on Thames
• Canal Boat (long boat in Amsterdam)
• Knowledge Walk/B...
Gurteen Knowledge
The room
• Important
• Small, cosy
• Small round tables
• Good acoustics
• Paper/toys on tables
• Lectur...
Gurteen Knowledge
The tables
Gurteen Knowledge
Holding in a lecture theatre
• Difficult but not
impossible
• Problem of moving
between groups
• Problem...
Gurteen Knowledge
Using microphones
• Avoid if possible
• Will need them if group larger
than 40
– Maybe less if poor acou...
Gurteen Knowledge
Knowledge circles
• Greenwich Story
• KM World
• Jakarta
Workshop
• Not as difficult as
it seems
Gurteen Knowledge
Small group
• Ask people to sit with others they do not know
• Change groups once, twice at most 3 times...
Gurteen Knowledge
Whole group
• Where you need facilitation skills
• People will report back out of habit
– Or ask you que...
Gurteen Knowledge
Wrap up
• No need to summarise at length
• Keep it short and simple
• Thank people
Other Conversational Tools
Gurteen Knowledge
Other Conversational Tools
• Gurteen Knowledge Café
• Traditional Knowledge Café
– Flip charts, capture,...
Gurteen Knowledge
How is the Knowledge Cafe different
from the World Cafe?
• Different roots
• Usually shorter
• For small...
Gurteen Knowledge
How is Open Space Technology
different from Knowledge Café?
• OST Process is more complex
• Used other t...
Gurteen Knowledge
Where can I learn more
about Knowledge Cafés?
• There are a lot of resources on the web
• My website con...
Gurteen Knowledge
Where can I learn more
about Knowledge Cafés?
• There are a lot of resources on the web
• My website con...
Gurteen Knowledge
Thank you!
Gurteen Knowledge
www.gurteen.com
David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge
Tel: +44 1252 812 878
Email: david.gurteen@gurteen.com
Gurteen Knowledge
Licence
• You may use these slides under the following
Creative Commons Licence
• Attribution-Share Alik...
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Knowledge Cafe Masterclass

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Knowledge Cafe Masterclass

  1. 1. Gurteen Knowledge Conversation is 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 Theodore in an Oxford Historian
  2. 2. Gurteen Knowledge Gurteen Knowledge Café Masterclass Wellington November 2010
  3. 3. The birth of the Gurteen Knowledge Cafe London, September 2002
  4. 4. Gurteen Knowledge Begin with the end in mind • Raise awareness of the role of conversation in your business lives • To teach you about Knowledge Cafes and how to run them • Encourage you to create more opportunities in your organization for creative conversation
  5. 5. Gurteen Knowledge Agenda • 09:30 – 10:00 Introductions (30 mins) • 10:00 – 10:30 Business is a Conversation (30 mins) • 10:30 – 11:00 Knowledge Café Process (30 mins) • 11:00 – 11:30 Coffee (30 mins) • 11:30 – 12:30 Run a Knowledge Cafe (60 mins) • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch (60 mins) • 13:30 – 14:30 Applications of the Café (60 mins) • 14:30 – 15:00 Tips & techniques (30 mins) • 15:00 – 15:30 Coffee (30 mins) • 15:30 – 16:30 Action Cafe (60 mins)
  6. 6. Gurteen Knowledge Photographs
  7. 7. Gurteen Knowledge Speed Networking
  8. 8. Gurteen Knowledge Business is a Conversation
  9. 9. 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 • Conversation is central to all that we do • Its our job!
  10. 10. Gurteen Knowledge Conversation is a learning technology Conversation is the most powerful learning technology ever invented. Conversations carry news, create meaning, foster cooperation, and spark innovation. Encouraging open, honest conversation through work space design, setting ground rules for conversing productively, and baking conversation into the corporate culture spread intellectual capital, improve cooperation, and strengthen personal relationships. Jay Cross, Informal Learning • Jay Cross is a champion of Informal Learning
  11. 11. Gurteen Knowledge Conversation is our most effective KM tool Our most effective KM tool is conversation. The words we choose, the questions we ask, and the metaphors we use to explain ourselves, are what determine our success in creating new knowledge as well as sharing that knowledge with each other. Nancy Dixon Nancy Dixon Common Knowledge Associates
  12. 12. 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 • Theodore in an Oxford Historian • Conversation is creative
  13. 13. 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 • Its about understanding & sense making • Through conversation & storytelling
  14. 14. Gurteen Knowledge Conversation is 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 Theodore in an Oxford Historian
  15. 15. Gurteen Knowledge Principles of Dialogue • Suspend assumptions, do not judge • Observe & listen to one another • Welcome differences & explore them • Allow taboo subjects to be raised safely • Listen to your inner voice • Slow the discussion • Search for the underlying meaning Dialogue is based on the work of the physicist David Bohm
  16. 16. Gurteen Knowledge Summary • Business is a conversation • Conversation is creative • Understanding is more important than knowing more • Dialogue is the key to quality conversations
  17. 17. Gurteen Knowledge Conversation/Questions
  18. 18. Gurteen Knowledge Gurteen Knowledge Café Process
  19. 19. Gurteen Knowledge Principles of the Gurteen Knowledge Cafe • All about relaxed, non-threatening, open conversation • No one is forced to do anything • Everyone is equal • No table leaders • No reporting back • Sharing circle: individual summary at end • No overall summarization or attempt to reach consensus • No capture on flip-charts • Outcome: what people take away in their heads
  20. 20. Gurteen Knowledge What are the outcomes? • Real outcomes are what you take away in your head – A deeper understanding of the issues discussed – A deeper insight into other people’s perspectives – A better appreciation of your own point of view – Better position to make more informed decisions and to take action!
  21. 21. Gurteen Knowledge Knowledge Circle
  22. 22. Gurteen Knowledge What resources are needed to run a Knowledge Café? • Not a lot! • A group of people • A facilitator or host • A room with plenty of space • Tables & chairs to seat about five people per table
  23. 23. Gurteen Knowledge What do you need in the room? • Some formats have special requirements such as round tables, paper table cloths, felt tip pens, flowers on the table and coffee & biscuits – Gurteen Knowledge Cafés need none of these props but of course you could use them if available – Refreshments help • Aim is to create a good ambience • Unthreatening and hospitable environment
  24. 24. Gurteen Knowledge How do you run one? • Knowledge Cafés can be run in different ways • I use a simple format • Runs for 90 minutes to a couple of hours • Work best with between 25 and 35 people • Can run a dozen people or as many as 100 – But with some modifications
  25. 25. Gurteen Knowledge What's the process? • Facilitator takes 5 - 15 minutes to introduce the Knowledge Café and the theme • Purpose of the Knowledge Café is made clear • Facilitator poses an open ended question • Participants form into small groups of 4 or 5 to discuss the subject for 30 - 60 minutes. • Change tables 1,2 or 3 times • The group re-assembles for an exchange of ideas as a whole for 15 - 30 minutes
  26. 26. Gurteen Knowledge What subjects are covered? • Any subject can be addressed • Explore questions that matter to the participants • Normally explore only one theme • And pose only one question
  27. 27. Gurteen Knowledge What’s the role of the facilitator? • Facilitator need not be a specialist – Nor disciplined in facilitation – Simply a good listener and chairperson skills • Facilitator should not take a lead in the discussions • Should wander around and listen into the groups • Should listen out for problems and remind people gently of the rules of ‘dialogue’
  28. 28. Gurteen Knowledge What’s the role of the individual? • Theodore Zeldin : to be prepared to emerge a slightly different person • To see people with different views not as adversaries but as resources from which we can learn • To enter into open conversation • To listen more than speak • To welcome differences • To withhold judgment • To avoid position taking • To avoid being too politically correct
  29. 29. Gurteen Knowledge How do things work within the small groups? • Don’t appoint a leader or chairperson • Everyone should be equal and fully engaged in the conversation • Don’t appoint a note taker either • Anyone can make their own notes if they want to • People share their perspectives with the group only if they wish to
  30. 30. Gurteen Knowledge How does the large group sit? • Bring everyone back into a relatively tight group so that every one can easily see and hear each other • Only use microphones if absolutely necessary as they inhibit the natural flow of the conversation
  31. 31. Gurteen Knowledge How does the whole group work? • Individuals asked to remember that their comments are for the whole group and not for the facilitator. • The objective is to hold a ‘group conversation’ • The facilitator needs to work at encouraging this – Plays a low key role – not the expert – Turn away, even hide!
  32. 32. Gurteen Knowledge How does the facilitator work with the whole group? • The group should be doing the work with minimal intervention from the facilitator • Facilitator needs to encourage participation • Facilitator needs to ensure that no one person or group dominates the discussion • Connects diverse perspectives
  33. 33. Gurteen Knowledge Conversation/Questions
  34. 34. Gurteen Knowledge Lets run a Knowledge Cafe
  35. 35. Business is a conversation The characteristics of conversations map to the conditions for genuine knowledge generation and sharing: they're unpredictable interactions among people speaking in their own voice about something they're interested in. David Weinberger The Cluetrain Manifesto
  36. 36. Business is a conversation People implicitly acknowledge that they don't have all the answers (or else the conversation is really a lecture) and risk being wrong in front of someone else. And conversations overcome the class structure of business, suspending the organization chart at least for a little while. David Weinberger The Cluetrain Manifesto
  37. 37. Business is a conversation If you think about the aim of Knowledge Management as enabling better conversations rather than lassoing stray knowledge doggies, you end up focusing on breaking down the physical and class barriers to conversation. David Weinberger The Cluetrain Manifesto
  38. 38. Gurteen Knowledge Café Conversation What is the role of conversation and how do we encourage more conversation in our organizations?
  39. 39. Gurteen Knowledge Lunch
  40. 40. Applications of the Café
  41. 41. Gurteen Knowledge What are the outcomes? • Real outcomes are what you take away in your head – A deeper understanding of the issues discussed – A deeper insight into other people’s perspectives – A better appreciation of your own point of view – Better position to make more informed decisions and to take action!
  42. 42. Gurteen Knowledge Where might you use the Café? • Surface hidden problems & opportunities • Encourage knowledge sharing & informal learning • Spark action • Improve decision making and innovation • Address disengagement and lack of voice • Help people make sense of the world • Help people feel ownership of things • Retain talent • Reduce dependence on external facilitators
  43. 43. Gurteen Knowledge Generic Applications • As part of any presentation • To glean feedback on say a policy document • Replace a series of one-on-one interviews • Collaborative writing effort – knowledge café – Individual blogging – Wiki document creation • Part of a meeting say to present future plans or strategy
  44. 44. Some real Café applications
  45. 45. Gurteen Knowledge ISN Knowledge Café The knowledge café has led to a dramatic improvement in terms of inter-team dialog, collaboration and knowledge sharing. Many internal work processes are now being overhauled for the better as a result of these knowledge cafes and we have seen an explosion of new ideas and 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
  46. 46. Gurteen Knowledge Café for a UK government body • Day long workshop • 3 presentations on social tools • A knowledge Café • Future leaders in the group • Future leaders determine an action plan
  47. 47. Gurteen Knowledge Canal Boat Café • On canals in Amsterdam • At end of week of workshops & visits • To help summarise the week • And develop plan for action
  48. 48. Gurteen Knowledge Trinidad & Tobago Oil and Gas • Expert talks
  49. 49. Gurteen Knowledge StatoilHydro • To surface issues as a result of a merger • Series of Cafes to bring retiring experts together with younger members to transfer knowledge – In a café on an allotment • Geophysicists – Discussion of preferred technologies – Exchange views on experiences • Management Training – But not called a Knowledge Cafe
  50. 50. What applications do you see for the Knowledge Café?
  51. 51. Recording Outcomes
  52. 52. Gurteen Knowledge Recording Outcomes • Café is about the transfer of tacit knowledge – not about making tacit knowledge explicit! • Recording can stifle the conversation • Café often best as part of a larger process • Avoid disrupting the conversation • Participants should not record group notes • OK for personal notes
  53. 53. Gurteen Knowledge Recording Outcomes • Why? – That’s what we always do! – As a record – Share with others who were not there – Justify to boss – For a good business purpose • If nothing will be done with the recording then don’t record it!
  54. 54. Gurteen Knowledge Ideas for recording outcomes • Appoint an external person to take notes – Direct capture to laptop! • Capture 1 item from each person & collate • Encourage people to blog the session • Audio capture and transcription • Visual capture
  55. 55. How would you capture outcomes?
  56. 56. Gurteen Knowledge Tips and techniques
  57. 57. Gurteen Knowledge The theme • A topic people feel passionate about • Complex issues • Only ONE question • Open ended question • Action oriented
  58. 58. Gurteen Knowledge The conversation • The question is only a seed • OK to go off topic • Conversation as close to a conversation at the pub or over dinner
  59. 59. Gurteen Knowledge The speaker/facilitator • Speaker and facilitator need not be the same • Facilitator: involved/not involved • Speakers can be controlling or dominant – Often run over time – Need to brief and handle carefully
  60. 60. Gurteen Knowledge The facilitator • Important to be yourself • Do not control • Experiment a little • Take some risks • Don’t be afraid of silence • If you let people talk and leave them alone you cannot go far wrong
  61. 61. Gurteen Knowledge The venue • Need not be a room • Boat on Thames • Canal Boat (long boat in Amsterdam) • Knowledge Walk/BBQ (Greenwich) • Pub (Stavanger) • Outside under sunshades (Scottsdale) • Actual café (London & Barcelona)
  62. 62. Gurteen Knowledge The room • Important • Small, cosy • Small round tables • Good acoustics • Paper/toys on tables • Lecture theatre?
  63. 63. Gurteen Knowledge The tables
  64. 64. Gurteen Knowledge Holding in a lecture theatre • Difficult but not impossible • Problem of moving between groups • Problem of whole group conversation – reporting back • Need for microphones
  65. 65. Gurteen Knowledge Using microphones • Avoid if possible • Will need them if group larger than 40 – Maybe less if poor acoustics • People hold on to them • Kills the flow of conversation • One for yourself and at least 2 roving mikes • Avoid fixed mikes (Jakarta)
  66. 66. Gurteen Knowledge Knowledge circles • Greenwich Story • KM World • Jakarta Workshop • Not as difficult as it seems
  67. 67. Gurteen Knowledge Small group • Ask people to sit with others they do not know • Change groups once, twice at most 3 times • People do not like changing groups • Don’t force them! • Kuala Lumpur story
  68. 68. Gurteen Knowledge Whole group • Where you need facilitation skills • People will report back out of habit – Or ask you questions • In some cultures best to let them • Even for some groups let them – Central bank librarians story • Unless in expert mode do not join in too much • Tolerate silence – pause and wait
  69. 69. Gurteen Knowledge Wrap up • No need to summarise at length • Keep it short and simple • Thank people
  70. 70. Other Conversational Tools
  71. 71. Gurteen Knowledge Other Conversational Tools • Gurteen Knowledge Café • Traditional Knowledge Café – Flip charts, capture, report back etc • Conferences – Speak, conversation, Q&A • Reverse Café • Conversation Dinner • World Cafe • Open Space • Anecdote Circles • Appreciative Inquiry
  72. 72. Gurteen Knowledge How is the Knowledge Cafe different from the World Cafe? • Different roots • Usually shorter • For smaller numbers of people • Less preparation required • Flip chart paper & pens optional • No table leaders • No reporting back • More business oriented
  73. 73. Gurteen Knowledge How is Open Space Technology different from Knowledge Café? • OST Process is more complex • Used other than to gain mutual understanding – e.g. problem solving and defining agendas • Meetings tend to be larger – often 100s of people compared to dozens for the Café • Meetings tend to last longer – often days rather than hours
  74. 74. Gurteen Knowledge Where can I learn more about Knowledge Cafés? • There are a lot of resources on the web • My website contains a vast amount of material – www.gurteen.com • The World Café – Book The World Café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter – Website : theworldcafe.com • The Society for Philosophical Inquiry – philosopher.org
  75. 75. Gurteen Knowledge Where can I learn more about Knowledge Cafés? • There are a lot of resources on the web • My website contains a vast amount of material – www.gurteen.com • The World Café – Book The World Café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter – Website : theworldcafe.com • The Society for Philosophical Inquiry – philosopher.org
  76. 76. Gurteen Knowledge Thank you!
  77. 77. Gurteen Knowledge www.gurteen.com David Gurteen Gurteen Knowledge Tel: +44 1252 812 878 Email: david.gurteen@gurteen.com
  78. 78. Gurteen Knowledge Licence • You may use these slides under the following Creative Commons Licence • Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/uk/

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