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A C A S E S T U D Y O F T H E
K N O W L E D G E M A N A G E M E N T N E T W O R K I N S O U T H E R N A F R I C A
D R P E ...
Abstract
 Knowledge Management (KM) is a modern management discipline that is increasingly
important for organisations wh...
Background
Background
 Participatory process
 Sense-making
 Shift
 Interplay between
individual & collective
AGENDA
Application of
SNE at the
SAKMS
Background
Agenda
Janse Van Vuuren, P & Bester, E. 2016. Why we used SNE and what i...
Stages of Professional Community Development
Etienne Wenger
How to measure the shift?
 Potential community
 Discovery of similarities
 Imagining of the value of community
 Coales...
Strategic Narrative Embodiment (SNE)
 Applied Theatre for leadership and
organisation development.
 Translates transform...
The SNE model
SNE at the 2016 SA KM Summit
Pre-summit conversations
Review of 2015 material
First session: global & local view of KM
Har...
Uniqueness of SNE
The use of embodiment in the following forms:
 Exercises that access the DEC (Direct Experience Circuit...
What SNE did and did not deliver
 Accurate representation of diverse voices, not forging consensus
 Minimum interference...
Pattern 1:
Shift from habitual
narrative to different
narrative.
Habitual narrative
- KM ‘vs’ IM/IT
- It is about the soft...
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
What should be the
purpose for the KM
Community in the
next year?
What was it like for
you: t...
Edith on the
amplification of
community
“A shift for me was discovering that there are
more people like you, whether in go...
Pattern 3:
Increase of the will to
Change, even though it
was not one of the Top 5
purposes selected for the
Community.
St...
Sandra and
Sipho on the
broadening of the
will to act
“I would like to see us not only teaching KM,
but practising it ours...
How to measure the shift?
 Potential community
 Discovery of similarities
 Imagining of the value of community
 Coales...
Thank You !
Bibliography
 Janse Van Vuuren, P & Bester, E. 2016. Why we used SNE and what it did and did not deliver.
[Online]. Avail...
Applied theatre and knowledge management: the role of strategic narrative embodiment in shifting a professional group fr...
Applied theatre and knowledge management: the role of strategic narrative embodiment in shifting a professional group fr...
Applied theatre and knowledge management: the role of strategic narrative embodiment in shifting a professional group fr...
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Applied theatre and knowledge management: the role of strategic narrative embodiment in shifting a professional group from potential community to coalescence

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Knowledge Management (KM) is a modern management discipline that is increasingly important for organisations who want to thrive in a knowledge economy. To promote and develop the field, the KM network of Southern Africa is forging a stronger community. To do so, the convener of the Southern African Knowledge Management Summit (SAKMS) employed a methodology from the field of applied theatre: Strategic Narrative Embodiment (SNE). This paper outlines the apparent role that SNE played in shifting the group of KM professionals at the 2016 SAKMS from potential community to coalescence, as outlined by Etienne Wenger’s stages of community development framework. The study makes use of data in the form of the client brief, planning and design documents, facilitation material and responses, delegate feedback and selected interviews. The data is analysed for evidence of the shift (coalescence to community) based on the framework of Wenger and the original brief from the summit convener. The aim is to review the relative success of SNE in achieving the intended shift and offer recommendations for its future employment in such contexts. Finally the study expects to reveal some emergent narratives of KM professionals in Southern Africa and suggest steps for further development.

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Applied theatre and knowledge management: the role of strategic narrative embodiment in shifting a professional group from potential community to coalescence

  1. 1. A C A S E S T U D Y O F T H E K N O W L E D G E M A N A G E M E N T N E T W O R K I N S O U T H E R N A F R I C A D R P E T R O J A N S E V A N V U U R E N – D R A M A F O R L I F E , W I T S E L M I B E S T E R – S O U T H E R N A F R I C A N K M S U M M I T Applied theatre and knowledge management: the role of strategic narrative embodiment in shifting a professional group from potential community to coalescence The College of Human Sciences’ School of Arts Triennial Conference Exploring the African continent through the Arts 14-15 September 2016, UNISA, Pretoria, South Africa
  2. 2. Abstract  Knowledge Management (KM) is a modern management discipline that is increasingly important for organisations who want to thrive in a knowledge economy. To promote and develop the field, the KM network of Southern Africa is forging a stronger community. To do so, the convener of the Southern African Knowledge Management Summit (SAKMS) employed a methodology from the field of applied theatre: Strategic Narrative Embodiment (SNE). This paper outlines the apparent role that SNE played in shifting the group of KM professionals at the 2016 SAKMS from potential community to coalescence, as outlined by Etienne Wenger’s stages of community development framework. The study makes use of data in the form of the client brief, planning and design documents, facilitation material and responses, delegate feedback and selected interviews. The data is analysed for evidence of the shift (coalescence to community) based on the framework of Wenger and the original brief from the summit convener. The aim is to review the relative success of SNE in achieving the intended shift and offer recommendations for its future employment in such contexts. Finally the study expects to reveal some emergent narratives of KM professionals in Southern Africa and suggest steps for further development.
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. Background  Participatory process  Sense-making  Shift  Interplay between individual & collective
  5. 5. AGENDA Application of SNE at the SAKMS Background Agenda Janse Van Vuuren, P & Bester, E. 2016. Why we used SNE and what it did and did not deliver. [Online]. Available at: http://sakmsummit.net/sne-at-2016sakms/ [Last accessed: 13 September 2016]
  6. 6. Stages of Professional Community Development Etienne Wenger
  7. 7. How to measure the shift?  Potential community  Discovery of similarities  Imagining of the value of community  Coalescence/ ‘aboutness’  Domain (What we do)  Practise (How we do it)  Community identity (Who we are) Mirror Develop
  8. 8. Strategic Narrative Embodiment (SNE)  Applied Theatre for leadership and organisation development.  Translates transformational effect, story shaping and ensemble skills of drama performance for work performance.  Two levels:  Design  Technique
  9. 9. The SNE model
  10. 10. SNE at the 2016 SA KM Summit Pre-summit conversations Review of 2015 material First session: global & local view of KM Harvest current strengths - roots Papers & case studies Capture learnings as leaves Cafés = maximum engagement Ongoing represented by Olive Tree metaphor Members invited to cluster notes and present synthesis Ongoing story sharing invited Embodiment exercise Introduction of movement language to share stories Rapid Role Recast Choose actions for ‘tomorrow’ – fruits Post Summit synthesis Post Summit conversations
  11. 11. Uniqueness of SNE The use of embodiment in the following forms:  Exercises that access the DEC (Direct Experience Circuitry) to momentarily bypass the NC (Narrative Circuitry)  Park habitual narratives & experiment with other perspectives  Sharing and translating stories into movement vocabulary  Access different knowledge  new insight & breakthrough  Community building effect: equalisation & vulnerability  Actors used to mirror stories from the community  Distance through projection  experimentation  Rapid Role Recasting  Present and alter perceptions and beliefs in the network
  12. 12. What SNE did and did not deliver  Accurate representation of diverse voices, not forging consensus  Minimum interference of dominant voices and habitual narratives  Different kinds of knowledge are accessed  Works with what is present, rather than what is desired  Creates space for messiness, divergence and spontaneous engagement  Allows for emergent narratives to arise, rather than only confirming habitual narratives  Relates individual to communal perspectives and vice versa.  Does not guarantee harmony, safety and comfort.
  13. 13. Pattern 1: Shift from habitual narrative to different narrative. Habitual narrative - KM ‘vs’ IM/IT - It is about the soft issues & culture - And implementation Shift in nuances of KM narrative - Rigor of methodology - Implementation LEAVES Case study Café’s Shift in nuances of KM narrative - Tackle obstacles, interacting role players & components, tenacity & to be flexible and adaptable Rapid Role Recasting Shift in nuances of KM narrative - Commitment to change methodology, document & share methodology - Get foundational building blocks in place; make KM implementation a reality FRUITS Shift in nuances of KM narrative - Document, improve & standardise - Tools & techniques End of Summit feedback
  14. 14. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% What should be the purpose for the KM Community in the next year? What was it like for you: the gift to me? The gift to the KM Community Harvest from the Olive Tree: ROOTS Harvest from the Olive Tree: LEAVES Harvest from the Olive Tree: FRUITS (commitment to action next day) End of Summit feedback: Take home messages Messages to the KM Community 2016 SAKMS - Distribution of messages KM Practitioners Group Troubleshooting & peer support. Unearth TRUE best practices to rapidly accelerate the advancement of the field. Make the concept of KM an automatic everyday occurrence. Shits in KM and KM professional Promote better understanding of the advantages of KM. Pattern 2: Amplification for Community, connect d to Trouble shooting & Support.
  15. 15. Edith on the amplification of community “A shift for me was discovering that there are more people like you, whether in government or in the private sector. A lot of people are going through the same thing.” “Even though we don’t come from the same house, for these few days everyone started opening up. You can see what someone else is going through and we are starting to see what solutions we can give each other from the current home that we are in. Then you can go back to your original home.”
  16. 16. Pattern 3: Increase of the will to Change, even though it was not one of the Top 5 purposes selected for the Community. Strategic intent shifted from ‘Best Practice’ to ‘Change/Evolve/Growth/ Innovation/Success’ Signal that there is a realisation that the solution for ‘Value challenge’ will result from change in community. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% What should be the purpose for the KM Community in the next year? What was it like for you: the gift to me? The gift to the KM Community Harvest from the Olive Tree: ROOTS Harvest from the Olive Tree: LEAVES Harvest from the Olive Tree: FRUITS (commitment to action next day) End of Summit feedback: Take home messages Messages to the KM Community 2016 SAKMS - Distribution of messages KM Practitioners Group Troubleshooting & peer support. Unearth TRUE best practices to rapidly accelerate the advancement of the field. Make the concept of KM an automatic everyday occurrence. Shits in KM and KM professional Promote better understanding of the advantages of KM.
  17. 17. Sandra and Sipho on the broadening of the will to act “I would like to see us not only teaching KM, but practising it ourselves” (Sandra) “I want to be a champion of legitimising Kmin government. In the absence of legislation I can relate KM to the United Nations and the African Union. My position now is that I want to make KM happen in government. (Sipho)
  18. 18. How to measure the shift?  Potential community  Discovery of similarities  Imagining of the value of community  Coalescence/ ‘aboutness’  Domain (What we do)  Practise (How we do it)  Community identity (Who we are) Mirror Develop Shift from habitual narrative Amplification for community
  19. 19. Thank You !
  20. 20. Bibliography  Janse Van Vuuren, P & Bester, E. 2016. Why we used SNE and what it did and did not deliver. [Online]. Available at: http://sakmsummit.net/sne-at-2016sakms/ [Last accessed: 13 September 2016]  Wenger, E. n.d. Communities of Practice: development stages. [Online]. Available at: http://esflive.archiv.zsi.at/files/CoP_development_stages.pdf. [Last accessed February 2016]  Wenger, E. & McDermott, R. 2002. Cultivating communities of practice: a guide to managing knowledge. Harvard Business School Press.

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