Call me old-fashioned…but if there is something I want to know…I ask the expert. I always believe there is someone out there who has an answer to my questions! So here we are at the Knowledge ShareFair, an exceptionally succesful event (forgive my biased views!) where there are lots of people I could ask help me understand what Knowledge Management is. Geoff Parcell, the keynote speaker at the ShareFair, was facilitating a session about “Demistifying knowledge management” – a perfect opportunity, I thought, to find out what this is all about. Geoff, a practitioner of Knowledge Management, not really an expert (at least that’s what he says of himself) did something interesting…instead of trying to define knowledge management (I have tried that many times – and what frustrating experiences those were!), he gave us a self assesment sheet. km-self-assesment. Not a rigorous test, but a way to measure where you are and determine where you want to be: the rest is easy! As Geoff says, a good way to know your strengths is by comparing yourself with others. That’s why Geoff divided the large audience into groups. One for each organization, so the participants could assess themselves but also assess their organization, and determine how collectively they could move forward. A 5-level assessment sheet was given to us all to measure leadership behaviours, networking abilities, our capacity to learn before, during and after….. and then by comparing our organization with the others we could see areas where one could help the other.

Some of my initial reactions?
1- The areas being measured reinforced my belief that Knowledge Management and Sharing is just another way of doing things: a smarter way! .
2- There are many pessimists and optimists amongst us: staffers from one same organization had a very different perspective of where they were, but they started building some common grounds when they were determining where they wanted to be (GREAT!).
3- Maybe where you sit in an organization influences your view of where you are on the scale, but context and perspective are topics for another discussion.
4- You have to own a process: spending the time to figure out “where you are and where you want to be”, setting your own goals (individually and collectively) has a lot of value in ensuring these objectives do not stay just on paper…but you do something about them. It is like setting your own charter of commitment, something you can hang on your wall, remind yourself of, measure your progress….

We will hopefully be able to make this assessment toolkit available on our KS Toolkit
so you can see where you are in moving from the belief that “Knowledge is Power” to the belief

sharing-is-power

sharing-is-power

that “Sharing is power” as you can read in one of the thoughts left on the Knowledge of Tree in the Atrium.

I hope this Fair has been a real breadth of fresh air for you as it has been for the colleague who left this other card on the tree.

Fresh air

Fresh air

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