Determined to learn

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.
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Off to Scotland!

Are you based in Scotland or the North of England?

I’m coming to Edinburgh at the end of September, so it’d be great to see you if you are around!

Beautiful Edinburgh

I’m running a series of workshops on knowledge, learning and innovation for professional services firms: 3 afternoons and a morning and you’ll be up to date!

There are four workshops:

You can book to come to one event or all of them (at a discount).

One firm is also welcome to share a joint ticket, so your new PSL/IMer can come to the foundations workshop, your senior PSL can come to the metrics one, and your Head of Knowledge can come to the strategy and ISO standard workshop.

All the information is here on Eventbrite.

And if the workshops aren’t for you, but you are around, let’s have coffee.

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Tomorrow’s KM

As you’ll all be tired of hearing by now 🙂 I’m tremendously interested in knowledge, learning and innovation, so I’m extra excited to hear that Ark’s multi-author book on the topic has been published today. My chapter is the first, all about what innovation is, where KM fits with it and the role that diversity plays (including some practical top tips to help diverse teams get along).

More info here.

I can’t wait to get my author copy, so I can read the other contributors’ chapters.

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Sharing Knowledge – Peter Senge

A quotation by Peter Senge about motivations for knowledge sharing.
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A bit too Britney Spears and Brit Pop?

I had an 90s flashback the other day.

It all felt a bit Britney Spears and Brit Pop, a bit beanie babies and Gameboys.

I was chatting to someone from law firm management and (s)he was so irrepressibly and joyfully confident that a new database was *the best and only answer* to all the firm’s lawyers’ knowledge issues, that I had a complete 90s flashback.

What am I on about?

Back in the late 80s and 90s, when KM was relatively new as a field (although lawyers have been “doing” ad hoc KM since lawyering began) there was a strong sense that technology was *the answer*. It was thought that all knowledge could be distilled into something explicit and straightforward and put in a database where it would be joyfully harvested by a new global workforce.

Of course we now know that it didn’t work like that.

Lots of businesses wasted time and money.

Nancy Dixon explained it beautifully when she described the first of her 3 Eras of KM, which you can read here.

Don’t get me wrong, database-warehouses work perfectly for some types of knowledge and should certainly be part of your overall knowledge management picture, along with process and quality management and automation, but we now know that management of more complex (often more valuable) knowledge requires different tactics.

It took a while, but KMers and the wider business community gradually learned that some knowledge is too complex to be shared via databases and that, for some knowledge and business sectors, conversation and connections were just as important.

So when someone confidently tells me that databases are *the answer* to all their law firm knowledge needs, I can’t help hearing that Brit Pop and Britney and smile.

If you want a bit more Britney and Brit Pop, follow the blog using the button at the top right, or for a fortnightly summary, sign up to the newsletter.

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Boosting innovation

July’s First Friday News is all about how you can boost innovation in your organisation.

If you think that sounds interesting, click here for more.

If you think you might want this sort of thing once a month (and a shorter round-up in between) you can join either the general newsletter or the one for textbook owners by following the links. I promise I won’t inundate your inbox. If anything it’s a bit hit n miss for once a fortnight!

A smiley robot.
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Knowledge Mobilisation

In 2017 I took a leap of faith and went to a conference in Bristol run by a woman I’d met on an RCT. (Don’t know what an RCT is? More here)

I enjoyed that conference so much I joined the committee to organise the following year’s conference, and I’m still there.

As you know, I don’t work for a University research team, or NHS, or the social services, but I still really enjoy the Knowledge Mobilisation Forum conference. It challenges me to think differently about how we can get knowledge learned and shared around organisations.

I’ve seen successful knowledge sharing through board games and poetry, lego and junk-modelling and there have been *a lot* of opportunities for conversation and sharing of experiences (I’ve also heard a lot of jargon and competitive framework-design but nothing is perfect). I’ve met people who work with charities and human rights organisations, as well as those researching in universities and working at the frontline in NHS, and people from all over the world.

It’s certainly not the kind of knowledge sharing and learning you get in the mainstream legal sector or at a conference aimed at law firms’ or big business’s KMers.

I mightn’t suggest poetry as a means for knowledge sharing amongst lawyers, but being challenged in this way certainly makes me think a bit harder about my own practice.

So if you think you would benefit from a bit of shaking up, and think a bit of challenge and stimulation for your Knowledge and Learning practice would be beneficial, consider coming along. It’s also very reasonably priced and tries to be Green/sustainable.

The next conference will take place in Birmingham on 17th-18th March, 2020, so save the date.

Bit unsure? Have a look at the twitter moment from this year’s conference in Newcastle. It’s going to be hard to top – highlights were a beautiful and thought provoking key note from Ishbel Smith and an inspiring location at Seven Stories, the national centre for children’s books – but we have lots of great ideas!

Ishbel Smith of Heart in Mouth talking about how our childhood stories can inspire us to better sharing of knowledge and experiences
Ishbel Smith, Heart in Mouth, talking about how our childhood stories can challenge and inspire us to think more deeply about how we encourage knowledge sharing.

What’s it all about? Who’ll be there?

The UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum is an annual event for all those with a passion for ensuring that knowledge makes a positive difference to society. The Forum brings together practitioners, researchers, students, administrators and public representatives who are engaged in the art and science of sharing knowledge and ensuring that it can be used.

The Forum is designed as a space for learning and reflection, providing an opportunity for sharing knowledge, experiences and methods and access to some of the most up to date thinking and practice in the field. Expect conversations, creativity and collaborative learning…and if you’re wondering what we mean by ‘knowledge’ – we are as interested in practical know-how, skills and experience as in research findings or evaluation data.

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