Gurteen Knowledge Café -September 2008, London
Walk into room, slightly anxious, first time amongst these experts, will I be the only first timer? Everyone engaged in conversation, time to turn around? Maybe, just grab a drink, need one after a frantic journey to get here, whilst pouring drink am greeted by 2 folk, both are also first timers, ah phew…..
30 minutes later, having had really interesting discussions, I’ve already exchanged 2 business cards with folk I want to continue conversations with, but now its time for the facilitated KC session to start.
David introduces the café, giving us cafe ‘virgins’ an overview of what the session will cover and how it will work before introducing Luis Suarez. So now for an interesting 2 hours from Luis on how to stop using emails….15 minutes later he’s finished, taking a few questions, what? 15 mins and that’s it??!
But now its back to David…time for the cafe to begin, ah, now we begin to talk, in small groups… debate, discuss, play with ideas, share knowledge…whistle blows, change tables, continue debate with another group….now I get it, 1 hour later the café has discussed the use of email, is it a good thing? Could we live without email?
A 30 min session, back as the whole group, to further explore the topic. In 2 ½ hours I’ve met experts, I’ve met people starting out in the world of KM, I’ve listened, heard, shared and learnt of alternative view points, ideas, KM, communication and networking tools & formulated a clarity of thought around how I want to use the learning I’ve gained from the café.
But what did I get from the cafe that made a difference?
Plenty. “Google me” said Luis Suarez at the start of is session. Talk about a chain reaction. Prior to the KC I had used the usual social networking applications to predominantly to socialise, not in day to day work…now I saw what was possible. Gurteen Community to Elsua, twitter to friendfeed, personalbrain to mybloglog. Out of these came further thoughts, ideas, discussion & a personal light bulb moment.
Prior to the café I knew where I wanted to go with my KM work, I knew how I wanted to get there, I had a good idea of the tools I might use. What I was maybe lacking was ‘it’. The thing that would truly engage colleagues, the ‘route map’ towards embedding a KM culture but also the questions I would ask myself to reflect on implementations during the journey.
I realise the more I share ideas with colleagues, the more I get back, the more I share ideas on the net, more and more resources appear to explore, the more I explore, the more I learn, the more I learn, the more I share with my colleagues….one 2 ½ hour café led to so much personal and professional development. This is what the café is all about for me.
Back for my 2nd Gurteen café tonight, with the blessing of my boss, who has fully embraced KM culture and the benefits my attendance at the KC brings to my work. lots of 1st timers appear along with a lot of faces I recognise and want to have further conversations with. Catch up with some, make more contacts, link up with people I have brief conversation with about story telling.
The world and the world of KM just got a whole lot bigger and a whole lot smaller at the same time.
Big thanks to Ron Young for leading me in David’s direction originally, what a journey, wonder where it will take me next?