Monday, 7 February 2011

Spikkin, speerin and a fly piece

Last Thursday I did a wee turn at the Scottish Knowledge Management Network (SKMN) meeting, which took place at the rather plush Subsea 7 offices in Westhill (Aberdeen).

I’d been at the ancestral pile in Aberdeenshire for the previous five days and had gone a bit native, so I called my slot ‘spikkin, speerin and a fly piece’. For the non-Doric speakers, that roughly translates to ‘talking, questioning and a cup of tea and a biscuit/cake/sandwich’ – which I thought summed up the day nicely.

When Mike McLean (Improvement Service) asked if I’d do a slot at the meeting, I asked him what he’d like me to talk about. An update on ScotGovCamp and something about my information literacy activities, he said. But rather than do separate presentations, I thought about common themes to link the two and then tried to tie them up nicely with a knowledge management bow…

…and basically what that boils down to is me and what I do on a daily basis…

...that being three things: communities, collaboration and conversation. I could talk about all three all day, but decided to concentrate on the third. The main point of my presentation summed up by David Weinberger in the Cluetrain Manifesto: “business is a conversation...and ‘knowledge workers’ are simply those people whose job consists of having interesting conversations”. My slides are available on Slideshare.

In the spirit of GovCamp, I wanted the session to be a conversation so I tried not to spend too much time talking before asking:
  • is conversation important within and between organisations important? 
  • do you have interesting conversations?
  • if not, why not? 
leading us into an interesting conversation about conversation ;-).

Find out more
The rest of the day

I’m not going to write in detail about the other presentations as that will be done better  elsewhere, but the main points I picked up were:
  • Let people learn and share their way not yours. [Dave Briggs]
  • A knowledge management strategy can make a corporate re-organisation less painful. And Sharepoint can be useful :-) [Annie Robertson]
  • Faced with the dual drivers of continuous improvement and financial stringency, we need more than ever to lead and manage the use of knowledge as an asset, to improve quality of care, create innovative solutions, and maximise use of existing resource. (NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council are holding a series of Social Innovation events to “co-create” Knowledge Management Action Plans for Health and Social Services Organisations. Looking forward to hearing more about these.) [Annette Thain]
  • Jamie Kirk is going places (initially to North America in late May to study apps for government). [Jamie Kirk]
  • Before encouraging others to share we have to show willingness to share with each other. [David Friel]
  • The Knowledge Hub (KHub) is coming and will be fab. Join the KHub CoP if you want to find out more [Mike McLean]
Thanks are due to Subsea 7, and Annie Robertson in particular, for hosting the meeting and for admitting that sometimes the private sector can learn from the public sector :-).