Friday, July 27, 2012

Five things to unleash your Knowledge Management story, by Elmi Bester

Elmi Bestermanager of the CSIR Knowledge Commons. inspired us yesterday in a Knowledge Management Seminar at the University of Johannesburg. It was organised by the Department of Information and Knowledge Management.

The topic of presentation:

What's your knowledge management story?

The invite to the seminar asks a couple of questions:

"You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not."
                                                                                                    -Isabel Allende

We are the storytellers of our own profession, and we can create our own legend. Or we can allow others to tell our story. Or there is just no story that we tell?
In this presentation we will explore the different knowledge management stories we tell, and how these shape identity and the support for knowledge management. Is it a solution story or a problem fixing story? Is it a story about what is knowledge and what is not knowledge? Is it about asking the right questions or providing the answers? Is our story about doing things right or doing the right things? Or a bit of everything?
The stories we tell also depends on how we portray ourselves. What does it mean to tell our story as a knowledge management professional, or an idea practitioner, or a change agent, or a strategist? What are the five things to do to unleash your knowledge management story?"

A couple of notes from the seminar:

- Knowledge Managers struggle to sell Knowledge Management (KM) in the workplace. They are unable to sell the importance of what they are trying to achieve, and there is a disconnect between them and the company.

- Elmi Bester challenged us to write a business card without a title attached to it. I redefines who you are, and it tells the story of you.
"I do not have ALL the information, but I can find it for you!"
"One" of the stories of Karen du Toit

- The power of storytelling lies in the fact that it opens up people on the right levels. It connects us!

- Stories help us to find our voice. It helps us to speak to people.

- Stories have more impact when they are attached to themes.

- Stories help us to build a vision together.

- The WHY of stories:
  • It reveals who we are; 
  • it inspire us; 
  • it makes us stick our stories together;
  • it connects us with a purpose; and 
  • it adds to our values
- Elmi Bester challenged us to write a story in the present tense (but dated in the future) for our company/group/organization, which incorporates the following: 

Future stories:
26 july 2013 ( in present tense)
What we've achieved                                                                        
The bumpy road
What's in the pipeline
Where we have been... And where we are going... 

- When you give your story to a group of people, the story is bound to leave better!

- Elmi Bester has compiled a Storify of yesterday's seminar. 
 Knowledge Management Seminar, Univ of Johannesburg. 26 July 2012
Knowledge Management Seminar, UJ 26 Jul 2012

- 5 things to do to unleash your KM story:

1.  Start an inventory (borrow and acknowledge from others)
2.  Lengthen your stories 

3.  Change your shareability footprints (for all people, teams, etc. - without losing uniqueness)

4.  Tell every story better (practise) 

5.  Make stories the heart of your connection

- Remember: Always tell your story in presentations and engagements with other people.

- Stories give people meaning. It takes away the need to convince people about KM.
  Stories give meaning to KM!

Read more:

Storify: Knowledge Management Seminar, Univ of Johannesburg. 26 July 2012

Slideshare: (will be uploaded as soon as it becomes available)

What is your story?
What is your KM story?

Notes by Karen du Toit, Finder of Information 

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