Friday, July 15, 2011

The Knowledge Café to address a PowerPoint aversion

Knowledge Cafe Prezi

There were a number of good presentations, and the whole conference was very successfully hosted at the FNB Conference Centre in Sandton.

The one paper that caught my eye was the presentation by Manti Grobler about the concept and hosting of a Knowledge Café at SAP South Africa. She calls it “Welcome to Café CRM where conversation is served”. I am one of the people that as soon as a PowerPoint goes up, it makes me wants to nod off… This usually happens as well!

But, it seems that there is a great Knowledge Management tool that will address this: The Knowledge Café!

A Knowledge Café is a way of engaging all the stakeholders in business to bring out tacit knowledge. It is a way of conversation where everybody gets involved in a less formal setting – the café – and where the discussion is orchestrated around a certain well-prepared topic. The idea is not to get to a decision, but to get to a learning environment where all the ideas and perspectives around a certain topic are brought to the fore!

This is so much more exciting and visual than a PowerPoint presentation.
She also used Storify to compile the “story” of the day. The photos, tweets and notes were pulled into a storyline:

The Knowledge Café is a great way to use as a Knowledge Management tool. I played around with Prezi yesterday, trying to understand the concept of a Knowledge Café, as well as learning how to use Prezi as presentation tool! I used David Gurteen’s video on Knowledge Café which I found on YouTube as a starting point for understanding the concept. The video is also included in the presentation if anybody is interested to go and watch. 

I can recommend Prezi for any presentation. You can also pull in your PowerPoint slides as well. No problem! (I’m a convert!)

What is better than sitting around a table with a cup of coffee and cake, and the discussion does not force a certain outcome? The conversation does not need to be “correct”; it only needs to be heard!
I love the idea of not being forced towards a certain outcome, but that the opinions of all the stakeholders are taken into account and everybody feels that their voice has been heard! I hope we will see more of this in the workplace than “death by PowerPoint!” (*hint*)

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

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