Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Knowledge Café combined with a Drum Café

David Gurteen in action

David Gurteen facilitated an interactive Knowledge Café with the help of drums at the recent International Knowledge Management Conference (ICKM 2012).

It formed part of the opening proceedings, and helped conference delegates connect with each other during the speed networking session, as well as connection through the drumming.

Warren Liebermann with his drummers & singers

Warren Liebermann of Drum Café with his drummers provided an interactive experience for all which opened up the synergy and receptive mood of the conference.

Conference delegates with musical instruments

The question was asked about the format of teaching which has not changed for centuries, and the informal and interactive way of the Drum Café brought home the message even more.

"Is the lecture format of teaching an effective way of learning and sharing knowledge and if not, what is?"
Drum on a chair at ICKM 2012
The following four questions paved the way for the rest of the conference proceedings:

"At this conference, to what extend are you prepared:
1. to get value from being here?
2. to engage personally to achieve this?
3. to take risks to learn?
4. to take responsibility for the learning & engagement of others?"

ICKM 2012 Conference delegates

The success of a conference depends on each delegate's willingness to participate!

The combination of the drums facilitated the interactiveness of the Knowledge Café, and it created a wonderful synergy for the rest of the conference!

See blog post & video playlist by David Gurteen about the same event:
A wonderful combination of a Knowledge Café and a Drum Café

Blog post by Karen du Toit, conference delegate at ICKM 2012.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Remembering SAN heroes who died in the war (SADF)

Blog post by Moshe Maghundu, Librarian/Archivist at SABC Platfontein.

The 31/201 BN Replica Obelisk Unveiling at Platfontein, Kimberley

201 BN, Omega

Moshe Maghundu reporting about the ceremony at Platfontein for the 31st Bushmen Battalion (which became 201 BN) at Omega Base Headquarters:

"For the first time in history, the affairs of the Khwe and !xun of Platfontein have been given recognition. I would like to thank the organisers and the involment of the SA Army for the contribution they made to this day."

SADF setting up
"The activities included  traditional dance and veterans who are still alive were dressed according to tradition while others wore the same the uniform  of the old 201 BN, Omega." 
From left: Effie Dixon, Piorro Mushavango (X-K FM producer) and Nicolas Tenda
"The white contingents also came to celebrate with us, and thanks to all those who came from Cape Town for the day."

"The names of the soldiers will be remembered by the Obelisk that was unveiled."     

"The military base Omega is not beautiful as it was. It is being vandalised, but apparently the government has new plans for the new Omega."
Photos by Moshe Maghundu during his September 2012 viusit to Namibia
"Chief Kamama Mukua was there to witness the day as he himself was also in 201 BN.
The day was a very emotional day as we remembered our friends, uncles and fathers who died in the war between SA and the PLAN (People’s liberation army of Namibia).
The day was celebrated with mixed feelings as it opened up old wounds for some.
SABC News Kimberley and X-K FM was there to cover the whole event.
The communities of Platfontein,!xun and Khwe came in a large numbers."

"The traditional dance groups started off with a typical SAN value which is very precious; the making of the fire with a stick which are called "bushman magic."

"A significant event was the hoisting of the flags; the old 201 BN Omega flag and the South African flag."

"This day will be remembered and celebrated each year on 15 September, a fitting reminder of our collective heritage."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Conversations for business - David Gurteen Knowledge Café workshop

He is a Knowledge Management consultant, speaker and facilitator at Gurteen Knowledge. 

He is well-known for his Gurteen Knowledge Cafés which helps to facilitate conversation in business.

The Knowledge Café workshop brought up a few interesting points which regards conversation in business:

- People love to feel important. It is very valuable to remember in conversation in business.

- The circle as a mechanism in conversation. It helps to enable equal access to each other. 

- The conversation needs to be centred around a central point.

- Misconceptions are addressed through conversations, and it enhances better understanding in a business environment.

- There is power in presence. Direct conversation leads to a different conversation which is based in the direct connection with each other.

- Relationships are important in an organization. Conversation improves relationships.

- The most important resource in an organization is the individual. The focus should therefore be on the person/personnel.

- The following stands in the way of conversation in an organization: 

  •   Hierarchy; 
  •   Language of blame; 
  •   Company Talk; 
  •   Who is perceived to have the power; 
  •   Top-down-management conversation.

- The Knowledge Café addresses most of the imbalances and problems encountered in business conversations. 

The Knowledge Café brought up a few interesting applications in business:

-  Organize lunch dates with people in different departments (done through Human Resources).

- Breakfast dates: "What is spoken at breakfast remains at breakfast."

- Instead of meeting call it a forum with the theme of "Fearless conversation!"

- Communities of Practice can use it directly or virtually.

- Knowledge Cafés without furniture in the room. It gets business done!

- The use of conversation cards in a Knowledge Café, such as "Take the lead!" and "Be quiet!" and "listen more!" that are handed to participants.

- Use of Knowledge Cafés can be very valuable before decision-making happens.

- A picnic day with different struggle heroes. It can be applied to using leaders or specialists in the organization who are sitting at each picnic spot, and the participants rotate around them.

- To break protocols in certain communities. Everybody gets a chance to speak.

- Knowledge Cafés do not need many resources to make it happen. No flip charts and other paraphernalia are necessary. There is no need to record the outcomes. 
It mostly only requires a coffee to make it happen. 

The Knowledge Café made us aware of how many and varied its applications can be in business. It is only limited by our own imagination.
Each Knowledge Café will also bring up another set of applications.

Related reading:

- For more reading on the David Gurteen Knowledge Cafe:

- The SABC Media Libraries & SABC Training had a private Knowledge Café facilitated by David Gurteen: Report from a Knowledge Café with David Gurteen at SABC Media Libraries

Blog post by Karen du Toit, SABC Radio Archives

Friday, September 7, 2012

Report from a Knowledge Café with David Gurteen at SABC Media Libraries

The SABC Media Libraries and SABC Training Department had a private Knowledge Café with the guru of Knowledge Cafés, David Gurteen, at the SABC on 3 September 2012.

The David Gurteen Knowledge Café spread from a desire to have more meaningful conversations to enhance personal and business relationships; as well as having a profound impact on business decision making and understanding.

"Knowledge Cafés turn a traditional chalk and talk,
death by PowerPoint or meeting,
into an engaging learning event"
The SABC Media Libraries had their own Knowledge Café in 2011, called LibCafe, based on the principles by David Gurteen, which was facilitated by Manti Grobler.

We learnt that David Gurteen would be coming to South Africa this year to be at the International Conference of Knowledge Management (ICKM2012). We are extremely pleased that he could find time in his busy schedule to do a private Knowledge Café with us.

We have picked up valuable tips on how to conduct a Knowledge Café in the future, as well as valuable insights from our colleagues about the value of conversation in business.

Insights about conversation (gathered from the SABC Knowledge Café process):

The question that brought up the following insights:
"What is the role of conversation in knowledge sharing and in creating a conversational / learning culture?"
(Conversation can be face-to-face or via social media)
- Engagement is a good way of learning.

- Conversation brings all topics to the fore.

- Knowledge vs conversation: Is the knowledge in your head the same as knowledge on paper?       - "Knowledge only exists in your head."
It is impossible to capture everything.
The qualities of conversation is linked to a spectrum of what makes a conversation.

- Without conversation there is no knowledge sharing.

- It helps to have a conversation before decisions are being made. It helps to facilitate the decision-making process.

- More informal ways of knowledge sharing exist than only through a PowerPoint presentation or a meeting.

- The conversation depends on the people willing to share their knowledge.

- Conversation adds to the exchange of ideas.

- The more conversation, the more understanding.

- Conversation helps to know what is going on in an organization and who is doing what in an organization.

- The knowledge is on ground level. All personnel need to be included in the conversation.

- People know things, but they are very defensive.

- Conversation helps to adjust own perspectives.

- There is not enough conversation in the organization, but it is up to us ourselves to open up the conversation.

- The culture of conversation is aligned with our values of conversation. We need to get back to conversation.

- A better "voice" comes from a Knowledge Café.

- Having a chat over coffee - seeing the value of this kind of conversation through the perspective of the Knowledge Café.

- Conversation is not a debate. There is no need to convince anybody.

- Conversation can lead to empowerment and effectiveness!

David Gurteen in action in the final circle of the SABC Knowledge Café

Tips for the future about the use of conversation in the company

- Conversation through the Knowledge Café process can be used to help facilitate decision-making.

- There is a place for more informal ways of sharing knowledge in the company. The coffee dates and meetings in the kitchen add a valuable addition to foster conversation.

- Archivists and librarians that are feeling undermined can have a valuable outlet in the form of a Knowledge Café to share frustrations and to surface issues. It can also address the issues of working in silos.

- The Knowledge Café can be used instead of having a meeting.

- We should cultivate a culture of conversation.

- Use the idea of "hiring" a specialist/mentor/buddy in the organization as a way to increase understanding/enhance knowledge/fostering relationships.

- There is a need to create a group out of the Knowledge Café process to speak with a "better voice".

- The training specialists can help to facilitate the Knowledge Cafés.

- The training specialists also see a value in adding Knowledge Cafés into their training programmes.

More information about David Gurteen Knowledge Café method can be found here:
David Gurteen kcafe

Related posts:

Storify of the private David Gurteen Knowledge Café at the SABC Media Libraries #SABCkcafe

- Knowledge Café newspaper publishing daily - created by SABC Media Libraries

- David Gurteen Knowledge Café - background reading in preparation

The Picasa Photo album of the Knowledge Café can be found here:

- SABC Knowledge Café with David Gurteen - 3 September 2012

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