Wednesday, 10 June 2009
commercialise Bird Island through the sale of licences and not everyone has money to spend on this. So I thought I would offer you a couple of other exercises for free, which are also powerful in their own way (though nowhere near the power of Bird Island), and which we also use in our training programs.
Seekers is a simple exercise, suitable for groups of 40 or 50 or more, and runs during the breaks or over lunch. It requires blank name badges, so either buy a supply of badges, or if you are in a badged event, ask people to turn their badges to the blank side. Ask them to write on the blank badge, in large clear letters, a question to which they would like an answer. It can be a work question, or a home-life question. Make sure it's a practical question! It should be "How do I plan a themed birthday party for my 5-year old" rather than "Is there a God?" Do this in the morning, then during the breaks and lunch, if people see a question they can help answer - either giving good advice, or pointing people to a source of advice - then they go and introduce themselves and offer help. After the afternoon break, ask for a show of hands for "Who has received an answer?". You should see between a third and half the people raise their hands. You can then lead a discussion on motivation (what motivated people to help? what would motivate you to ask questions at work?), on the power of Asking as a driver for knowledge transfer, on "how we can make our questions visible to others as part of our work", and on KM approaches such as community forums and peer assist.
This is a variation of the TV game "who wants to be a Millionaire", suitable for groups which number from about 15 upwards. Buy the quiz book, and build yourself PowerPoint with two sets of questions (I have one with the graphics, the music and everything). Get two volunteers - I often look for one senior manager, and one very junior staff member. The senior manager has to answer the questions using his or her own knowledge. The junior staff member can "ask the audience" on every round. Guess who always wins! Then again, you have the same discussion on motivation (what motivated the audience to help), on how you could set up a system so people could "ask the audience" at work, on "who would the audience be" (leading on to the topic of communities", on incentives and disincentives to asking, and so on.
If anyone else has any good KM games, please share them using the comments button below!!
Posted by Nick Milton at 19:35