Friday 29 June 2012

Drive community meetings through Pull

_DSC8037 I have blogged several times about Push and Pull in Knowledge Management - about the dangers of focusing only on Push (such a common strategy, unfortunately), and about the need to create a culture of pull - a demand for knowledge, a thirst for learning.

The need for creating Pull operates at many levels - in Communities of Practice, on websites, even in face to face meetings.

I was talking with a Community Leader a couple of weeks ago. He was planning a Community event, and talked me through his ideas. He through he might have a keynote talk from one of the company experts, then a series of presentations of best practices from within the community.
My heart sank.

What he was discussing, was more Push. Lecture lecture lecture, present present present, drone and waffle, death by PowerPoint, people dozing off at the back. You can imagine the scenario (see picture). What a way to suck the life out of a Community of Practice.

I suggested he turned the meeting around, and drove it by Questions. He should identify before hand the major questions and problems within the CoP (maybe using a Knowledge Market approach) , and build the agenda around those questions. He should use the collective knowledge of the Community, and bring it to bear on the most pressing business problems, so that every person left the meeting with a problem solved, and with new connections, new links, and a renewed sense of community value. A knowledge exchange approach, with small problem-solving break-out groups, perhaps, to make sure that everyone was involved in the dialogue. Not a series of presentations that probably very few people would be interested in.

Even the face to face meetings need to be driven by Pull, if they are to really impact the business.

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