All posts by Lloyd Davis

Public Service Conversations Caf&#233

I’ve just posted this over at Public Service Conversations:

I’m really pleased and excited to be able to announce that the Public Service Conversations café sessions are going to begin at the end of May.

Sessions will be held every other Wednesday at 10.30am and last for an hour and a half. The venues will vary, but at least for now they will be within Central London. Each session will have a maximum of 8 participants but there are no other requirements on you – to be able to attend you need only have an interest in public services in the UK and have a willingness to participate in a conversation with people who are similarly inclined.

The conversation in the session will be recorded (audio-only, no need for extra make-up) and a copy of the recording will be made available for download here (but if everyone waits to see what the recording is like before booking a place, then no-one will come to the first session!) Coffee, Tea and Water will be served.

The first session is on Wednesday 25th May 2005. If you’d like to come along, please send an e-mail to bookings@public-service-conversations.co.uk or leave a comment here and someone will get in touch with you. These sessions are available at a special introductory price of £75 + VAT (payment is possible by cheque or by invoice).

We are also taking bookings for four more Wednesday sessions during June and July:

8th June
22nd June
6th July
20th July

We’ll deal with August when we come to it!

The venue for the first session is yet to be fully confirmed but is likely to be in London W1 or SW1. As soon as details are available, they’ll be publicised on this site.

Remember places are strictly limited so book soon to make sure you’re part of the conversation.

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“Find your neutral space. You got a rush. It’ll pass. Be seated.” – Withnail & I, 1987

I was initially puzzled by what Dave Winer meant by me believing in the insiders and giving them the power (I wouldn’t have put it that way) but his explanation of what happens when the drugs wear off helps.

And what he says about tools puts into focus my dissatisfaction with Sparks! as I wrote about it earlier. It doesn’t actually do anything more that I want to do as a podcaster except bring together cut down versions of the tools in a single package and bung in some free (for now) hosting. I’d much rather learn to use the existing separate tools (my minidisc, audacity, RSS 2.0 and associated software, ftp, ipodder, MT) which I might one day use for other things too, than put the effort into learning how to use a needlessly over-complicated interface which just sews together the bits that someone else thinks are important.

The whole notion of insiders and outsiders kind of dissolves when I remember that to me Dave appears to be an insider – he plainly doesn’t feel like one. To anyone who discovered blogging yesterday I might look like an insider – well I just ain’t, but I have experienced the buzz of people considering me an insider in other areas and I don’t deny it is a powerful drug.

This leads me to refine what I said about power on Doc’s site – I left out those who don’t accept the popular view of where power lies and point out that (as usual) those who style themselves as “kings” are in the altogether.

So please Adam, Evan and all, put some clothes on, quick, I’m finding it difficult to put my mouth right up to the mic with that mental image in my mind.

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PKM trust, faith & fear

For the KB PKM workshop at KM Europe yesterday, I provided a teaser to get conversations going that originally was entitled “trust vs suspicion, faith vs fear…aaaaaagh the feelings” to get us talking about emotional responses to Knowledge Management and the implications for Personal Knowledge Management.

My motivation was really to get the conversation going at all as I’ve so often found that fear ends up being the ultimate barrier to change and to knowledge sharing but even talking about it is taboo in many corporate cultures.

The notes I scribbled before standing up to introduce the conversation went like this:

Fear as a barrier to change

Fear of: Discovery; Making mistakes; Ridicule; Victimisation; Loss of power; Loss of control; Telling the truth (where this is not the norm)

Isolation vs Connection

As I’ve often found with Open Space type events, it’s very difficult and probably not desirable to try to report in detail what we talked about. While we talked people were also putting thoughts on post-it notes which Ton promised to transcribe on the wiki, so the conversation might continue there.

The big insights for me were:

  • Very few people actually go to work intending to inspire fear in their team.
  • Some uber-gurus are quiet, shy and deferential
  • A lot depends on what your reward and value system is like (and I don’t mean PM Systems etc, I mean the more informal personal ones – how do I know from people around me whether I’m doing a good job)

What I wasn’t prepared for was for my definition of PKM to become the focus of the discussion and we ended up in a bit of a trial of my ideas on PKM rather than a broad discussion and I felt (perhaps wrongly, but I’m not sure) that people wanted me to give them the answer. I think this is entirely understandable in a situation where people are constantly bombarded with presentations where people stand up and say “I have the answer” I’m happy to say I don’t have *the* answer, but I have some possible answers and I’d love to keep having the conversation.

The bit I entirely forgot about – but perhaps we can talk about next time is how expressions of fear are not acceptable but expressions of anger are. I can’t remember which guru said that when people are being angry in the workplace s/he always asks “what are they afraid of?”

Looking & Recording in Different Ways

robephoto
More of an art day than the last few sales sales and more sales.
Spent an hour at the V&A this morning drawing.

robesketch
And was struck by the difference and similarity between the two images I created of the same robe.
robeclouds
Especially in contrast to the “reality” of the photograph. I know this isn’t a new idea in art but in management (even Kmanagement) it’s rarely this clear to me.