Common Ground

Twice today I was reminded of the benefits of breaking out of my silo and broadening my circle. In both cases, the information sharing came about through ancient technology — a face to face meeting.

In the first instance, I had the privilege of a long conversation with a terrific colleague who works in a completely different department. Under normal circumstances, we’d most likely never meet. However, because we happened to be working on a new  project together, we had the chance to have an extended conversation. In the course of today’s meeting, we discovered that we were working in parallel on two projects that were strikingly similar.  Thankfully, we immediately recognized the opportunities for efficiencies and have agreed to meet again to share knowledge and optimize our results. This is a great example of some of the benefits to be derived from cross-disciplinary conversations.

Later in the day, KMers Johan Lammers, Rob Swanwick, Ian Thorpe and I had a tweetup.  In the course of that conversation, Ian remarked on the similarities in our experiences of knowledge management and social media within the enterprise despite the fact that he and I work in completely different types of organizations.  It was a good reminder that there are some essential truths in KM that apply regardless of context.  As long as we are dealing with human beings, we face these common challenges.  It was also comforting to learn that we are not alone in the face of these challenges.  Regardless of how small your knowledge management department may be, there are many other knowledge managers who are contending with similar issues.  As a result, there are many opportunites to commiserate with and learn from each other if we only step outside our silos.

Given the amount of common ground uncovered today through these two meetings, I’m going to seek out more opportunities to have cross-disciplinary conversations.  It’s my personal attempt to do a little silo smashing with old technology.  If we’re fortunate, these interactions will lead to knowledge sharing and innovation. Can you think of better outcomes for a knowledge management initiative?

[Photo Credit: Calium]

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4 thoughts on “Common Ground

  • May 20, 2010 at 11:33 am
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    It was great to be a part of that tweet-up. Thanks so much for sharing some beer, some korean food, and some great conversation.

    I have been experimenting lately with intersections of Twitter Communities. One of the truly great things about Twitter is the ease with which things can be cross-posted. Though communities tend to form around particular tags, those communities always have an opportunity to blend with others.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful blog post on the topic of intersections. I recommend the book, “The Medici Effect” for a deep dive.

  • May 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm
    Permalink

    Rob –

    Thanks for your kind words and for organizing last night's gathering.

    There is much to learn at the intersection of communities. Some might
    say that it takes exactly this kind of cross-pollination to spark
    innovation and, possibly, paradigm shift. We're fortunate that
    Twitter makes it so easy.

    – Mary

    VMaryAbraham
    AboveandBeyondKM.com

  • May 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm
    Permalink

    It was great to be a part of that tweet-up. Thanks so much for sharing some beer, some korean food, and some great conversation.

    I have been experimenting lately with intersections of Twitter Communities. One of the truly great things about Twitter is the ease with which things can be cross-posted. Though communities tend to form around particular tags, those communities always have an opportunity to blend with others.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful blog post on the topic of intersections. I recommend the book, “The Medici Effect” for a deep dive.

  • May 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm
    Permalink

    Rob –

    Thanks for your kind words and for organizing last night's gathering.

    There is much to learn at the intersection of communities. Some might
    say that it takes exactly this kind of cross-pollination to spark
    innovation and, possibly, paradigm shift. We're fortunate that
    Twitter makes it so easy.

    – Mary

    VMaryAbraham
    AboveandBeyondKM.com

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