Tuesday, June 08, 2010


"I want to thank you for guiding us in the process of building this community of practice. I think the work itself and community we are creating has so much potential, and the role you are playing is really important. I look forward to our continuing work together!"

Rabbi Bridget Wynne
Executive Director
Jewish Gateways


"Thank you very much for being a masterful guide this year....Very helpful and will continue to be very useful."

Chelsea Bailey, Communal Leadership Specialist at Board of Jewish Education of New York
Former Asst Prof in Early Childhood Education at New York University

Tips on Knowledge Management from the Community Rountable

From the Community Roundtable:  On our recent 'State of Community Management' webinar we got so many great questions that we've archived them all here. One question we liked in particular dealt with a problem many community managers face when trying to gain traction with their audience.

Q: How to overcome barriers for knowledge sharing?

A: Any cultural change takes time but I like to think of it as an infection model. Pinpoint and find key influencers who are already supportive of more open sharing of information and acclimate them to new tools and techniques. Like leaders, it may take some time but it is well worth it as they will 'infect' the rest of the organization. Also people must have the time, receive recognition, and have familiarity with new tools and processes in order to participate effectively. Think about the 'What is in it for me' factor - if that is not there, the initiative will be hard to move forward.

More from Rachel:

Reducing barriers to knowledge sharing is a classic cultural change issue and, like many things in community management, not one with a "right" answer. Changing behavior requires motivation to change and the best motivation is to make the change meaningful to the individual in question. The difficult part is what is meaningful to one person may not be to another and means a variety of programs, training, mentoring, and incentives have to be applied to create lasting change. This theme comes up repeatedly and you can find some ideas and practices employed by practitioners in The State of Community Management.

Jim's take:

Internally, it has a lot to do with having the right people in your corner. While it's important to have an enthusiastic senior executive involved in getting your company to embrace knowledge sharing, I've found it's the middle managers that are the key to widespread adoption. Often times it's their teams and relationships at stake, so if you're able to show them the value, you're on your way.

Another key to building a knowledge sharing culture (internal and external) is creating opportunities for experimentation. I've found brown bag lunches are extremely effective at getting people together to try new tools and techniques. During a customer conference several years ago, I put a Flip camera on each lunch table along with a table tent with three questions. The people at the table took turns recording interviews of one another and had a lot of fun in the process. Later in the day we showed them a compilation of the interviews and you could see them have that "aha" moment. Not soon after we launched a customer community with great success.

Finally, publicize and reward. Often times it's hard to be the first person trying something different. Publicly acknowledge people who take that risk and reward them for their courage. It can be something as simple as lunch with the Sr. VP, just something that makes them feel good about sharing what they know.

Cross-posted with permission of the Community Roundtable: A peer network for community managers and social media practitioners.

Jigsaw by Lawrence Kushner

Each lifetime is the peices of a jigsaw puzzle.
For some there are more pieces.
For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.

Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.
And so it goes.
Souls go this way and that.
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.

But know this.  No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
jigsaw puzzles in cellophane.  Insuring that
All the pieces were there.

Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else's puzzle.
Sometimes they know it.
Sometimes they don't.

And when you present your piece.
Which is worthless to you,
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High

Reprinted with permission of author and publisher: Lawrence Kushner 1977, pp 69-70. Honey from the Rock.

Thank you to Linda Greenseid the facilitator of the PEJE Leadership Community Of Practice for my calling attention to this poem.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Quotes I like - shared by IISC

These wonderful quotes have come in the mail to me from IISC - the Interaction Institute for Social Change. I saved and gathered them and share them below.

Be a lamp or lifeboard or a ladder  Help someone's soul heal.  Walk out of your house like a shephard.  (Rumi)

The essence of love is to affectively affirm as well as unselfishly delight in the well being of others, and engage in acts and care of service on their behalf, without exception, in an enduring and constant way.  Love.  (Institute for the Study of Unlimited Love at Case Western University)

If we are to survive as a global community, we must understand the imperative nature of giving birth and space to the moral imagination in human affairs.  (John Paul Lederach).

Do what you do best and link to the rest.  (Jeff Jarvis)

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.  (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Simple model for Collaborative Group Work by Ken Otter

This simple model was derived from a 13 month research project by Mat Schwarzman, Linda Sartor and Ken Otter while doctoral students at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 1995. Using Collaborative Inquiry methodology facilitated by Elizabeth Kasl, Mat, Linda and Ken, studied the experience of several groups engaged in collaborative work. This is the outline of their findings. 


A) The infrastructure of the group ought to be developed and determined by the group.
B) Authority, power, and leadership ought to be shared by members of the group.
C) Shared meaning-making should be fostered.
D) Individual and group development ought to be viewed as mutually enhancing.
E) A group purpose ought to be agreed-upon collectively.
F) Facilitation should be practiced in service to the group's collective purpose.


A) Emphasize inquiry over advocacy.
B) View all perspectives as potentially valid.
C) Provide reassurances about the challenges inherent in collaboration.
D) Attend to development of group skills needed for collaboration.
E) Foreground group goals and purposes throughout.
F) Create opportunities for members to cultivate interpersonal connections.
G) Encourage reflection as a regular feature of group life.


A) All members actively participate.
B) Roles are not rigidly fixed or permanent.
C) Agreements are articulated and operationalized.
D) Meaning is constructed by the group as a whole.
E) Varied perspectives are registered and encouraged.
F) When conflict occurs, members attend to it with an eye towards the potential benefit it may hold for the group.
G) Unexpected meanings, decisions and other results get made.
H) Members articulate differing perspectives held by one another in a similar fashion.

Cross-posted with permission of the author.  Originally posted posted by Ken Otter on Leadership Learning Community discussion: leadership for a new era Aug 5 2009, 3:06 PM EDT