3. April 2006

[ English , Konferenzen , Roell.Net , Wissensmanagement ]

Why I am travelling to Contactivity

On April 10th and 11th, Knowledgeboard is running an event in Greenwhich called "Contactivity". It will be an informal, open-space-like gathering, with the 'programme' co-created by the participants.

A wiki has been set up that is used to prepare the events. Today was the deadline to fill out a participant's form which shall be used for some sort of networking. Here is what I put in:

Name: Martin Roell
Organisation: none. I run (I am!) a one-person consultancy.
Role (e.g. researcher / consultant / KM manager / writer): consultant
Country: I come from Luxembourg and live in Germany
I'm attending this event because...: I want to reflect my own KM work and learn about other approaches to practical work in KM from other people; to find opportunities for collaboration in projects and/or research
I'm looking for expertise in the field of...: I want to meet interesting, constructive people that are interested in thinking about KM, business in KM, consulting around km / knowledge work / knowledge worker effectiveness and anyone with special interest in social software, blogs in organisations, wikis and "web 2.0" (yippeh).
What a cooperation partner should know about my personality: I like important things. I get nervous when I talk about oder deal with unimportant things. Do talk to me about serious stuff. I will like it. Be bold.

I left out the "I am an expert in..." part. People that say "I am an expert in ..." scare me. How many experts, I mean real experts, that were running around saying "I am an expert in..." have you met?

"Why are you attending this event" was actually a very good question. I didn't think much about it, when I signed up. I have neglected my work in KM over the last months, while most of my focus was on communication and marketing consulting. I'd like to reconnect to my KM community again to create new opportunities for work. The emphasis here is on practical work. I am tired of theoretical discussion about "KM" or how things "should" be. ("Wouldn't it be nice if we had wikis in organisations and people used them?" Well, yeah. So what are we going to do about it?) I am not much interesting in talk for talks sake or "knowledge sharing" for knowledge sharing's sake. I am in the consulting business. I want to use these resources - what I know, who I know, what I can do, the knowledge and power of the collective - to make things happen.

The last answer is a paraphrase of something that I wrote a long time ago for this long text about myself and which has survived the countless revisions. There are other translations of "wichtig" - "important" doesn't really hit it.

I look forward to seeing you, guys.

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I get nervous when I talk about oder deal with unimportant things. Alles klar, oder?

Won't be there myself alas, but hope it will be a great event, and look forward to impressions on the web.

Ton Zijlstra am 03.04.06 15:16 #

Martin, that part about "nervous about unimportant things": perfect. Hits home clearly.

I, too, have that sentiment. Especially when I am among peers, at a highly constructive event. Don't want to "miss the opportunity", so to speak.

(We were at the same Reboot, that is #7, and Peter Rukavina and I know each other well, since then. He spoke well of you. I had this blog bookmarked in my browser - how quaint! - since back then.)

Olle Jonsson am 05.04.06 16:34 #

Hi Olle, nice to meet you again! I think I found your blog after last year's reboot. I have been following some of your writing since then.

Martin Röll am 05.04.06 22:15 #

Your ambition meets my aspiration and I hope you bring it with you and encourage us all to move in this direction ... it is practical things that were intended to be discussed from the start, approached with a mix of pracitioners/consultants and researchers. Not infinite discussions about KM,, not war stories from podiums about doing KM in hostile environments, and not an unconference about social software/media and how great wikis are... hopefully we can come together, find the issues we want to bash out together and then bash them out - but that was only one hope - when you throw the wiki doors open and leave an entire day to co-creation, you have to go with whatever the flow is... which is part you, Martin :)

Ed am 06.04.06 11:42 #

Hmmm...actually, I dreamed up the questions for the template...sorry for the expert, didn't really think about that, but also do not know how to formulate this better...the intention was to give people some idea about what the other is actually doing and/or has been done for a long time... any idea?

Patricia Wolf am 21.04.06 20:31 #

Patricia, I think your questions worked very well! Other people didn't seem to have the problem with the "expert"-word, that I had. What they answered to the question was quite interesting to me.

Maybe I would put the question along the lines of "Topics I know a lot about and would like to share" next time - this also puts the emphasis on "I would like to talk about this". An example: I was hesitant to write "I know a lot about social software" in, because I didn't want to talk too much about that - I was more interested in talking about things I know little about! Also, when you say "I am an expert in..." this makes for rather assymmetrical conversations. This can be good in some cases, but for Contactivity I think the networking interventions should rather foster exchange "at eye level".

Thanks for getting back to me. It was good to meet you.

Martin Röll am 22.04.06 09:12 #