I’ve been thinking about knowledge sharing, after attending a couple of conferences in a row and heading off to another. One thing missing in these discrete time-based events is that there is litle time for reflection. Most presenters hold back their knowledge in order to “deliver” it just before the big official presentation. This presentation is followed by some immediate questions & discussions and a coffee break. Then it’s off to see the next presentation. Reflection, if it occurs, comes much later, and usually after the participants have gone home.
Of course, those of us who live in the internet cloud have no difficulties staying in touch, both before and after these events, and often during the event on some backchannel.
Observing inefficient, and I believe ineffective, knowledge sharing due to the lack of opportunities to connect before or after the event is rather frustrating. For instance, a problem is presented in a plenary session and participants are immediately asked to brainstorm & give feedback. Why was the issue not presented weeks ahead of time? What can be achieved in 10 minutes of thinking on demand?What is really achieved with 50 to 100 people in a room, a presenter and then questions from the floor? If we want to innovate in our organizations, we should be innovating how we share information. The tools and techniques are there, but the conference rut is a deep one to get out of.