Part 2: HKKMS & KMRC Lessons from the MAKE award winners – Conference Reaction 2011

Continuing from Part 1…. So, David gave us the 15 minute history of the genesis of his knowledge café. Basically he use to go to these KM lectures in the City and the best part was the conversation in the pub after the talking head. It’s an absolute truth that the ‘afterwards’ ‘coffee/tea breaks’ ‘meeting in the morning’ are the most useful for understanding what will, has or may be useful at a organized speaking event. Afterwards, we had the useful coffee/tea break with excellent coffee, tea and pastries.

We returned and the 8 Make Award winners each gave a 3 minute introduction of themselves ~ at this point I was about ready to scream with frustration ~ where was the Knowledge Café? It was useful to get the introductions but it could have happened at 9:30 and not 10:45. The Hong Kong Make Award winners who participated are: (there are others who did not participate)

– Mr. CHOI Chin Pang, Frederic, Head of Research Centre, HK Police College, HKSAR Government
– Ms Annie KONG, Chief Operations Officer, Print‐Rite Management Co. Ltd.
– Mr. David LEUNG, General Manager of Technical and Engineering Services, MTR Corporation
– Dr. Helen LI, Director of Corporate Logistics, Cafe De Coral
– Ms. Eva LO, Director of Knowledge Management, Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong
– Mr. Eric TSE, Project Manager‐Knowledge Management/PSBG CLP Power HK Limited
– Dr. Ricky TSUI, East Asia Research and Development Leader, Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited
– Mr. YUK Wai Fung, Assistant Director, 1823 Call Centre, Efficiency Unit, HKSAR Government

The actual café was in 2 sections. One of the Make Award winners sat at a table and we first listened and then had sort of a conversation about what sort of KM activities and strategies they had deployed or were now deploying. It was a bit stilted because we needed to ‘listen’ to the winner and then respond. Each section lasted about 45 minutes. The second section was much better than the first. By the second section people knew what to expect and there had been the all-important trust established at the tables. This was a point that Nicolas had made earlier in the morning and I heard over and over again at the tables from the Award winners. There must be trust established with the employees before they would participate in any knowledge-sharing activities.

The essential flaw in the programme was that we only had time for two 45-minute sections and there wasn’t enough time to establish a solid level of trust among the participants. At the end, Eva LO, Director of Knowledge Management from Langham Place Hotel said she noticed she wanted to ‘lecture’ and I could observe that in the 1st section but less so in the 2nd section. The format made the Make Award winners the ‘teachers’ and us the ‘students’. So, in retrospect it was better than the normal talking head conference but it could have been better with both more time and someway of minimizing the ‘teacher’ ‘student’ format. Maybe if there had been a general KM topic to discuss this would have enabled more open and fluid conversations. I think we all felt obligated to listen to the ‘masters’ and not ask too many questions.

We ended with one of those excellent Hong Kong 8 course Chinese lunches and some good conversation. As David said in his introduction its always the ‘afterwards’ which is the best.

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