Introduction: Knowledge Café Principles Creating a psychological safe conversational environment

The strength of the Knowledge Café rests on a few critical principles that differentiate it from other conversational processes and methods. The design philosophy is to create an environment where the people involved feel they are equal participants, that they can relax, be themselves, open up and speak their minds free from fear. It is … Continue reading Introduction: Knowledge Café Principles Creating a psychological safe conversational environment

Knowledge Café Principles: Everyone is equal Everyone should be an equal player in the conversation

Everyone should be an equal player in the conversation. There should be no hierarchy in the room or the small groups Now clearly this is not entirely possible. Whatever you do there are always going to power differences. You can make them non-explicit, but implicitly they will always exist. There should not be any small group … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Everyone is equal Everyone should be an equal player in the conversation

Knowledge Café Principles: Eliminate fear There needs to be psychological safety for conversation

If people are going to engage fully in a conversation, you need to drive out fear In far too many conversations, one or two people dominate the conversation, and other people fail to engage and speak up for a variety of reasons – mostly fear based. And so another fundamental principle of the Café process … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Eliminate fear There needs to be psychological safety for conversation

Knowledge Café Principles: Engage in small groups At the heart of the Knowledge Café are small group conversations

Real conversations only happen in small groups of 2, 3 or 4 people. I have learned this through observation, and there is research to back it up see: The influence of group size on conversation If you have more than 4 participants, you do not have a conversation but a series of monologues. Also, it … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Engage in small groups At the heart of the Knowledge Café are small group conversations

Knowledge Café Principles: No report Outs * There are no report outs

You are without doubt familiar with the report out. Frequently in workshops, the facilitator breaks people up into small groups and gives them a task to perform. The facilitator then asks each group to assign a note taker who will take notes and later report back on the outcome of the work. Sometimes no one … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: No report Outs * There are no report outs

Knowledge Café Principles: No preconceived outcomes The outcomes of a Knowledge Café are emergent

The Knowledge Café should have a well-defined purpose but no planned desired or preconceived outcomes. Other than setting the theme and posing the question to broadly define the context and the scope of the conversation no desired outcomes should be articulated; hinted at or implied in the setting of the context. The outcomes of a … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: No preconceived outcomes The outcomes of a Knowledge Café are emergent

Knowledge Café Principles: Driven by a powerful question The conversation is triggered by a question

The conversation is driven by a powerful question. A powerful question is often open-ended; provocative; engaging; action oriented; a real issue – not theoretical or conceptual; thought provoking; generates energy; focuses inquiry; surfaces assumptions; opens new possibilities; ambiguous. [Status: stub] Last updated: 26th May, 2017 Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Driven by a powerful question The conversation is triggered by a question

Knowledge Café Principles: Preserve the flow Conversational flow should be preserved.

Conversational flow should be preserved. The conversation is said to flow when it is easy and effortless and moves smoothly from one speaker to another and naturally between topics. Flow is one of the hallmarks of a good conversation. Anything that gets in the way of the flow of the conversation is a bad thing. … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Preserve the flow Conversational flow should be preserved.

Knowledge Café Principles: Conversation should lead to action Capture one actionable insight

Conversation should lead to action The outcomes of a Café are usually what “people take away in their heads” but it is often useful to focus people on some form of action. This is done by asking people to capture and share one “actionable insight” – an idea, a lesson learned, an insight – that … Continue reading Knowledge Café Principles: Conversation should lead to action Capture one actionable insight