KM4Dev Value Creation Framework Experiment

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This conversation emerged from sharing the insights from the KM4Dev 2017 Seattle meeting. It is now an experiment about understanding the value of convening (f2f) conversations:


John and Charles, separated in Africa by a $475 USD plane ticket, and far from the KM4Dev events in the northern hemisphere have been commenting on the value of convening conversations. Why we don't make time, resources, available. I (Nancy) responded with a challenge which I summarised. I've copied some initial thoughts on the different types of value below the challenge.


I like your reframe on "is convening a conversation still considered a luxury?" It is a really good question. As i reflect on the Wenger-Trayner value creation framework we can look and see the value we might be creating through these conversations. (See the notes linked here: - including the page on Agenda and resources - slides and resources related to the meeting) Let me throw out a challenge. John, how far away are you from Charles? What would it take for the two of you to convene a modest regional gathering? What value would you hope to create? (Based on the Wenger-Trayner framework) How then might you connect it to the wider community?

The Value We Might Create

Here is some initial thinking about the different kinds of value as described by the Wenger-Trayner value creation framework that might come from these conversational convenings.(Read this first: ) Definitions in quotes below are from that Wenger-Trayner resource... and the bullets are just some random wonderings on my part. I'd be interested in what you would change, add, remove...

What is the IMMEDIATE value of a convened conversation?

"Immediate value refers to the experience that members have when they engage with the community. In this sense activities and interactions have value in and of themselves, as an experience of learning together. This information is important because it provide guidance for facilitating the community."

  • We make/renew friendships and collegial relationships, get to know people better to better understand each other in our conversations.
  • We get away from our work to reflect together, think together, eat together
  • We begin to identify what we know, don't know and maybe even what we don't know we don't know...
  • We experience new gathering methods and processes
  • I "find my tribe" and realize I am not alone in my work (Eva Schiffer)

What is the POTENTIAL value of a convened conversation?

"Potential value refers to what the learning of the community produces. This includes physical artifacts, such as documents, videos, or webpages. It also includes personal knowledge, such as insights, skills, and advice. It may also include intangibles such as relationships, reputation, and inspiration. It can even include a different understanding of learning and how to learn, which people could apply in their own context."

  • The methods we experienced we can take back to our own work
  • The learning can be shared with our colleagues "back home" (pictures, handouts, slides, notes, summaries, blog posts, tweets)
  • We may rethink or adjust our goals or practices based on what we experienced and learned
  • ...

What is the APPLIED VALUE of a convened conversation?

"It is essential that learning of the community be applied in practice. First the community cannot make a difference unless its learning finds its way into practice. Second ideas, suggestions, and methods need to be tested in practice so that the community can learn from its own outputs."

  • I change how I convene conversations back home
  • I begin to stop doing a non productive behavior or practice based on what I learned
  • I teach what I learned to a colleague and we work on it together, improving, learning
  • I initiate a new practice with my team
  • I follow up with a new colleague I met and create a new collaborative opportunity

What is the REALIZED value of a convened conversation?

"Realized value refers to the difference the community is able to make in the world. It may be the success of its members or of an organization. Or the increase in performance of certain institutions. Or it may be some broader good that the community wants to contribute to. Realized value can also include things that are avoided, such as accidents, waste, lost investments, or lawsuits. Note that realized value refers to goals that are often set outside of the community. However, it is still important for the community to debate and choose outcomes and targets relevant to its aspirations and to negotiate how it can realistically contribute."

  • By stopping something, i created space for innovation that has informed and improved our work
  • I now have colleagues outside my organization that I regularly converse with and learn with and the quality of my work has improved.
  • ...