What about creating a regional KM practitioners group in Rome?

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Summary of some of the issues that were touched upon:

Why creating the group?

  • Nice social moment, human exchange/network
  • Identification of good practices, methodologies and approach for

professionals working in Rome

  • The Share Fair was a perfect opportunity for us to understand that we all

do pretty much the same things so, let’s facilitate our working reality for the benefit of development so let’s share

  • We should become an informal network, a hub for discussion à organizing

knowledge and access to information

  • We could learn about web based tools + their application in developing

countries (some of the attendees highlighted the fact that a too technical discussion could be boring and maybe it would be preferable to focus on stories, experience than specifically on tools)

How could we be structured?

  • Virtual community although some of us mentioned that the human aspect was

really important (all day long, on virtual stuff so after work, around a beer or a glass of wine, social activity)?

  • Monthly topic discussed?
  • Problem/issue discussions à how would the others respond to the challenge?
  • A formula like: bring your ideas and we will discuss them (A kind of

“What if I have to face this particular challenge in this particular context?”), this in a bi/multi-directional relation + no problem if small groups are naturally created.

  • To invite visiting people (experts or training participants, …) coming in

Rome to our meeting so that we can ask and interact with him on any topics. Likely, this person would come from a developing countries thus sharing his personal experience or at least with an interesting background.

Issues we touched on

  • IDLO is currently faced with the challenge of networking their

stakeholders in different regions in ways that not only connect these stakeholders with the IDLO centre but also among themselves; the aim would be to have IDLO knowledge hubs in different regions.

  • Interestingly, one advantage the IDLO has currently is the great

relationships it has been developing with stakeholders in the IDLO regions. This would be something to capitalize on as their work on strategic networking and knowledge hubs progresses. Building of trust and good relationships is one of the most important aspects of knowledge sharing and networking.

  • There are differences in networking in small and bigger organizations,

as well as an impossibility to define networking strictly within organizations (it would always spill out).

  • The organizational culture and leadership play an extremely important

role in knowledge networking and networks taking hold and evolving in organizations. Even the sharing of issues and information that are quite tangible and concrete can be impeded by cultural assumptions and biases.

  • Networking geographically distributed organizations can be extremely

challenging as one would need to deal with local cultures, differing assumptions and perceptions, and multiple realities. Enabling networks in ways in which all network members are aware of these can be very important.

  • Sometimes, people in organizations share matters and issues that are

sensitive. This may have some repercussions for those who share the matters and issues. How to deal with this? By continued sharing and care to not place anyone in a situation they find uncomfortable and/or threatening, whilst as much as possible changing unfavorable circumstances for the better.

Ideas for next meeting

  • In your context, what are the main things you would avoid while creating a

thematic knowledge network? What are the main things that you would DEFINITELY do?

  • Some tips to work with a team geographically dispersed?

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