Radical KM Workshop Feedback

I was recently asked to help a university class that was working on a module entitled, “creating, managing and using knowledge in organisations”. The instructor is someone in my network who wanted her students to learn about Radical KM. Due to technical reasons it wasn’t possible for me to lead the session live.

The students watched a recording of a webinar I did about Radical KM and then the instructor lead them through the workshop that I had prepared and sent her. What follows is the email I received back with the classes comments and reflection on the session. I have removed any identifying information for privacy, otherwise what follows is a straight cut and paste.

Hi Stephanie,

I hope this message finds you well. 

On behalf of the class, I just wanted to express our gratitude for preparing today’s workshop. It was a refreshing change for us, and everyone had a lot of fun. I just thought I would summarise our thoughts below:

As in your video seminar, beginning with the flower meditation served as a way to concentrate our focus on the workshop, and allowed us to clear our minds of any other conflicting thoughts. For me, doing this meditation with the class as opposed to on my own, forced me to concentrate more on my flower. However, the collective energy in the room definitely improved since we had all engaged in the same activity to start our day. Some individuals in the class visualised imagery in relation to flowers in their garden or that they had bought as part of a bouquet, linking the meditation to everyday life.

We chose to build a business case for arts-based practices within a law firm, specifically pitching to senior management. In our initial discussion, we decided that this case should be presented by a dedicated KM team, ensuring robust evidence to back up the importance of arts-based practices. We also discussed issues surrounding the use of language like ‘radical’ and ‘creative’, and concluded that the best interests of the law firm should be the primary goal (i.e. billable hours).

The first scribble drawing exercise left us feeling chaotic, energised, surprised and stressed at points. Our stream of consciousness writing exercise following provided an opportunity for us to document our feelings in the moment. For myself, I found that each new scribble drawing that landed in front of me was not what I was expecting. It was very interesting to see how each member of the class interpreted the scribble drawings differently.

Reflecting on this, our following discussion on our business case centred on the benefits of arts-based practices for relaxation, fresh perspectives and taking a break for logical thinking. We added to our business case suggesting that implementing these practices in a law firm would allow for more contribution, an improvement in culture and employees feeling more present. We decided that these practices should be started in a trial so that Senior Management have the opportunity to see how they would fit with practicing law.

The major theme that emerged was nostalgia. It seems that the freedom of a blank piece of paper and an abundance of colouring materials sparked memories of an incredibly tangible time in our lives. I found myself wanting to be very logical with my second scribble. I wanted to make sure that I could definitely fill the page in 5 minutes by choosing the most appropriate pattern – making sure I didn’t run out of time. I am a very logical person when it comes to problem solving so this exercise has prompted me to try and take more creative and abstract approaches in the future.

Our last discussion on our business case led us to decide that Senior Management would just have to try a meditation or scribble method to reveal the true benefits. In our case we would argue that these methods are appropriate as they do not require preparation, promote child-like energy, provide a step away from work and offer personalisation. This way, management could trust that each individual in the organisation is empowered to take arts-based practices and customise it to their needs.

Overall, the class found this a great exercise to implement some of the other ideas we have discussed throughout the semester and truly see them in practice. This was a very insightful an enriching workshop, thanks again!

Kind regards,

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