Narrating My Work

I’m incredibly fond of Harold Jarche and his blog posts. A while back he had a link to a reflection on a ‘narrating your work’ experiment. This and many of Harold’s recent posts have gotten me thinking about how one can narrate their work and engage in social collaboration activities inside their organization when they don’t have access to many of the tools that enable knowledge sharing and collaboration inside the corporate walls. Basically – how can we hack this?

Outside my organization’s walls I practice PKM through Google Reader, Twitter, Instapaper, the many online communities I’m part of and my various blogs. Narrating my work mostly happens through my blog, but often more as a reflection activity. The context of this is more my personal passions and my hosting/facilitation work, not my corporate day-job work due to confidentiality and code of conduct guidelines. I’m incredible grateful for those in my hosting/facilitation communities who frequently share what they are working on, their thinking, challenges they are facing etc. It constantly pollinates my thinking and helps me improve my practice.

Inside the secured walls of the company I work for? Different story. I cooked up an idea a couple of years ago that was a Yammer-inspired weekly email (I called it Yammit – for those “damn it” moments when you forgot to mention to a stakeholder two times removed what you were working on).  No kairos.  I still toy with the idea of trying it out.

So what can we do? We who don’t have Yammer, Facebook or any social technologies? We who have email? We who have an LMS that does a wonderful job of tracking and registering?

I’ve jammed on some of the items in a list of ideas Harold posted here and come up with some thoughts on what I can do to ‘be the change’ through my own actions:

  • Daily routines of posting observations and sharing with team members.
    • Hmmm I like this and wonder where I could post this. Maybe on a page connected to my department on the intranet?
  • Weekly “virtual coffee” to catch up and help build social bonds.
    • This I can do!
  • Providing dedicated time for reflection [this is a tough one to get management buy-in].
    • This is part of my personal practice at work already; normally connected to meetings or groups I facilitate or my own work planning/reflecting rhythms.
  • Regular mediated events like “Yam-Jams” on a select theme.
    • I could try using WebEx’s chat function for this; a transcript can be prepared from the conversation.  Where to post though? And tougher to get approval to try this one.
  • Social & Value network analyses to visualize network thinking.
    • I could use this technique with various project teams I am invited to facilitate or teams I’m part of.

Thanks Harold for nudging me to think about this within my current environment. I hope to try these ideas out soon.

What are your ideas on how to engage in social collaboration activities inside your organization when you don’t have access to many of the tools that enable knowledge sharing and collaboration? How have you hacked this?