Moving on after nearly 6 years in Ethiopia, in 6 epitomising posts of the ‘habesha phase’


This Friday – 2 June 2017 – I will be leaving Ethiopia as a resident for good.

I will still be working with ILRI but based in The Hague, the Netherlands. Personal matters have taken precedence over professional ones and we have to be back in Europe. It’s a pity in some way, but it’s also a great opportunity, as every change is. I personally like change. However uncomfortable it is. However difficult it is. However unavoidable it is.

So this change will mean probably adding different perspectives to this blog and to my other blog on agile facilitation.

Good bye Addis! (credits: Wardheernews)

Good bye Addis! (credits: Wardheernews)

The past – nearly – six years have been extremely rich, as testified in this post about personal changes, just from last year to this one. I haven’t been able to keep up my blogging practice over the past few months because of the personal reasons forcing us to move back to Holland and because ever since I’ve been back in Ethiopia, in late April, I’ve been super busy winding things down here and turning the page of our Ethiopian life chapter. But I thought it might be worth a shot to look back at the ‘Ethiopian (habesha) years’ in six posts that marked the most prolific blogging phase of my professional life.

Here they are, I hope you enjoy them (again, perhaps) and please share your reactions and ideas about these and possible future posts!

Communication, KM, monitoring, learning – The happy families of engagement 

I wrote this post very soon after leaving IRC and joining ILRI. And those first few months were actually very prolific and qualitatively strong for my blogging. Perhaps stronger than any other blogging period for me. Hence my anticipation about this new period of change. In any case, this post has been referred to by various people and institutions as an inspiring one. I’m not sure about that but I had fun writing it. It is all about ‘engagement’ which became my ‘bread-and-butter’ at ILRI in various shapes and forms.
KM=CDL, on the journey to universal sense-making

This is the post that finally helped me nail down my own definition of what knowledge management is and I keep referring to it for that reason. In an environment where there was no KM or comms strategy (for ILRI) and no unified understanding of what knowledge or KM is, writing this post proved very helpful to me. I hope it is somewhat to you too.

I share because I care!

A lot of my ILRI work is about role-modelling behaviours that I hope others will take up to some extent. And when it comes to knowledge sharing, this was the post that helped put in writing what I felt intuitively all along. It’s been my gospel at ILRI and beyond ever since.

I hope you care to read it and to share your own spark too!

Portrait of the modern knowledge worker 

We are in the knowledge age, and knowledge workers are everywhere. This is probably the reason why this post was picked up by the World Bank and was thus promoted quite vividly for a while. I offer some characteristics and traits of a typical knowledge worker. I’d love to hear your views on what that entails.

Tinkering with tools: what’s up with Yammer?

This is the post that got most popular on my blog ever, with a (humble) peak of nearly 350 views on one day, when the Yammer team found out about it. Yammer has also been an interesting experience for me with ILRI as we’ve promoted it as the social network that our colleagues should use to access information they want to pull. With measured success. Bottom line for me: I don’t care about the tool – I do care about the result (sharing is caring).

Of ‘healthy human systems’ beyond ‘the field’ and facilitating conversations that change the world: an interview with Sam Kaner and Nelli Noakes

The post is an interview with two people that radically changed my personal work life, with their ideas, practice, reflections, and an ongoing conversation about our collaboration. Sam Kaner is one of the inventors of the field of facilitation, and together with his partner Nelli Noakes they share here their very generous overview of why they try to get people to collaborate.

Ok, and because 7 is a magical number, here is my #7 pick:

Jungian types, personality pigeonholing and finding my pathway and ‘contribution’

 

This is one of the most personal posts I’ve published on my blog, as it explains what I see as my calling in (the professional) life. I hope you find and share your own contribution. And I look forward to engaging a lot more with all of you from my future new home, The Hague 🙂

Hello The Hague! (credits: unclear)

Hello The Hague! (credits: unclear)

Bonus info: this happens to be my 300th post on this blog 😉

Blogging on hold – until soon?


Dear all,

This is just to inform you that this blog is currently not being updated for personal reasons that have nothing to do with blogging. As soon as possible I will resume my blogging practice. For now it’s a matter of…

Hereby a recent overview of top posts on this blog:

  1. Great and poor metaphors for knowledge, learning and change
  2. Knowledge management in cartoons – A selection
  3. Managing or facilitating change, not just a question of words
  4. Share Fair Addis: Fishbowl and fishbowl battle
  5. Settling the eternal semantic debate: what is knowledge, what is information…
  6. Enjoy the year of the’fire rooster’ and let’s toast old habits!
  7. KM=CDL, on the journey to universal sense-making
  8. Revisiting the links between communication and knowledge management
  9. A knowledge management primer (1): KM as simple as ABC
  10. Putting learning loops and cycles in practice

I hope we’ll be able to engage again very soon on this blog 🙂

Enjoy the year of the’fire rooster’ and let’s toast old habits!


The fire rooster is coming our way (Credits: PhotoStylist1 / FlickR)

The fire rooster is coming our way (Credits: PhotoStylist1 / FlickR)

This is a bit ahead of time since the Chinese new year doesn’t happen until February but hey I can’t resist to share the joy of soon entering the year or the fire rooster.

 

I’m delighted by it because firstly I’m French and the rooster -silly animal as it were- is our national totem animal, and secondly because I work on a project focusing on chickens). So something has got to happen around my world this year.
This also leaves me curious about what will happen generally and what I will generally do to make good things happen. Balancing ‘fortuna’ with ‘virtu’ as Macchiavelli would have it.

And when it comes to changing practices, last year will be difficult to beat!

Indeed in 2016 I expanded my set of practices to:

What will it be in 2017?

What would you advise me to do?

What have been your recent aha moments in terms of personal and collective development and improvement?
A few tracks lay open ahead of me for sure: focus on group development rather than (just) my own, and move from independence to interdependence; explore conflict management more openly (I’ll soon be giving a presentation on this topic); keep exploring the best ways I can fulfill my contribution statement; develop my listening skills much more profoundly…

The options are many, and the year has just begun  Let the fire unleash itself!

In any case  I also wish you a fiery year full of satisfaction of different orders!

Happy 2017!

Happy year of the fire rooster! (Credits: Dreamstime)

Happy year of the fire rooster! (Credits: Dreamstime)

 

The top 10 posts of 2016 on this blog


It’s that time of the year again. I’m going on leave right before Christmas and won’t (likely) resurface before January 2017.

So as usual with my ‘point in time’ blog posts, here’s the top 10 blog posts, but this time with the special emphasis on looking back at the whole year. 2016 has been a less prolific blogging year for me with about 21 posts published ‘only’, though on the other hand I’ve also made a real splash with ‘Agile facilitation‘ my other blog dedicated to facilitation for collective action.

In any case, here is the top 10 posts for 2016. Only a couple of blog posts published this year (marked in bold) made it to this top 10, which is a reflection of my less disciplined blogging this year, and perhaps also that the quality of my blogging is declining ha ha ha?

  1. Knowledge management in cartoons – A selection
  2. Managing or facilitating change, not just a question of words
  3. Share Fair Addis: Fishbowl and fishbowl battle
  4. A knowledge management primer (1): KM as simple as ABC
  5. Putting learning loops and cycles in practice
  6. Merry Christmas! (Credits: Nuwandalice / FlickR)

    Merry Christmas! (Credits: Nuwandalice / FlickR)

    Settling the eternal semantic debate: what is knowledge, what is information…

  7. Revisiting the links between communication and knowledge management
  8. Portrait of the modern knowledge worker
  9. Good bye acute meetingitis! Plan your day-to-day meetings as a true KMer…
  10. Learning cycle basics and more: Taking stock

With this post, that’s it for me in 2016.

See you in 2017 with hopefully renewed energy, ideas, enthusiasm, here and on Agile facilitation!

Have a merry Christmas!

 

A look at my top 10 posts so far in 2016, before a break


Looking back at top posts before holiday (Credits: Will Cooke/FlickR)

Looking back at top posts before holiday (Credits: Will Cooke/FlickR)

And on this solstice day we are hitting summer.

And I’ll be on the road to holidays in a couple of earth rotations. As usual a good time to look back at the best performing posts on this blog so far in 2016 – acknowledging that I’ve taken an easy year, blogging-wise.
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I hope to come back from hopefully sunny and rejuvenating holidays with fresh ideas and passion to share here.

Meanwhile, here is the top 10 of 2016 on ‘Agile KM for me… and you?’ so far (and as usual, in bold are the posts from 2016):

  1. Knowledge management in cartoons – A selection
  2. A knowledge management primer (1): KM as simple as ABC
  3. Managing or facilitating change, not just a question of words
  4. Putting learning loops and cycles in practice
  5. Share Fair Addis: Fishbowl and fishbowl battle
  6. Settling the eternal semantic debate: what is knowledge, what is information…
  7. Learning cycle basics and more: Taking stock
  8. Good bye acute meetingitis! Plan your day-to-day meetings as a true KMer…
  9. Sailing along ‘pattern currents’ in the sea of change
  10. Portrait of the modern knowledge worker

Two months of hatching eggs


hello everyone,

I have been super busy of late, and mostly thinking about and focusing on the other leg of my work: agile facilitation (not that I have been blogging there either) as I’ve been trained to become a facilitator on group facilitation skills, and just delivered my first such training last week. These past two months of ‘hatching’ are finally over.

As I’m slowly re-emerging from all of this, to come back to this blogging practice. So I’ll finally be able to finalise the KM alphabet primer series and write about a lot more stuff, including on the Agile Facilitation blog.

Thank you for your patience, if you are reading this post, and more to come in the week!

Meanwhile, if you have specific ideas you would love me to blog on, please let me know 🙂

Best,

Ewen

On the road again (credits: Martine Lanchec-Girard / FlickR)

On the road again (credits: Martine Lanchec-Girard / FlickR)

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blogging holiday and TOP 10 posts


I’m going on leave for 2 weeks and will be back in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 6 November.

Until then no activity to expect on this blog, as I’m enjoying total disconnection while on holiday, and total dedication to all the other pleasures in life, starting with family fun!

Meanwhile, for the past 9 months of this year, these are the top posts on this blog, as you may like to revisit them… In bold are the posts dated from this year.

  1. Managing or facilitating change, not just a question of words
  2. Knowledge management strategy development: Taking stock
  3. Tinkering with tools: Asessing Asana
  4. Share Fair Addis: Fishbowl and fishbowl battle
  5. Of ‘healthy human systems’ beyond ‘the field’ and facilitating conversations that change the world: an interview with Sam Kaner and Nelli Noakes
  6. Portrait of the modern knowledge worker
  7. Who is in for triple loop learning?
  8. Enabling change: a manager’s choice (and a leader’s decision)
  9. Opportunity costs of documentation and how to make it work…
  10. Putting learning loops and cycles in practice

PS. and if you were wondering where I will go on holiday, this picture could give you some idea…

Roc

See you in 2-3 weeks!

Blog holiday and top posts in the past 5 months


Al final! Vacaciones! En España! Andalucia! Andalucia, Spain (Credits: Benjamin Bay) Andalucia, Spain (Credits: Benjamin Bay)

Before I set off for two weeks most likely well disconnected from the marvellous online world of knowledge and learning for change, hereby an overview of the most popular posts on this blog since 1 January.

It has been a really hectic period around this blog, culminating with the recent launch of the Knowledge Management for Development Journal issue on ‘Facilitation for development‘, the launch of my ‘agile facilitation’ blog and the AgKnowledge Innovation Process Share Fair which fed a couple of posts: Agile KM / development / facilitation and the fair of the year? and Participatory decision-making vs. Liberating Structures, a facilitation showdown (on AgileFacil)

Hereby the top posts, from most popular to least popular (and in bold the posts that were written these past five months):

  1. Managing or facilitating change, not just a question of words
  2. Knowledge management strategy development: Taking stock
  3. Of ‘healthy human systems’ beyond ‘the field’ and facilitating conversations that change the world: an interview with Sam Kaner and Nelli Noakes
  4. Tinkering with tools: Asessing Asana
  5. Enabling change: a manager’s choice (and a leader’s decision)
  6. Use quality face-to-face time for synergy, not for logorrhea
  7. Agile KM from ‘SMART goals’ to ‘practice SMARTS’
  8. Who is in for triple loop learning?
  9. Share Fair Addis: Fishbowl and fishbowl battle
  10. Portrait of the modern knowledge worker

See, read and engage with you in over two weeks!

Andalucia, here I come! (Credits: BikeSpain) Andalucia, here I come! (Credits: BikeSpain)

Musings of the past week, and a blog experiment


Last week was very rich in conversations that relate to this blog as my organisation was holding its annual communication and knowledge management review and planning meeting. And on the back of that, lots of great free-floating conversations with colleagues and friends…

The blogging experiment this week: one short working out loud post every day (Credits: Jonolist / FlickR 'Random Musings')

The blogging experiment this week: one short working out loud post every day (Credits: Jonolist / FlickR ‘Random Musings’)

 

So I start this week with lots of ideas in mind to further develop as blog posts, including:

  • What is it that the focus on processes can really bring to sustainable development? Is it all and only about the micro-patterns of learning, engagement, or even about getting to a higher level of consciousness that would help us think differently about development?
  • In relation to this, what are genuine examples of ‘triple loop learning’? And in relation, why does no one want to fund ‘social learning’ and attempting to reach that third loop?
  • Thinking about all kinds of platforms that help us save time make informed decisions about e.g. which social media to use (non profit tech for development for instance)… and taking stock of stock-taking exercises…
  • Wondering about Facebook for organisational work – a good idea? A dangerous approach? Is there such a platform as mentioned previously that can inform me well about this?
  • Using Fridays for creativity – what could be the best ideas (and boundaries) to make it work?
  • I’m also having to facilitate a Powerpoint hell trip and wondering what to do about this and in relation, wondering about setting up a blog specifically on facilitation.

…Lots of ideas, lots of questions, lots of blogging material…

And the blogging experiment will be to try to do a series of Seth Godin‘s: a short ‘working out loud’ post every day… Let’s see if I manage to get to this 😉

Happy 2015! The year of the creative, intelligent, gentle, thoughtful and honest goat


Hello everyone!

Happy 2015!

Happy year of the goat!

Happy new year of the goat (Credits: Abejorro34 / FlickR)

Happy new year of the goat (Credits: Abejorro34 / FlickR)

 

Though technically we’re not there yet, the Chinese zodiac hails the goat as an animal gifted with all the titled attributes above.

So for me this means I’ll try to impersonate as many of these qualities as I can on this blog in in my life. It will be another intense year at work I’m sure, and lots to cover on knowledge management, leadership, social learning, facilitation, coaching, collective intelligence, engagement and collaboration, tools approaches and practices, intelligence and emotions.

I don’t have a starting post to offer – though my next post is lined up and will unravel the ins and outs of collaboration killer app ‘Asana’ – but I want to leave you with a short list of some of the resources I’ve saved on my Del.icio.us bookmark collection of late (or will soon), may these resources stimulate your creativity, intelligence, thougtfulness, honesty etc.

In no particular order except when I came across these resources…

And finally, since happiness is still a important feature of every year:

Happiness large

 

May this year of the goat bring you this and much more 🙂