Thanks to Kate Pugh and Nancy Dixon: Conference call practices #conference-calls


John D. Smith <john.smith@...>
 
Edited

In their presentation about knowledge harvesting a couple months ago, they
used a document stub that caught my attention. I've used it with Shawn
Callahan to write up a bunch of related methods that I thought might
interest some people on this list.

Conference call practices to generate knowledge and record learning http://web.archive.org/web/20180608183611/http://learningalliances.net/resources/conference-call-practices/

Would love to hear any feedback, comments, heckles...

If there are any specific traditions in our calls that I should incorporate,
it would be especially helpful to have them pointed out to me! :-)

John
*
* John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
* Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
* Foundations of Co Ps workshop starts Jan 28: http://web.archive.org/web/20071219085522/http://www.cpsquare.org/edu/foundations/
* “We are what we eat, and we think what we practice.” -- Geoffrey Bowker


Pugh, Katrina <katrina.pugh@...>
 
Edited

John –

 

This is a great overview of the possibilities for real-time capture of knowledge during the call, and it nicely extends the channels of engagement and collaboration opportunities.  

 

You asked for some inputs.  A good addition would be to dig into the facilitator’s role in drawing out people (and their knowledge) in the conversation. You mentioned, scanning and alluding to concurrently typed notes that might not have been raised.  But it would be great if you could talk about what really gets people engaged in the conversation. How we, as facilitators, draw then in. Here are some things I try to do (sometimes clumsily, I admit!):

 

-          Referencing previous conversations of this group (or stated interests of people attending)

-          Recapping where we are in the agenda, or what we’ve learned so far

-          Reminding people of the ground rules (especially, “Respect the speakers and process. Please don’t do your email – even when your fingers aren’t tapping and your tongue’s not flapping, be with us.”)

-          Voting or polling (online or just doing a round-robin)

-          Get more voices in there by design (e.g., Get report outs,  Share responsibility for agenda items)

-          Do a bystanding comment (e.g., “We started here, he said this, and we came here. Do people want to return to the topic or dig in here?”

-           “Check in” at the beginning, so that each person’s voice is in the room (e.g., get a roll-call an, if time, a sentence or two on what they are doing)

-          Crack a few good jokes

 

I developed this while at Intel, where I’d be on 8 hours of virtual calls a day.  I think I saw the worst and best, after logging about 5,000 hours.  I’d love to hear what other people are doing to facilitate online meetings or knowledge harvests?  What works for you?  

 

Thanks, all!

Kate

 

Katrina Pugh
VP, Knowledge Management
IT Center of Excellence
Fidelity Investments, Personal and Workplace Investing
400 Puritan Way M3J
Marlborough, MA 01752
(O) 508 357 3236
(M) 781 258 0920
katrina.pugh@...
Email
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From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of John D. Smith
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2007 7:51 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Thanks to Kate Pugh and Nancy Dixon

 

In their presentation about knowledge harvesting a couple months ago, they
used a document stub that caught my attention. I've used it with Shawn
Callahan to write up a bunch of related methods that I thought might
interest some people on this list.

http://tinyurl.com/yot4bo or:

http://www.learningalliances.net/index.php/resources/conference-call-practic
es/

Would love to hear any feedback, comments, heckles...

If there are any specific traditions in our calls that I should incorporate,
it would be especially helpful to have them pointed out to me! :-)

John
*
* John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
* Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
* Foundations of Co Ps workshop starts Jan 28: CPsquare.org/edu/foundations
* “We are what we eat, and we think what we practice.” -- Geoffrey Bowker

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.17.11/1200 - Release Date: 12/27/2007
1:34 PM

 


lindamhummel <linda.hummel@...>
 
Edited

Re: John Smith's work on Conference call practices to generate
knowledge and record learning. This is very good and thorough
information on the process of setting up and extracting the most
knowledge sharing benefits from conference calls, especially from
the technical aspect of available tools and techniques. I agree with
Kate that the "during the call" section could be expanded to
identify ways increase participation. This moves it more into the
cultural or human aspect, and Kate provides many excellent
suggestions (I particularly like the crack a few jokes suggestion).

Based on my experience working in virtual situations (where
essentially every meeting involves someone who is participating by
conference call) and in creating/deploying a Community of Practice
framework, here are a few more suggestions or lessons learned:
- Having a solid agenda is key, but be flexible in modifying
if needed
- If you are working with a global group, the time zone issue
will be one of the most challenging. If a CoP is very large, it can
be broken into two groups, for example, North and South America is
one sub group, Europe and Asia another. Then each group can more
easily find a suitable meeting time. On a less frequent basis, both
groups meet as one(say once or twice a year) but continually share
their notes. This is where John's ideas could facilitate even better
sharing of notes and ideas. There needs to be one overall CoP lead
or coordinator.
- Again on time zone, if the group is smaller (say less than
10) but still globally dispersed, try to find a time that is
tolerated by most. For example, my KM team at Teradata spans the
globe from West coast to East coast of US, London, Spain, Tokyo and
sometimes Australia. What I found – after experimenting with
different days and times – was that Fridays worked best for most
people on the team, with one person joining at 6 am local time and
others at the end of the day and one still at night (which worked
best for that associate personally).
- Incorporate a post-meeting survey every quarter or so – asks
the participants what is working and areas for improvements; then
modify your process accordingly.
- Finally, I would say the SIKM meeting is an example of a
best practice for generating and sharing knowledge. While the notes
are done on an individual basis, the majority of calls are recorded
and stored for future use. Perhaps as a community SIKM can "pilot"
some of John's ideas on using chat or taking notes?

Best regards,
Linda Hummel, Director Global Knowledge Management
Teradata® Corporation
Cell: 937-304-3156
KM Blog: http://blogs.ncr.com/roller/KM/


Stan Garfield
 

Here is the reply from Bernadette Boas.


From: Boas, Bernadette M [Bernadette.Boas@...]
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 6:38 PM
To: John D. Smith
Subject: RE: [sikmleaders] Re: Thanks to Kate Pugh and Nancy Dixon
 
John,
 
I apologize, I have been swamped and unable to respond in a timely manner. I had seen and read your article as well as the follow up.
 
I initially read your article and perceived it was about the technical components and capabilities for capturing and sharing the knowledge gained from conference calls. However by the response, there appears to be some perception that it was to include overall best practices for executing conference calls (or remote Communities), and capturing and sharing knowledge; as folks mentioned COP's, the facilitator, etc...  I would support their perception.
 
Your article definitely highlights technologies that could be used for conference calls; and the ideas provided are very useful; it is key to capture audio, real time chat and note capture (reviewed by group prior to end of call to validate accuracy of discussion), as well as post summary recaps of the overall meeting (reviewed. However, the success of any conference call is providing 'value to the attendee that makes them WANT to not only attend, but actively participate and contribute'. And you would benefit from positioning that as the foundation for your best practices. Because without that, your audio, instant chat and recap summary will be blank, or at least boring (other than possibly the jokes).
 
So, as Kate and Linda note, the prep is key, the during critical and the post a great result to benefit not only the attendees but hopefully additional folks. I may repeat what they have said on some things:
 
Having an agenda is important, but what topics of discussion make up that agenda are key. Need to identify the areas of interest or even pains of the attendees that would make them want to contribute. This can be done by requesting input prior to the call, a simple survey, a broad topic of interest survey (that is then prioritized by attendees that sets a roadmap of discussions).
 
Then they will show up....so, then be sure the facilitation of the call is made a priority. A facilitator must be identified and act as a facilitator (they cannot be active participant and facilitate effectively). They need to understand the topics, the motivation from the group that created the agenda, that way they can help to draw out the discussion and collaboration from the group. They do not need to target people (that is a turn off), but certainly request input from the group.
Linda's suggestion regarding a quarterly (or more frequently if needed) survey to assess the effectiveness of the recurring calls is critical. As well, you could have interactive questions throughout the call that assesses interest and value (as noted below).
 
As noted below, a recap of prior discussions, insights, etc... help the attendees to level set the discussion, feel good that they were listened to and understood, etc. It is critical that both the facilitator and scribe do 'not' create their own words or thoughts, they should scribe and recap verbatim or close to specific comments. This reassures understanding, helps attendees to recall discussion, as well provides value to attendee that their comments were valued.
 
Also, a key lesson, depending on size one scribe may not be able to capture everything, so you can even assign out the different agenda topics to folks, as well as having an overall scribe. This ensures that multiple people are actively listening and capturing.
 
Also the facilitator must scribe or capture key talking points, action items, and comments that can be recapped at the end of the call - if you are not using real time note taking and viewing (which is distracting to me personally).
 
Post meeting - recaps are key along with a copy of the audio for not only recall by attendees, but also for those who have not intended, as well as extended individuals who would benefit from the detail (and the members should be told that they should share it).
 
I often have a few, if not all, members of the call review the notes captured prior to distributing. This would depend on the size of the call, but I never send out notes that have not been reviewed by at least one other person. And as noted previously it is critical that at the end of the call the facilitator summarizes key talking points, issues, action items with owners/due dates), and next steps - this reinforces active listening, understanding and accountability to all.
 
On the technology points:
  • Using various media is key to capturing knowledge, sharing it in real time, and storing it for future use (to attendees as well as extended individuals).
  • It has to be simple and free of things that will distract or disrupt the planning or execution of the call. Nothing turns folks off more than that they cannot even access the call detail, material or discussion.
  • The ideas you and the others captured on the technologies is dead on.

But, bottom line is, the overall best practice for knowledge sharing and collaboration is the Value of the Purpose (or agenda) for a Call (meeting, etc.). Your technologies will be blank, empty or silent if you do not have the topics that will get people actively contributing. So as Linda and Kate state, the human aspect of executing calls is critical.

I hope this is helpful, please share this with the group as well. And HAPPY NEW YEAR .

Bernadette Boas