On Wednesday morning this week I was fortunate to have the opportunity to facilitate a World Cafe as part of the Institute for Information Management conference and Information Awareness Month here in Canberra.  This was a fantastic experience and the 35+ participants came away with some really meaty foundations for the development of a Community of Practice around Information Governance.

So what is a World Cafe (or variation called a Knowledge Cafe) – it is:

A structured round of conservations to:

  • Create an open, creative conversation on a topic of mutual interest
  • Unearth collective knowledge to share ideas and insights
  • gain a deeper understanding of the subject and the issues involved
  • build and improve relationships
  • improve business networking and make new connections
  • better decision making and innovation
  • generate tangible outcomes
Why Information Governance? This is a topic which is often not fully appreciated in organisations and is ‘the set of multi-disciplinary structures, policies, procedures, processes and controls implemented to manage information on all media in such a way that it supports an organisation’s immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk, environmental and operational requirements. Wikipedia.’
The topics covered by each table included:
  • Objectives / mission / goals / length of life
  • Rules / protocols / etiquette
  • Format and frequency of meetings
  • Virtual or physical or both?
  • How the CoP would be governed and coordinated?
  • What would be the topics covered?
  • What would our online presence look like?
  • How do we know if its working or not?
  • Criteria for disbandment

This is a great way to get your Community of Practice started as it engages those who are interested and provides a sound foundation for going forward by setting out what it is you are trying to achieve as well as the risks along the way.