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I am thrilled that the latest project I have been working on with a number of other consultants has now been published.

True Tales of the Trout Cod has absorbed the last 9 months of my life and has been probably the most enjoyable project I have worked on in a very long time.  Will Trueman (author) has written the most amazing book.  He has spent a considerable part of his life studying the Trout Cod in the Murray-Darling Basin. He compiled the science, photographic evidence with the oral histories to match, and newspaper articles from the National Library of Australia’s Trove database to show us what native fish existed and no longer exist in the lower Murray-Darling Basin.

This is the best example of science communicated through story that I have seen.  It has been a great privilege to work with Will Trueman (the amazing author), Siwan Lovett (Director of the Australian River Restoration Centre), Richard Snashall (our brilliant film maker), Vikki Bell (our wonderful editor and indexer), Allison Mortlock (our graphic designer), Melissa Gabelle (our wonderful web designer) and Heleena Bamford (our fantastic MDBA project manager).

I have to admit to being a bit biased as my favourite part of the project was Will telling us about the importance of the National Library’s Trove database. The video link for this can be found here.  Although the story of how the Campaspe got it’s name is the most memorable – I cannot see the name Campaspe without thinking of his story. You will have to read the chapter to find out why !!

I hope you can take the time to explore the new web site and learn so much about the native fish of the Murray-Darling Basin – I feel I have learnt so much from Will and now see our river system with fresh eyes and find I am keen to see our rivers and streams restored and preserved.

Nerida

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Following on from the very successful Stakeholder Engagement and Evaluation workshop Graham Durant-Law and I ran in Melbourne as part of the actKM Annual Conference in October 2011, we are pleased to be delivering a further refined and updated version of this one-day workshop on the 14th of February 2012 in Canberra.

We all know intuitively that engaging positively with stakeholders makes a huge difference to the outcomes of any project, program, new policy initiative or its implementation.  If we get it right the results speak for themselves.  However, so often we get it wrong and the effort involved in retrieving a poor relationship can seriously detract from the effort involved in getting our core work done.

This workshop/seminar will take you through the processes of:

  • identifying your key stakeholders from the often large number of potential stakeholders,
  • how to engage those key stakeholders effectively using a number of narrative techniques,
  • how to identify the relationships that may be at ‘risk’, and
  • how to evaluate the results of effective stakeholder engagement in order to demonstrate ‘return on investment’ of positive relationships.

The seminar/workshop is aimed at middle managers who are responsible for stakeholder engagement and its evaluation.

Full details of the workshop can be found on Graham Durant-Law’s blog site where you will also find links to our registration site.

As an information professional, do you find you are constantly trying to prove your worth to your organisation? Many of us have learned to collect and aggregate statistics about our products and services, but what is the quality of service and value add we offer to our customers and our organisations?  As librarians we need to be able to effectively demonstrate the impact we have on our clients.  Not just how busy we are but where and how we make a difference.

Come along on the 4th of February 2011 when I will be conducting a 1 day course on How to evaluate your library and information service using narrative techniques.  The course will be run in Sydney after the Information Online Conference which is being held at the Sydney Conference & Exhibition Centre.

I have been conducting this course in the USA at the Special Libraries Association Conference for the last 2 years with fantastic feedback.  If you are interested you can download an Evaluating information services using narrative techniques flyer and a Registration form.

I have also co-authored a paper on this technique which was published in in Information Outlook in February 2010.  There is a version of the paper freely available (without diagrams) here.

I would love to see you there

Nerida

I can’t believe how quickly the annual actKM conference has come around again.  This is always my favourite conference every year in the knowledge management field.  I love the combination of a couple of speaking heads (not too many – just enough so the more conventional managers can see the traditional value of the conference) and the interactive sessions where you get to do and learn.  Over the years I have learnt so much from this conference that I use in my own workshops and presentations.  I love the challenging facts and figures as well as the new techniques and ideas.

It is also such good value with a price tag of $690.00 per person which includes 2 days of brilliant conference and the conference dinner – which this year will be held at Teatro Vivaldi on the ANU Campus.

The program is once again stimulating and different – for full details go to the conference website.  We  have also been fortunate enough to have David Gurteen back with us this year presenting on  Positive Deviance and KM.

After the conference on Wednesday the 20th of October, the Australian River Restoration Centre consultants (Siwan Lovett, myself and Matt Moore) will be conducting a 1 day workshop on Connecting Through Conversation : Narrative Techniques for Organisational Knowledge Sharing.  This one day workshop is designed to introduce participants to some knowledge sharing techniques which won’t break the bank and are simple to implement in your organisation. This one day workshop will only cost you $395.00 – can you afford to miss it?

We would love to see you there – or we can design the course for your location as well.

Nerida

I am starting to get quite excited as I am off to the Origins Asia Pacific Conference in Singapore and have also been asked to present.  I had already planned to attend as the topic is dear to my heart.  However, the invitation to present is even more exciting.

My current work with the Australian River Restoration Centre and previous work with both Land & Water Australia and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs allowed me to explore the concept of business narrative for evaluation as well as using narrative techniques to drill down into what was really happening in organisations.  I cannot imagine not using narrative on a regular basis in my work in the future.

Some of the best sites I have found in the last few weeks include Telling Science Stories on the American Geophysical Union web site and this in turn led me to the work of Randy Olson.  Randy is a marine scientist turned film maker and his short films and documentaries are just brilliant when it comes to using story to get across the message about science and the environment. His blog site the Benshi is not just entertaining but really gets some important environmental messages across.  My favourite is number 63 – a mockumentary about the life of a plastic bag.

When I return from the Origins Asia Pacific conference I will update this entry – I am sure I will have masses to talk about on my return.

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