Expertise Workshop in Washington DC on November 10th

Thanks to the generous support of the National Defense University in Washington DC and some hard work by Neil Olonoff, Gretchen Schlag, Jeff Alexander, Janet Scheitle, Janice Herd and others, we’ll be offering a free workshop on “Managing and Leveraging Expertise” on November 10, from 8am to 2pm. Full workshop details are given below. There is limited capacity (25 max) so participation is by first come first served registrations to Dr Brenda Roth at . Do circulate this notice among any Washington DC colleagues you think might be interested.

Venue: Room 184, Marshall Building (Building 62), National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington DC
Timing: 8am to 2pm (15 mins coffee break at 10am; 1 hour lunch break 12-1pm)
Cost: free, but you will need to cover your own refreshments at the cafeteria (we’re looking at whether we can kick the day off with coffee and danish)
Pre-workshop: you might find it useful to take our expertise survey at
Directions: Directions sheet here. Do aim to arrive early to get through security.

The Workshop:
The workshop focuses on how organisations value and leverage (or fail to value and leverage) the expertise and experience of their people, so we prefer a diverse, multi-organisation group if we can get it.

The workshop activities are:

1. Introduction to our leveraging expertise project (presentation format)
2. Sharing stories/examples of how expertise/ experience are valued/not valued in participants’ own organisations (group activity)
3. Working with these stories and other stories from other organisations to identify common themes, values and patterns of behaviour (large group activity working on walls/windows around the room, tagging and clustering stories)
4. Thinking about intervention design to meet the issues identified (group work to discuss specific participant cases and to examine possible approaches – using our KM Method Cards as an aid).

The Benefits:

For participants it’s an opportunity to look at issues around expertise and experience management, compare issues with other organisations, and think about possible approaches… as well as an exposure to the narrative sensemaking techniques we use. As participants in the project they will also get access to the final report.

The Background:
Patrick Lambe and Matt Moore are running a public narrative research project on how organisations value and leverage their expertise. The social and organisational context of expertise management is not well understood – most research has focused on cognitive aspects of acquiring expertise, or generic knowledge transfer issues.

Our project starts by gathering examples of how expertise is actually managed or mismanaged across a wide variety of organisations and geographies. We are running a series of sensemaking workshops to identify significant patterns in these narratives, and the DC workshop is one of these. We have completed workshops in Australia and Dubai and will conduct another sensemaking workshop (with Nancy Dixon) in San Jose on November 16.

The story material produced by other workshops is at, and at the raw outputs of the workshops are at (which we plan to consolidate and analyse early in 2010). We are also currently running a survey to explore some emerging questions from the first cycle of workshops, at Workshop participants should complete this survey if they can.

The final stage of this project aims to use the sensemaking material to develop an open source framework, diagnostics and toolset for better exploitation and management of expertise in organisations.

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