The Bird Island Game

I like learning games, and I especially like the Bird Island game invented by the guys at Knoco (thanks Kaye for the link), and written up in the April edition of Inside Knowledge magazine.

The game has you trying to build a tower out of stationery supplies (as tall as possible). Then you try out an after action review and then a peer assist with other groups (which normally help you build taller and better). Finally you can access the best practices “knowledgebase” which has been built up by the Knoco guys over a decade of running the game with different groups. There’s a very explicit link to using KM techniques to improve performance.

I like the way Nick and Tom also thought about the danger that over-reliance on best practice might inhibit innovation, and that they seem to have re-ignited the innovation by introducing constraints (eg with the materials).

Of course, as a learning game, this only gives one (very clean) strand of the KM picture, it completely misses the whole area of organisational politics, culture, competing objectives and priorities, and less easily measurable outputs that KM usually has to deal with, but it is a very nice model for communicating the value of specific KM techniques.

And I like people who share. Kudos to Knoco!


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