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Squarewise: KM's Soap More Slippery Than Suggested
Last week I spent three days on the KM in Europe conference in Amsterdam.
The first presentation I visited was by Squarewise under the title "Why KM is not different from selling soap." I was kind of intrigued by the title. The image I had of this Dutch company is that they approach KM with a lot of sense, and I hoped that this presentation would give me a glimpse of how they combine abstract insights with the practical. It is in that that so much other consultancies seem to fail often.
It was visible that the three people presenting spent a lot of effort in preparing their presentation, and also that they seemed to be pleased with what they had come up with.
What they totally failed to do however was to make a connection to the audience. Here you had three presenters together staging a well rehearsed but obviously fake conversation (read from cue cards). They acted out a conversation, with one playing the Eplaining Expert, one the Colleague Seeing the Light, and the third, the Commentator Who Summarizes the Message. After it ended all present were invited to 'come to the Squarewise Lounge' where you would be able to ask questions and have a conversation with them. Free coffee coupons at the door.
What if they had used this half an hour to try and make a connection to me and the rest of the audience, to strike up a conversation with me right there and then, telling me about their experiences and inviting interaction? We were all in the room, ready to listen and be listened to. Instead we were shown a live television commercial, ending in an invitation to put in some additional effort to be able to talk to them. What about the effort of coming to them already? Their little play did nothing in the way of providing a starting point for conversation, it merely added to the unlikelihood of it. A waste of their own effort, and a waste of ours. KM apparently is too slippery a soap to get a grip on every now and then.
(But at least they were not the ones saying that to be able to manage intellectual capital you had to 'find out in which database it resides first', as Verity did.)
I will be at another event early december where I will in all likelihood meet people from Squarewise as well. Maybe we will be able to have a genuine conversation then.Permalink | TrackBack | Waypath