Narrative learning for knowledge architecture: credentials

Narrative learning combines the use of collaborative social internet technologies with the professional media’s long-proven publishing practices to capture and enable learning by sharing and making sense of what is known by any disparate group of individuals.

It works in much the same way as media does, exploring, picking up, transforming, polishing and presenting previously unexplored community knowledge in a consistent, comprehensible cycle of assumption-checking, “double-loop” learning. (Double-loop learning entails the modification of goals or decision-making rules in the light of experience.)

In applying this, my professional skills are almost certainly scarce, and, as being, to the best of my knowledge, the instigator of narrative learning, I believe myself possibly uniquely qualified and experienced at present to take on this work.

For one, I am a national newspaper-grade sub-editor and former employee at the Australian Financial Review newspaper group at Fairfax Media in Sydney. That is, in my professional publishing role, in writing, I am a paid sense-maker.

I am also a qualified former UK marketing manager, with research experience.

Perhaps more pertinently, I have an MBA (Technology) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, whose forward- looking focus is on creating the organisations of the future, through the management of organisational strategy, knowledge, innovation, new product development, sustainability, people, culture and change, as driven by technology.

I also have first-hand experience of the collaborative workplace publishing practices of which I write. In 2013, I worked on documentation for a major software development at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, using collaborative workplace social technologies, from which much of my hands-on learning has come.

Please read the related LinkedIn post, based on that experience, Some rules for effective workplace wiki publishing.

Narrative learning itself can be deeply strategic, as it is concerned with preparing an organisation and its intellectual resources for its future, and its own adaptability to change in the face of its competitive needs for perpetual digital transformation and evolution.

I first got excited about the scope for collaborative innovation and learning in 2006 on reading the work of then Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee on the potential of “Enterprise 2.0.” McAfee’s insight was that the traditional barriers to innovation result when people with ideas are hindered by distance or hierarchy, or simply by not knowing who is whom, who is qualified, interested or accomplished in what, or even that each other exists.

Yet through blogs and wikis, McAfee and his supporters proposed, an organisation could open up and enable those within to identify and reach each other and thereby capitalise on the specialised sum of personal knowledge of those within the firm, wherever it could be found. And they could be effective in capturing precisely the emergent organisational learning that results from change.

Through that reading, my skills and subsequent study, I discovered a passion for documenting and transforming knowledge to drive organisational learning, using the best tools ever invented for the purpose.

Through my work as a director of Shiro Architects, I also acquired an innate interest in how the “knowledge architecture” of faster learning organisations will inevitably transform their workplace strategies, behaviours and knowledge communities.

On the back of researching and publishing a piece entitled, The evolution of workplace strategy into a discipline of FM (http://bit.ly/2n8fR39), for Australia’s Facility Management magazine, I was invited to chair an expert panel session addressing the evolving workplace at the Total Facilities Conference at Darling Harbour, Sydney, in March 2017.

As knowledge productivity will likely come to feature more prominently as a concern in office environments, better, more scientific processes will emerge for evolving their design in alignment with the knowledge and needs of tenants and their teams.

As the workplace becomes increasingly virtual and remote, workplace configuration itself must necessarily centre on the evolving design of the work the organisation must execute, the knowledge it must articulate and capture, and the tools it uses to continue to do so.

This means, as its impacts will inevitably be felt in both physical and virtual dimensions, however the organisation of commercial community is exercised, organisational learning, development and transformation will likely become every bit as important in the businesses owning and operating commercial property as in all others occupying it.

Please contact me at either at graham@knowledgearchitecture.com.au, via graham@shiroarchitects.com, or @cloudcitizen at Twitter or LinkedIn (grahamlauren) if you’d like to know more, or call direct on 61 + (0) 416 171724.