Create conversation spaces

Curation is more than integration, writes Rick Segal in Forbes [via Robin Good]. Segal discusses how marketing is about curating all the conversations around a subject.

In truth, curation has more to do with the multi-participant communications flowing in the stream of social media conversation …

Now, marketing communications must be framed by the conversation, and not just by the marketer, but by all the parties to the conversation …

A conversation is not like an exhibit hall. It’s physical boundaries are potentially limitless, though most can and will exhaust in time. The membership of a conversation is certainly not always well-controlled. A new meme or raconteur can abscond with it, if we’re not careful. Not everything that shows up belongs. But the great curator, like the great raconteur, is always two or three stories or anecdotes ahead of the rest of the table.

Now think of this from a workplace performance perspective. Solving complex problems also requires “multi-participant communications”. In the network age, learning is conversation. But aren’t training courses more like “exhibit halls”? They are prepared in advance, checked for quality control, and delivered with the best look & feel. Conversations are messier with ill-defined boundaries; just like work and just like life.

Informal Learning Conversations

Personal knowledge management is akin to pre-curation. If we look at workplace performance support as curation, then creating spaces for conversation would be an obvious component. Getting all the necessary parties involved in workplace conversations can enhance knowledge-sharing and contribute to greater diversity of ideas, a necessity for innovation. I think training & organizational development can learn a lot from marketing, but of course I’ve said that before.

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