Weather update: Still overcast, with scattered showers predicted throughout the day.
The workshop continued from where it left off yesterday, with project coordinators explaining their problem trees. Once again, peer review featured largely in this process. Among other issues, the trees highlighted the plight of Ghanaian people who often fall sick after consuming vegetables that are exposed to contaminated water; the power of storymercials in getting a message quickly and succinctly to the people that matter; and the difficulties associated with monitoring and evaluation in a project that is spread over five countries.
Peer review pointed one project leader in a new direction, highlighted oversights in the problem tree of another, and generated a lively discussion on the effectiveness of storymercials.
One participant felt all types of commercials were “subtle and deceptive”, while another argued that some TV networks run commercials that are, for the most part, more appealing than the scheduled programs.
As with all feedback, the receivers were tasked with deftly separating the grain from the chaff.
Appreciative Inquiry: Gems or Crystals
While the problem trees were being digested, Andrea Carvajal presented an infomercial that highlighted the use of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a KS tool that can help capture the positive features of a project and energize the team members to strive for a higher level of performance. More information on this tool can be found under the Tools section of the KS website.
Consensus was not reached on the effectiveness of AI. One project leader extolled its virtues as a tool for communicating a project’s logic, while another asked, somewhat tongue in cheek, “Where are the crystals?” This was a reference to the touchy-feely, new age reputation that some people have accorded certain knowledge sharing activities.
The Second Perspective
Boru Douthwaite then introduced the participants to network models and explained how they give an actor-oriented perspective to a project, capture real-life complexity, and clarify innovation processes.
Key actors in each project were identified, and network maps were developed to reflect the current status of each project, showing the relationships and different levels of power that the various actors have relative to the each other.
Check out our afternoon update for more on these models!