Information is vital to communication and research, and it is a critical resource for effective performance to any organization. Many organizations use different sources of information for planning, trend analysis and managing performance. Finding relevant and good quality information is essential to inform all these processes, yet information can also be overwhelming.
Staff at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) spend much of their time in meetings, workshops, research, reading, writing, and communicating with other stakeholders within and outside ILRI on the telephone, face-to-face, using e-mail or across social media channels. This intense gathering, processing, and disseminating often leads to information overload. This is where good information management comes in.
Good information management involves handling a myriad of information sources and ultimately making decisions about what to do with it. To help staff, ILRI’s Knowledge Management and Information Services (KMIS) group helps ensure that ILRI’s information-processing systems are properly integrated, and that staff can gain access to necessary information from trustworthy sources.
On 28 August 2012, we organized a ‘Komms Klinics’ on ‘Finding and Managing Information’ to support smarter information, knowledge and communication in research. The team in Addis Ababa hosted this session for colleagues in Nairobi and Vietnam.
The needs assessment for this training was done on Yammer (a social media tool designed for company/organization collaboration, file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency). The facilitators then prepared content using our training wiki. To create awareness, an advert was posted on Yammer, Twitter, physical noticeboards (the ‘Kampus Kalendar’, i.e. ILRI’s corporate calendar), email and by word of mouth. This attracted some people to participate.
The Komms Klinics session covered a range of ways that individuals and teams can find and manage information, deal better with information overload, leverage the power of social media to their personal benefit, manage academic references and work in smarter ways for individual, team, and organizational benefit.
To address these, facilitators engaged participants in discussions and presentations on;
- What finding and managing information is;
- Tips on finding information as an individual or organization;
- Why, what and how to manage information, as an organization;
- Tips and tricks of personal knowledge management (PKM) and the ‘working out loud‘ approach
The next session on ‘Working with multi-media’ is scheduled for October 2012; the final awareness-raising session for this year is scheduled for 16 November 2012 addressing ‘Publishing and design.’
http://ilri-training.wikispaces.com/ has updated information on all our Komms Klinics sessions.