Six tips to improve the best free Knowledge Management tool available today

Conversation, the lubricant for knowledge flow

Conversation, the lubricant for knowledge flow

So, what is the best free Knowledge Management tool?


Conversation is the lubricant to knowledge exchange and, in the right hands, or is that mind or mouth, it is the most valuable knowledge management tool available today. The problem is that so many people do a bad job of it. They don’t think about the structure of their face-to-face or text based conversations and they are not making the most of the best free knowledge management tool available to them.

Here are six tips to get your conversations and knowledge flowing (this comes from a range of work, but credit for shaping this blog should go to Loren Ekroth, a conversation specialist in the US):

  1. Ask “What” instead of “How” – “What were the key points to come out of the meeting today?” versus “How did the meeting go?” – The latter tending to elicit shorter, less detailed answers than the former.
  2. A bit more obvious, but ask an ‘open’ question -  “What do you like about the Community of Practice?” versus “Do you like the Community of Practice?”
  3. Take a lesson from improvisational actors, accept what is offered to you in a conversation and try to avoid rejection, which can stop the flow – “No, I don’t think so” versus “Yes, and…”
  4. Ask an interesting question – “What’s the most challenging thing you’re facing at work at the moment?” versus “How are things going at work at the moment?” – The latter being a more routine question that elicits routine answers
  5. Use the power of “If”! “If I gave you $100,000 today for a Knowledge Management project, what would you do with it?”
  6. Don’t ask a question that you are not prepared to answer yourself

There you have it. The best free Knowledge Management tool improved. The rest is up to you.