Characterizing Stakeholder Groups One of the main takeaways from last week’s open discussion was how multidimensional our stakeholder groups are It might be more effective to define stakeholder groups based on their characteristics, goals, environments, and so on The first thing we would ask our working groups to do at the Symposia is to prepare persona descriptions of the stakeholders they represent To support this, we need to identify a persona template and define the characteristics we want the delegates to describe
Task 1: Define Characteristics We need to have a set of characteristics for our working groups to use at the Summit What are these characteristics? What do we need to know about them? –Goals –Roles & Responsibilities –Technology Environment and Skills –Social Media Behavior –Personal Information –Pain Points –?????
Task 2: Activities There was support for several of the activities in the proposal The Center and its extension agents will not be able to support all of them in the first year -- which ones do we invest in first? Because networking, linking, leveraging seemed to be an important support activity – should we focus on establishing the virtual aspect of the Center in Year 1? Doug Weidner wisely reminds us that it is important to have Bulls and Squirrels – some few big efforts, but many more smaller efforts Should we ask the working groups each to build out a prioritized list of activities that would serve their stakeholders?
Recap of Products, Services, Outcomes, Outputs Last week we discussed the kinds of outputs, outcomes, products and services the Center should support We thought about what it would mean to move forward with all five pillars and realized that it would be a good idea to prioritize for the first year We had different views about which of the pillars to address and Richard suggested that we transform each of the activities into “verb-noun” phrases This helps us to think in terms of actions but also to consider what the outcome might be and by/for whom the activity might be launched – this is a Takeaway for the Summit – we need to have these developed for the working groups
How do we “staff” the Center? This week we want to discuss how Center should support these activities – within the extension service network, leverage and link model How does a knowledge extension service work? What can we borrow from their model? What do agricultural extension agents do? Does this work for knowledge extension agents?
Agricultural Extension Agent From Virginia Cooperative Extension website – Virginia Tech… “An Extension Agent provides leadership in determining, implementing, and evaluating educational programs which are designed to solve social, economic, and environmental problems in agriculture and natural resources. The agent is an educator, an information provider, a needs assessor, a problem solving resource for clientele, and networks with the agricultural industry, specialists, extension agents and the agency” A knowledge extension agent provides leadership in determining, implementing, and evaluating knowledge science methods which are designed to solve social, economic, civic, labor and workforce, technology, and business problems. The agent is an educator, an information provider, a needs assessor, a problem solving resource for clientele, and networks with _______________?
Knowledge extension agents: Work closely with business, community leaders, civic leaders, community groups, …… to identify and prioritize issues, problems and opportunities. Use visits as a means to remain knowledgeable of specific local needs and problems related to issues associated with the transition to the knowledge economy; Cooperate with other universities, institutions, organizations and agencies as needed to strengthen or extend programs. Foster communication among all of the Center’s stakeholders
Knowledge extension agents: Identify potential knowledge society and knowledge economy leaders and help develop their capacity to accomplish community and industry goals. Maintain a high level of proficiency in knowledge sciences practices by participating in-service training and professional activities. Creative and effective use of media to inform residents about current knowledge sciences practices and educational opportunities; Provide and interpret current knowledge sciences research- to citizens by employing various delivery methods targeted to diverse audiences; meetings/workshops, short courses, field days, tours, on- site research, demonstrations, and other appropriate teaching methods.
What kind of support models make this happen? Who are the extension agents? Are they grad students? Visiting scholars? Business and community associates? Do faculty contribute their time? Community volunteers? How do we engage them? Project by project, activity by activity, for periods of time? It depends on the engagement? Do we begin by building a community infrastructure for the Center? Do we start with students and grow? What is the set of engagement models we need to have in place for at least the first three years?
Engagement Models Should we begin with a directory of stakeholders who are willing to contribute to solving problems, and to bringing problems for solution? Do we need to be able to assemble Expert teams? Should we leverage masters and doctoral students to support short term projects or proofs of concept? Should there be opportunities for post-doctoral research fellows? Should faculty be available for advising? Should we pull together faculty teams from across universities? How should we work with and collaborate with other centers and institutes?
Task 3: Engagement Models How should we present this task to the working groups? Should we give them a definition of a knowledge extension service model and knowledge extension agents and ask them to build from that? Do we ask them to identify the models based on the activities and the community/persona models? What is your advice?
Golden Rules of Knowledge Sciences Rule of Hand Offs – always look for others to adopt and move your ideas forward, don’t try to own it Rule of Inner Humility – discover the inner motivations of others and work towards them to gain adoption, try to downplay your own role and works toward the goals of others Rule of Codification vs. Personalization – these two approaches may work at cross purposes. Either distinguish and support them differently or chose to support one. Rule of Self-Reflection – build in regular opportunities for self- reflection. Each activity the Center engages in should be put through a self-reflection process at the end.
Golden Rules of Knowledge Sciences Rule of the Community – Avoid focusing on the Great Leader. The community and the individuals who make up the community are where your knowledge value lives. Rule of Failure – Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Not trying is a definite failure. Learn from mistakes. Don’t expect perfection as there is little learning value in perfection. Rule of Humility – be cautious about declaring victory and success as there is always something more to learn and some greater value to be achieved. Humility offers many new opportunities to learn and it allows you to keep pushing your goals forward. Rule of Small – Work at the small scale level and multiply the small success into larger results and outcomes.
Golden Rules of Knowledge Sciences Rule of Alignment – always align your knowledge efforts with the organization’s goals and objectives, with their “b”usiness model. Only aligned efforts will be sustainable and have a lasting result. Rule of Responsiveness – Always seek and respond to requests for engagement. Look to the front line in any organization to effect change. Rule of People – Knowledge sciences and knowledge management is a people based domain. Engaging people is the primary model.