I am blessed in that I love my job and the discipline I work within (knowledge management, AKA “KM”). I don’t mix it with the Glover Gardens blog very often, because, well, because one is one thing (my work, that I get paid for) and the other is another (my hobby, in which I trot out my musings). But you’ll sometimes see posts inspired by my colleagues, or in which my colleagues are the star players. This one is similar, except that instead of a colleague from my company, it’s about a peer from another organization within our realm, an organization across the world.
I met Jan from The Netherlands at the annual KMWorld Conference, at a “storytelling in business” workshop I was running in partnership with one of my colleagues. Jan’s company is an extremely prestigious one, an international non-profit, and he is a leader in the area of intellectual property.
My colleague and I were both immediately taken with Jan, because he sat in the front row and got immediately engaged, making us feel that our 3-hour workshop would be successful for at least one of the attendees. Jan’s enthusiasm for the topic was evident, and he embraced the ideas, methodology and strategies we were teaching immediately. Our session was dynamic and fulfilling, and Jan was a big part of that, along with the other attendees.
Jan developed and told two stories as part of the workshop activities, and they were spell-binding. I won’t try to capture them here, because he might do it for us. In post-workshop conversations, Jan learned about Glover Gardens and agreed to be a guest blogger. Isn’t that wonderful? I’ve always been open to content from others, but haven’t yet been able to convince anyone to take the plunge.
So, since I don’t mix my work and the Glover Gardens blog, how did this conversation get started? Well, it was a poem that Jan wrote. About the storytelling workshop. Really. He wrote a poem about his workshop experience. Wowza! I’ve been doing KM for a long time, but no one has ever written a poem about their experience with it, or me! Here’s Jan’s poem:
For them it was just anther one,
As they've given workshops like it before,
Some things were similar to what I had already done,
But put together like this has struck me in my core.
Kim and Tammy, this went under my skin!
I recite poetry, I can't even tell since when.
Now I've learned from you what I've always been:
I'm a storyteller! I'll never hide it again.
So, of course, after Jan shared his poem, I had to tell him about my haiku and other poetry, all available in this little blog. Jan was very interested, and we became fast friends. Jan is now on my list of The Wonderfuls (the people you meet along the way).
And so, you can look forward to a poem from Jan about his grandmother, and hopefully, other stories that he is yearning to tell. After all, this is a multifaceted blog, for multifaceted people.
UPDATE: Jan’s beautiful tribute to his grandmother is now available.