Understanding the Group Knowledge is a team building activity that helps the team understand the group knowledge and abilities, as well as the intentions and actions towards increasing it.

Running the activity:

  1. Ask all the participants to list all knowledge and abilities we believe a team like ours should have.
  2. For each item, answer the following question: How do you feel as a group about these? Please place the listed items at the appropriate area:
    * We know that we know – it is clear to the whole group that we do have this knowledge.
    * We didn’t know that we knew – the knowledge existed within the group, but it was not clear to the whole group that we had this knowledge.
    * We didn’t know that we didn’t know – the knowledge does not exist within the group and no one was aware of it.
    * We know that we don’t know – the knowledge does not exist within the group, but we were aware of it.
  3. Give participants another chance to list items to the “we didn` t know that we don` t know” quadrant:
    “So think again about the things we didn’t know. Things of which we weren’t aware. Things we have to investigate further in order to understand and figure out what it is that we don’t know.”
  4. Have a conversation about the items on “we know that we know”, as well as the desire to move all important knowledge to this quadrant.
  5. Read the items for the three remaining quadrants and mark the intent to move such items according to the following questions (consider drawing arrows for indicating the items’ movement):
    * What are the items we should move from “we didn’t know that we knew” to “we know that we know”?
    * What are the items we should move from “we didn’t know that we didn’t know” to “we know that we don’t know”?
    * What are the items we should move from “we know that we don’t know” to “we know that we know”?
  6. Add action items on a different post it color to indicate the actions individuals are doing for improving the team’s knowledge.

Ignorance is not a bliss! Despite the popular saying, an effective group of people must understand the overall group knowledge. This activity is very useful in clarifying that and, even more important, it enables the team to align the actions they want to take towards increasing the group’s knowledge. This activity is inspired by the conscious competence learning model, also known as the four stages of competence.

 

Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.

CURTISS, Paul; WARREN, Phillip. The Dynamics of Life Skills Coaching. Prince Albert, 1974.