When evaluating the impact and success of our work, many times the focus seems to be on different kind of numbers representing e.g. the utilization rate, operating income or amount of publications. It is of course necessary to follow the statistics, but we think that in order to have any success in our efforts to reach our vision of becoming one of the best research teams in the area of Service Science, we need to concentrate on what really matters, i.e. the competence and knowledge of the team members as well as the substance of our work.
As there are researchers representing many different backgrounds and disciplines in our new team, we need to establish as broad and as common understanding of our current doings as well as our future research vision as possible. This of course requires a lot of interaction and discussions between the team members.
Substance Quarters – communication on what really matters
As one tool for internal knowledge exchange, we’ve launched informal gatherings called Substance Quarters (SQs). This is a succesful practice copied from another team inside VTT. Our team’s SQs are arranged every Friday morning and their purpose is to share and discuss about different kind of interesting and relevant research topics, concepts, studies, papers etc.
At the beginning of an SQ one of the team members presents a short 5-10 minute introduction to a topic according to his/her preference. Any method can be used, for example slide shows, videos, pictures, or drama. The idea is to build the presentation so that it allows other to relate to the topic regardless of how different their own research interests are. After the introduction there is plenty of time for discussion. From most of the presentations a blog posting will also be submitted here in the team’s blog. This way also all you blog readers can participate in this knowledge sharing and building exercise.
Stay in tuned for more communication tools and methods used by our team and feel free to share yours!