Articles / Curation

A guest post by @CraigTaylor74.

Pick a subject, any subject…

OK, perhaps not ‘any’ subject but it’s a fairly safe bet that if you look back over the last few years worth of programmes, courses etc that you’ve run in your organisation, a significant number of them will be around generic subjects with generic content i.e.

  • Health and Safety
  • Leadership and Management
  • MS Office updates/rollouts
  • Compliance
  • Coaching

How many of these (or similar) did you create content for?

Was there a genuine need for creating that content?

Could you have taken publicly available content, structured it into a coherent programme and then provided your own organisationally-contextual narrative around the content?

If the answer to the final question was ‘Yes’ (or you could see the value in doing so) then you are part of a growing number of people who are curating readily available online content to form part of, if not all, of their programmes content.

The benefits of taking a curated approach as opposed to a traditional face-to-face course or self-paced elearning course are:

  • It will almost always provide a much faster solution for your people
  • There is a reduction in cost to your organisation
  • It will start to bring about a change in the way that people consider how they can learn

A recent example of this centred around the development of content to support people having ‘difficult conversations’. Given that the general principles and approach to this subject are fairly generic, it was decided to curate readily available online content and use it to form an online programme within a Learning Management System (which is also where the forum that is mentioned below was contained), however the content could just as easily be contained on an intranet page, a PDF or email (forgoing perhaps the forum) or even within a purpose built tool such as Curatr or!

The outline below is what I came up with…


As a manager or supervisor, being able to talk about sensitive and emotive issues is an important part of the job but it’s also one of the toughest. If handled badly, these conversations – about performance, conduct or personal matters – can damage team dynamics, lower morale and badly effect levels of attendance and performance.

Watch Carole and Nick have a difficult conversation and get it wrong.

What 3 things would you do differently if you were in Nick’s position?


The ability to be able to talk about very sensitive and emotive issues is an integral part of effective line management and can be critical to managing performance, promoting attendance and improving team dynamics.

This useful guide to challenging conversations by Acas has been written for line managers. The practical advice given is equally relevant to managers in small or large organisations.

Why not print off pages 18-20 and keep them in your desk drawer, just in case you ever find yourself in this position?


Alliance Leadership executive coach Caty Everett says it’s critical to address the matter directly and develop a shared understanding of expectations going forward.

Caty offers a range of ideas in this video. Are there any that you think ‘just wouldn’t work’ within my organisation and why?

Blog Post

In this Harvard Business Review blog post by Peter Bregman he tells a story of a difficult conversation he was involved in outside of the workplace, the conclusion of which highlights a very simple, important, yet overlooked point – Ask Questions!!!

Have you ever had to have a difficult conversation outside of work? How did it go?  If you’re comfortable in doing so, why not share your story and what you learnt from it with others via the social forum?

Mobile app

The Goodpractice iPhone mobile app contains a range of resources to assist you in your role as a people manager, including information on handling difficult conversations.

NB: The link to the app store may not work from my organisation’s network, so you are advised to search for the app from your iPhone/iPad

If you download this app and use it please let me all know how you’ve got on with it via the social forum.

When have you used it? What content have you found useful? Was there anything missing that you thought would be included?

Hopefully this has provided you with a ‘real world’ example as to how:

  • a collection of seemingly disparate online resources can be brought together into a single programme
  • additional context from yourselves as the curator can help to promote reflection from the reader
  • the inclusion of a social aspect (i.e. the forum) can promote deeper thinking, collaboration and networking opportunities within your organisation

If you’d like any assistance with implementing curated content within your organisation or would like to chat about the concept in general please contact us.

Posted: 25 November 2013

Tags: Content management Learning