Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 146 - August 2012


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Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 146 - August 2012


  1 Introduction to the August 2012 Knowledge Letter
  2 Death by degrees, certification and accreditation
  3 85% of KM initiatives have no clear stated objectives
  4 McKinsey Global Institute sees the value in social knowledge management
  5 Education as a public act has tremendous power
  6 Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2012
  7 Upcoming Events: August 2012
  8 Upcoming Engagements August 2012
  9 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
10 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the August 2012 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

Every month, I receive a half-a-dozen or so emails from people asking me all sorts of questions about knowledge management.

If I have the time and feel sufficiently knowledgeable in the area of their question then I do my best to reply but whether I can reply at length or not I always point them to the Gurteen Knowledge Community forum on LinkedIn.

Let me give you an example. Anita Malik recently emailed me to ask whether I thought the number of Communities of Practice in an organisation should be limited or unlimited. I shared with her my view on the topic that they should not be too tightly controlled but I was well aware that many other people had different perspectives and experiences who could answer her question and help her far more than i ever could and so I pointed her to the forum where you can see the lengthy discussion that emerged.

Clearly, Anita got far more out of this discussion than any answer I could ever have givne but the value is far, far greater. By posing the question publically everyone who took part in that discussion got to learn and of course also those who on only read the thread benefited too.

And this discussion is now there as a record. If anyone asks me the same question again - then I can point them to the discussion and so can others.

This open or public form of learning is very powerful indeed and I believe over time will have a transformative impact on the world.

I have touched on the idea in the past in this article Raising all the ships on the sea and this recent post of mine Education as a public act about David Weinberger and his thoughts on the subject.

We need to make our education public.

Death by degrees, certification and accreditation    (top | next | prev)

If you are wrestling in your mind with the problems faced by education today or maybe more narrowly the issue of knowledge management certification and accreditation then I think you will find this article Death by Degrees a very provocative and stimulating read with a great deal to think about and reflect on.

Here is a taste:

The original universities in the Western world organized themselves as guilds, either of students, as in Bologna, or of masters, as in Paris.

From the first, their chief mission was to produce not learning but graduates, with teaching subordinated to the process of certification -- much as artisans would impose long and wasteful periods of apprenticeship, under the guise of "training," to keep their numbers scarce and their services expensive.

For the contemporary bachelor or master or doctor of this or that, as for the Ming-era scholar-bureaucrat or the medieval European guildsman, income and social position are acquired through affiliation with a cartel.

Those who want to join have to pay to play, and many never recover from the entry fee.

I have always been attracted to the idea of doing away with certificates, exams and all forms of testing and accreditation as I believe the downdside is too great - see what Alfie Kohn has to say on the matter.

Having read the article, I am close to being convinced - imagine the joy of learning if it were untainted by tests, certificates and exams.

85% of KM initiatives have no clear stated objectives    (top | next | prev)

According to the slide on page 7 of this KPMG presentation from September 2011 (Via: Nick Milton).

  • 80% of companies in a recent survey said that they had KM initiatives under way.
  • Of those companies, 85% had no clear stated objectives for their KM initiative.

I am not too sure of the accuracy of this statistic but it certainly stacks up with all my experience and gives added weight to my "Don't do KM" mantra and the KM talks that I give:

You don't do KM! You respond to business problems and develop business opportunities using KM tools.

McKinsey Global Institute sees the value in social knowledge management    (top | next | prev)

I have been talking about Social Knowledge Management for over 5 years ever since I gave a talk at Online 2007 entitled KM goes Social and more recently edited the book Leading Issues in Social Knowledge Management.

But Social KM is only slowly catching on compared to "social marketing".

Maybe the McKinsey Global Institute will give it a bit of a push with their recent report on The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies where they say
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that twice as much potential value lies in using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises. MGI's estimates suggest that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers -- high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals -- by 20 to 25 percent.

They hardly mention the term Knowledge Management never mind Social Knowledge Management in their report but this is what they are really talking about.

Education as a public act has tremendous power    (top | next | prev)

This is a wonderful little video post from David Weinberger where he talks about the tremendous power of Public Learning.

This is what he says in conclusion, starting at 3:43 :

In the knowledge network ... the idea is ... that all learning should be in public and be something that makes the public better.

It improves the public. The act of learning, the act of education or teaching are done in public so that others will learn from.

And this idea of education as a public act has tremendous power, tremendous benefits, because it makes the entire network, the entire ecosystem smarter.

If we can apply this within our businesses, our educational system and beyond then our own knowledge network will become much smarter, much faster.

I agree with David. The potential to transform the world through open, public learning is huge and I beleive there is no stopping it.

If you don't know of him, David is a very interesting guy with some very deep knowledge and insights as to the nature of knowledge and learning. He has had a huge influence on my thinking on organizational conversation and my knowledge cafes.

I have put together a YouTube playlist of some of his more interesting videos.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2012    (top | next | prev)

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for July 2012 - August 2012. Take a look, if you are not a Tweeter, you will get a good idea of how I use it by browsing the list of micro-posts.

If you like the Tweets then subscribe to my Tweet stream.

Upcoming Events: August 2012    (top | next | prev)

Here are some of the major KM events taking place around the world in the coming months and ones in which I am actively involved. You will find a full list on my website where you can also subscribe to both regional e-mail alerts and RSS feeds which will keep you informed of new and upcoming events.

KM Brasil 2012
22 - 24 Aug 2012, Sao Paulo, Brasil

The 8th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM 2012)
04 - 06 Sep 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be running a short Knowledge Cafe and a 1-day Knowledge Cafe workshop at this conference.

i-KNOW 2012
05 - 07 Sep 2012, Graz, Austria

Wissenstag österreich 2012
05 Sep 2012, Graz, Austria

KM Singapore 2012
05 - 07 Sep 2012, Singapore City, Singapore
I won't be at KM Singapore this year.

13th European Conference on Knowledge Management
06 Sep - 07 Jul 2012, Cartagena, Spain
I won't be at ECKM this year.

Gurteen Knowledge Cafe Workshop
26 Sep 2012, Rotterdam, Netherlands
I am running a Knowledge Cafe workhop in Rotterdam in September

Congressional Knowledge in Practice #kip12
27 Sep 2012, Rotterdam, Netherlands
I will be speaking at this conference.

KM Conference 2012: Strengthening Organisational Performance through KM
07 - 09 Oct 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I will be speaking at this conference and running an internal workshop.

KMWorld 2012
16 - 19 Oct 2012, Washington DC, United States

KM LatinAmerican 2012
22 - 26 Oct 2012, Buenos Aires, Argentina

14th KnowTech 2012
24 - 25 Oct 2012, Stuttgart, Germany

KM Asia 2012
06 - 08 Nov 2012, Singapore City, Singapore
I will be chairing KM Asia this year with Karuna Ramanathan. I will also be giving a keynote talk and running a Knowledge Cafe workshop.

Upcoming Engagements August 2012    (top | next | prev)

Here are my main engagements over the next six months or so. Its prime purpose is to allow you to know where I will be so you can attend my public events if you wish or to meet or hire me.

You can see a list of my immediate activities below or you can find a full list here.

Running a Knowledge Cafe for SABC Media Libraries
03 Sep 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be running a private Knowledge Cafe for SABC Media Libraries

Giving a private talk on Knowledge Management
03 Sep 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be giving a private talk on Knowledge Management

Running a Knowledge Cafe and Knowledge Cafe workshop at ICKM 2012.
04 - 06 Sep 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be in Johannesburg from 28 August to 8 September 2012 for ICKM 2012

Running two private Knowledge Cafes with the Drum Cafe
06 Sep 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be running two private Knowledge Cafes in partnership with the Drum Cafe

Giving a keynote talk and running a knowledge cafe workshop at Congres Kennis in Praktijk
26 - 27 Sep 2012, Rotterdam, Netherlands
I will be in the Netherlands the week of the 24th September 2012

Giving a talk and running a workshop at a KM Conference in Kuala Lumpur
08 - 12 Oct 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I will be in Kuala Lumpur the week of the 8th October 2012

Running an open Knowledge Cafe In London
17 Oct 2012, London, United Kingdom
I will be in London on the 17th October 2012

Running an open Knowledge Cafe at Harwell Oxford
24 Oct 2012, Oxford, United Kingdom
I will be near Oxford on the 24th October 2012

Co-chairing and running a workshop at KM Asia 2012
06 - 08 Nov 2012, Singapore City, Singapore
I will be in Singapore the week of the 5th November 2012

Running a public Knowledge Cafe workshop in Dubai
19 - 23 Nov 2012, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I will be in Dubai the week of the 19th November 2012

Subscribing and Unsubscribing    (top | next | prev)

You may subscribe to this newsletter on my website. Or if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter or if you wish to modify your e-mail address or make other changes to your membership profile then please go to this page on my website.

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based KM newsletter for knowledge workers. Its purpose is to help you better manage your knowledge and to stimulate thought and interest in such subjects as Knowledge Management, Learning, Creativity and the effective use of Internet technology. Archive copies are held on-line where you can register to receive the newsletter.

It is sponsored by the Knowledge Management Forum of the Henley Business School, Oxfordshire, England.

You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to friends, colleagues or customers, so long as any use is not for resale or profit and I am attributed. And if you have any queries please contact me.

Gurteen Knowledge
Fleet, United Kingdom

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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