Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 44 - 11th February 2004


First Published

February 2004

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter is a monthly newsletter that is distributed to members of the Gurteen Knowledge Community. You may receive the Knowledge Letter by joining the community. Membership is totally free. You may read back-copies here.

*** The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter (Issue 44, 11 February 2004) ***

A few weeks ago I ran my first Learning Event "The One Minute
Pitch: Making Concepts and Ideas work" with Jon Thorne see:


For me and judging from the feedback of the participants it was a
great day. We all learnt a great deal from Jon. In particular we all
learnt the power of a very simple concept that is at the heart of
Jon's teachings - that in order to sell intangible concepts like KM -
you must focus on the outcomes - focus on the "what" and not on the

To sell an idea - you need to get people to agree to "what needs to
be achieved" - not "how to do it" - once you have agreed the "what" -
the "how" is so much easier to agree as you are not all pulling in
different directions. Jon gave us real life case studies to work on
where we were not allowed to talk about the "how" or use KM buzz
words like "communities of practice", "tacit knowledge" and the like
- we had to talk in everyday business language that everyone could
understand and focus on "outcomes".

Seems obvious - seems easy - but its NOT. As one participant
commented "This workshop I found was extremely challenging and
difficult - but that was good as it meant that there were learning
opportunities. This new way of looking at things is a refreshing real
way forward for KM."

The one thing I learnt was that this idea of focusing on outcomes
could be used not only to 'sell KM initiatives' in organizations but
could also be used as a project management or change management tool
to help agree the way forward or as a personal tool to figure out
what you want to do with your life.

I'm sure I'll be talking a lot more about 'outcomes' in the coming
year :=)

*************************** CONTENTS ***************************

1 - What's your Google Number?
2 - Managing Organizational Complexity
3 - The Concept of Presence
4 - Anne Frank
5 - The times they are a changing ...
6 - Social Networks
7 - Unicom Events in the UK
8 - Blogging the Market
9 - Policy Futures in Education
10 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar
11 - What's New?

****************** WHAT'S YOUR GOOGLE NUMBER? ******************

I recently came across this interesting article on the web entitled
"What's your Google Number?" by Valdis Krebs. This is how it starts:

The Google Search engine has become the Swiss Army Knife of the
Internet - it has more uses than finding relevant web pages.

Some of the uses are infringing on the domain of Human Resources. It
is easy for a boss to do a background check on a potential new
employee. With Google, the potential new hire can turn the tables,
and do a pretty decent background check on the new boss!

Google’s greatest application as an ‘HR tool’ is not in the
corporation - it is out among the free agents, consultants and
entrepreneurs who live and work by reputation and experience. It is
here where ‘Google numbers’ become very important.


Tom Peters' Google number is 120,000 and Peter Drucker's 140,000. Mine
is a mere 13,500. So what's your Google number?

************** MANAGING ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY **************

My 3rd Knowledge Conference - Managing Organizational Complexity is
coming up in London very soon now - on 3rd March see :


Speaker/facilitators include:

Dave Snowden, Director of the IBM Cynefin Centre for Organizational


Professor Leslie Johnson , Director of the University of Greenwich
Business School


Annabelle Mark, Professor of Health Care Organization, Middlesex
University Business School


I have also added a category to my website to cover the concept of
'organizational complexity' - I have a simple definition and a link
to a pretty good introduction to the subject.


So even if you can't make it - some material for you to reflect on

******************** THE CONCEPT OF PRESENCE ********************

silicon.com is one of my favorite sites for keeping up with hi-tech
news - well worth a look - one interesting article among many is this
one "Flexible working - where 'presence' is everything" by Anthony


What's 'presence'? This is how Anthony describes it:

"The concept of presence will be familiar to all users of instant
messaging. IM clients allow users to declare their availability to
colleagues and friends. This means they are able to immediately
contact the person if available. If a user is away from their desk
for some time, the system will report that there has been no activity
to stop any false positives."

For example, I use Yahoo Instant Messenger and on my website I have
provided a means to show my 'presence' by incorporating a few lines
of html that displays an icon at the bottom right hand corner of
each page that indicates if I am online or not.

************************** ANNE FRANK **************************

I work from home and the one TV channel that I watch when I do not
need to concentrate is the History Channel.

This week they have been running the Anne Frank story - a story I
have known for many years but one that never ceases to move me deeply.

In the program there were a number of small quotes from Anne's
diary that amazed me to be coming from a girl so young. So this
evening I searched the web for some more:


One of my favorites is :

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before
starting to improve the world."

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

*************** THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING ... ***************

The times they are a changing ...
By Sheila Moorcroft, Business Futures

Our approach to time is changing: it is becoming far less uniform.
Young people increasingly live in the moment, have 'just in time'
lifestyles based on readily available information about where they
are, who is around and what options are open NOW. The increased
access makes managing time very different.

Situations also change time. We want fast time, slow time, now time.
Companies will face a major challenge in managing relationships with
customers which respond to these different time frames and the
different types of relationship that will emerge both at different
times with the same person and across different groups.

=== footnote by David Gurteen ===
If you are as old as me then you will remember Bob Dylan's hit record
"The Times They Are A-Changin'" from 1964 - yes that's 40 years ago!
Just pause for a moment and reflect on the huge changes in the world
in that time! See Dylan's website for lyrics and audio clips! I can
still remember most of the words! Can you?


Sheila Moorcroft

************************ SOCIAL NETWORKS ************************

One of the hottest new areas in knowledge management is "social
networks" or "social network analysis". So much so I have added a new
category to my website to cover it. Not a lot there yet ... except a
few links to introductory articles on the subject and as ever with
all my category pages the ability to search the web in a variety of
ways for the concept in question.

So what is it? The best definition I have come across goes as follows:

"Just as a computer network is a set of machines connected by a set
of cables, a social network is a set of people (or organizations or
other social entities) connected by a set of social relationships,
such as friendship, co-working or information exchange."

and "social network analysis":

"Social network analysis [SNA] is the mapping and measuring of
relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations,
computers or other information/knowledge processing entities. The
nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show
relationships or flows between the nodes. SNA provides both a visual
and a mathematical analysis of human relationships."

More on Social Networks:

******************** UNICOM EVENTS IN THE UK ********************

If you are based in Europe then you may be interested in these two
events in which I am involved that are coming up in a few weeks time

24th February : Knowledge Sharing, Creativity & Innovation
This is a 1-day workshop I am running for Unicom Seminars based on a
series of workshops that I am developing to educate people in the
skills and mindsets that they need to be effective knowledge workers.

25th February : The Second Communities of Practice in Action
I chaired the first of these events for Unicom Seminars in 2003. The
event is very interactive with plenty of time for discussion and to
learn from each other. If you are interested in 'getting going' in
Communities of Practice I'd highly recommend it.

The normal price for both these events is £550 but is reduced to £350
for members of my community.

********************** BLOGGING THE MARKET **********************

Thanks to John Robb for pointing this article out in k-logs
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/klogs/) This is an interesting
academic paper, written by George Dafermos, about weblogs in
corporations - "Blogging the Market: How weblogs are turning
corporate machines into real conversations"

Note his empahais on the role of the 'human voice' - although I have
never met him I like this guy :=)


It has been repeatedly argued that the process/technology of weblogs
offers a novel approach towards the continuation of democratic public
discourse. Within the boundaries of the firm though, the
implementation of weblogs takes a whole new dimension to realising
that weblogs are more than the sum of its parts: more than vibrant
public forums and frequently updated streams-of-consciousness,
alternative forms of publishing and online outbursts of gonzo
journalism, and personal diaries.

They are the embodiment of online self-organising social systems, are
essentially characterised by management decentralisation and
ultimately threaten to destabilise current organisational structures
and re-invent the scope of management. Provided that weblogs are not
co-opted by rigid corporate policies that aim at stifling the
creative spirit that fosters innovation - one of the reasons for
having weblog communities at the first place - weblogs can be
successfully deployed within the organisation with a pervasive effect
across all the stages of the value chain "achieving a greater return
on connection from employee, customer and partner relationships". As
an extension, they can possibly involve all interested groups;
regardless of their level of attachment to the company.

In fact, weblogs have an infinite spectrum of potential applications
whose viability is based on the dual understanding that weblogs are
an attempt to break free from the dehumanised, standardised,
conformant with corporate guidelines on how to address an audience PR
speak that customers are increasingly sceptical of, and a flexible
virtual platform onto which a process of cross-fertilisation among
individual thoughts and ideas unfolds.

Weblogs, in other words, envisage a hierarchy circumvention
mechanism, which empowers knowledgeable employees to indulge in
conversations with the market rather than communicating solely by
means of marketing pitches and press releases that besides have
limited effectiveness in a connected market economy.

For years it has been suggested that online communities will
revolutionalise the way organisations operate, however, the only
social process/technological infrastructure that has reached this
potential and is dynamically evolving is the weblog. It takes no
technical savvy to set up a weblog and start talking to your

That's why weblogs are huge: they take the power out of the IT
department and the webmaster's hegemony and hand it over to where
knowledge really resides - to the individual workers who are
knowledgeable enough and know how to speak with a human voice. Now,
organisational structure loses its historic role of managing power
relations at a distance, and as a result the organisation becomes
truly hyperlinked and power shifts to where knowledge actually

Lots more on Weblogs:

More on conversation and 'human voice':

****************** POLICY FUTURES IN EDUCATION ******************

Michael Peters recently drew my attention to a new international
journal called Policy Futures in Education the first issue of which
was devoted to 'Knowledge Economy' including papers by Paul David the
Stanford economist & Dominique Foray the OECD economist, and many

It is available at

****************** GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE-CALENDAR ******************

Here is a list of some of the events on my site that are scheduled
over the next six months or so.

A Managed e-learning solution
16 - 18 Feb 2004, Oxford, United Kingdom

Intranet Peers in Government
19 - 20 Feb 2004, Sydney, Australia

How to Implement CSR Communications for Business Results
24 - 25 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Knowledge Sharing, Creativity and Innovation
24 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Communities of Practice in Action II
25 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Knowledge management: foundation programme
27 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Strategic Information Architecture Design
05 Mar 2004, London, United Kingdom

Story at Work
09 Mar 2004, London, United Kingdom

Introductory Usability Evaluation
11 Mar 2004, Kingston ACT, Australia

International Conference on Educational Multimedia 2004 (ICEM 2004)
15 - 17 Mar 2004, Quebec City, Canada

European Business Information Conference (EBIC 2004)
16 - 19 Mar 2004, Lisbon, France

Re-Designing Your Intranet 2004
16 - 19 Mar 2004, Sydney, Australia

SCIP04 International Conference & Exhibit
22 - 25 Mar 2004, Boston, MA, United States

Identifying and Managing Unstructured Information
23 - 25 Mar 2004, Sydney, Australia

The e.learning age Symposium
29 - 30 Mar 2004, London, United Kingdom

Planning and building a taxonomy
29 - 30 Mar 2004, London, United Kingdom

KM Challenge 2004
30 - 31 Mar 2004, Sydney, Australia

Knowledge and Value Network Strategies
01 - 02 Apr 2004, Sydney, Australia

Information Architecture Foundation Programme
22 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Demonstrating and Extracting the Value of Unstructured Information
26 - 27 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Breakthrough thinking in knowledge and information strategy
27 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Communities at Work
27 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

CROinfo 2004 Knowledge Management Conference
03 - 04 May 2004, Zagreb, Croatia

Culture begins across the channel
04 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

UKAIS 2004 Conference
05 - 07 May 2004, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Workspace at Work
18 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

Strategic Information Architecture Design
21 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

Learning Solutions 2004
25 - 26 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

Communities of practice
10 Jun 2004, London, United Kingdom

International Conference on Virtual Communities
14 - 15 Jun 2004, The Hague, Netherlands

Knowledge Summit 2004
21 - 23 Jun 2004, Noordvyk aan Zee, Netherlands

VI International Workshop on Learning Software Organisations
21 Jun 2004, Banff, Canada

30 Jun - 02 Jul 2004, Graz, Austria

************************** WHAT'S NEW? **************************

The following pages have been added to my website within the last
month. It does not include quite all of them as the list is typically
quite long. You can follow the What's New link below to my website
for the full list.

What's New:

Book: Make Success Measurable! by Douglas K. Smith

Book: The De-Voicing of Society by John L. Locke

Book: The Economics of Knowledge Sharing by Ernst Helmstädter

Weblog Entry: Theodore Zeldin on Inspiration

******* S U B S C R I B I N G & U N S U B S C R I B I N G *******

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***************** THE GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE-LETTER *****************

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based knowledge
management 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. It is
produced in association with the Knowledge Management Forum of Henley
Management College, Oxfordshire, England

You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to
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intact: "Copyright 2004, David Gurteen, All rights reserved."

David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge

Copyright 2004, David Gurteen, All rights reserved.

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
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