Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 121 - July 2010


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.

Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 121 - July 2010


  1 Introduction to the July 2010 Knowledge Letter
  2 The Lazarus Effect
  3 Don't teach a man to fish, inspire him to fish his own way!
  4 Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin
  5 Hot tweets: July 2010
  6 Does willpower have its limits?
  7 Do your employees think speaking up Is pointless?
  8 KM Newsletter from the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation - South East Asia
  9 KM Event Highlights
10 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
11 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the July 2010 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

First off, thanks to all of you who e-mailed me congratulations on the 10th year issue of this Knowledge Letter. I still can't believe I have been writing it for so long :-)

And second, a reminder, if you would like a hard-copy of the Inside Knowledge Gurteen Knowledge: 10 Years in KM supplement then see here for more information about how to request one. So far 130 people or so have requested and received a copy.

Last month, I asked if you would tell some of your friends and colleagues about this Knowledge Letter and encourage them to subscribe. For those of you that did - a big thank you. But I have only had twenty or so new subscribers as a result of this. So can I ask again :-)

Please, will you tell people about it. Email them or post an entry on your corporate intranet or whatever but help me push the readership through 20,000 by the end of the year. Point them here for back copies and to sign-up: http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/knowledge-letter. Thanks.

The Lazarus Effect    (top | next | prev)

I came across the Red Campaign by accident when browsing my RSS feeds. Wondering what Red was I clicked through and discovered a film called The Lazarus Effect. Thirty minutes later with tears streaming down my face I came to end of the video. Watch it - is one of the most moving videos I have seen in a long time.

I know little about HIV/AIDS and I did not know how effective antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) could be.

To see these wonderful people literally brought back from the brink of death is so moving.

It seems that over 3 million people are receiving ARVs across Africa but still 3,800 people in Africa die every day from AIDS.

It costs 40 cents a day for the treatment!

Don't teach a man to fish, inspire him to fish his own way!    (top | next | prev)

Gautam Ghosh recently blogged on the Indian Way of Learning.

In the embedded video Devdutt Pattanaik makes the statement that while the rest of the world believes that "Feed a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and he will not be hungry again" in India the belief is "help him discover his own way of catching fish, because then that is his own!"

I so liked this, that I tweeted it and in turn it was automatically posted onto my Facebook wall. I was then delighted when Ana Neves chipped in with this comment "Or introduce him to some fishermen who can fish for him in exchange for something he can do really well :-)"

Love it!

Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin    (top | next | prev)

I have recently deleted the Google Group: The Gurteen Knowledge Forum as it was several years old and rarely used.

I have moved its activity over to the Gurteen Knowledge Community group on Linkedin. This group has almost 1,000 members and is now the central discussion forum for the Gurteen Knowledge Community.

You can see more information here and register, if you are not a member. Please, please join-up and start to use the forum, as apart from Facebook, it is the best place to meet and have discussions with other members of the community.

If you are not familiar with LinkedIn or not a member, could I encourage you to take a look. Its effectively the professional business equivalent of Facebook and to my mind anyone who is not a member is not taking their career or professional life seriously :-)

Also, please do connect with me, out of the 17,000 members of my community who receive my knowledge letter about only about 2,500 of you are connected to me personally and only about 1,000 are members of the LinkedIn Community group.

Hot tweets: July 2010    (top | next | prev)

I have been Tweeting since 11 February 2007 and tweet most days when I am not too busy. That's over 2,800 tweets in a little over 3 years. Other then my website and this knowledge letter of course, it is one of my main ways of sharing and communicating.

I have never tried to capture and store these Tweets in anyway. I had assumed Twitter threw them away after a certain time period but recently I discovered BackupMyTweets which has allowed me to capture all my past Tweets as an HTML file (it supports other formats too) and hence create a page on my website for all my past Tweets.

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. And if you like what you see then subscribe to my Tweets.

But what it does also allow me to do - is to share with you a few of my favourites each month:

Does willpower have its limits?    (top | next | prev)

This is an interesting post on Willpower and its limits from Johnnie Moore that comments on a report on research from Scientific American: Setting your mind on a goal may be counterproductive. Instead think of the future as an open question.

It has aspects in common with Dave Snowden's thoughts on From communication strategies to emergence and Ellen Langer on Mindful Learning.

This is the kind of research that is so important as it questions ways of thinking and working, so deeply entrenched that we take them for granted. For example, how many self-help books go on and on about the importance of clarifying and focusing on your objectives. Wouldn't it be tragic if this were actually counterproductive?

I am very much in the camp of "figure out broadly where you want to go and the rough direction and start walking today" - you never know you may see things along the way that are far more appealing than your initially desired destination and the walking is part of the living :-) Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau.

Do your employees think speaking up Is pointless?    (top | next | prev)

I recently read an interesting article on Do your employees think speaking up Is pointless? I think there are many reasons why people do not speak up and ask questions or make suggestions in meeting. Here are a few:

  • I might ask a stupid question and make myself look foolish.
  • I might ask the speaker a stupid question and make him or her look foolish.
  • Who am I to ask questions?
  • I have never asked questions in my life. It doesn't even occur to me to ask questions.
  • I don't feel confident in this group of people.
  • I am an intensely shy introvert.
  • I have asked questions in this setting in the past and have been put down by the speaker or others in the room. I am not taking that risk again.
  • It was a great presentation. I just don't have any questions to ask.
  • I was so engaged in the presentation that I did not take time to think of questions to ask. And you have given me no time to reflect.
  • In the past no one else asks questions its not just done.
  • If you try to force me I will just clam up.
  • This presentation was totally boring and I am not going to spin it out any longer.
  • Although they ask for questions - they don't really want any - that's why they leave so little time.

Fear in various forms is one of the strongest reasons but in the article it is stated that futility was 1.8 times more common than fear as a reason for withholding ideas from direct supervisors in a large multinational corporation

I have had several conversations recently with clients who have problems getting people to speak up and contribute in meetings. It is always difficult to advise them without being there to observe and without knowing the history or the culture of the organisation. Several managers have told me that they do their best to encourage participation; that they ask for questions and even refuse to end a session until say they have had three questions from the group. But like all targets - this fails - people will ask a few easy, safe questions, to get the hell out of there.

To my mind, the managers are still trying to do things to people i.e. make them ask questions rather then work with them.

This is where I think Knowledge Cafe format type meetings play a part: simply allow people to have informal conversations about things that matter to them - don't try to force them into a rigid workshop format or Q&A sessions. Get them talking together and asking questions of each other in a natural way.

Once you stop talking at them and allow them to engage with a topic, questions, comments and good ideas will naturally follow. You still need to listen, enegage with them and act though else that futility will set in!

KM Newsletter from the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation - South East Asia    (top | next | prev)

My good friends at the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation - South East Asia in Bangkok publish a great quarterly KM Newsletter called "Scientia", which is the Latin for Knowledge (I didn't know that!)

You can see back copies and sign-up here or read the latest July 2010 issue on-line in Calameo.

Its in English and Thai.

KM Event Highlights    (top | next | prev)

This section highlights 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.

World Library and Information Congress
10 - 15 Aug 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden

Implementing a Knowledge Cafe
25 Aug 2010, London, United Kingdom
Yet another opportunity to learn how to run and apply Knowledge Cafes.

11th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2010)
02 - 03 Sep 2010, Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal
I will be attending this event for the seventh year in succession.

KnowTech Pre-Conference Tutorial with David Gurteen
14 Sep 2010, Bad Homburg, Germany
This is a Gurteen Knowledge Masterclass - my first in Germany.

KnowTech 2010
15 - 16 Sep 2010, Bad Homburg, Germany
I will be giving a keynote talk at this conference and running a pre-conference workshop.

KM Singapore 2010
16 - 17 Sep 2010, Singapore City, Singapore

KM Egypt 2010
21 - 22 Sep 2010, Cairo, Egypt
I will be speaking at this event. My first trip to Egypt!

7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2010)
11 - 12 Nov 2010, Hong Kong, China

KMWorld & Intranets 2010
16 - 18 Nov 2010, Washington DC, United States
This event will be in Washington DC this year but I won't be attending.

KM Asia 2010
23 - 25 Nov 2010, Singapore City, Singapore

Online Information Conference 2010
30 Nov - 02 Dec 2010, London, United Kingdom

Online Information Asia-Pacific 2011
23 - 24 Mar 2011, Hong Kong, China

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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