Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 56 - 13th February 2005


First Published

February 2005

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 56, 13 February 2005) ***

I have been working over the last few weeks to improve my website by
providing a number of e-mail based services. I told you about two
such services last month:

Quote of the Day:

New Book Alert:

Over 250 people have already signed up!

I have now added a "new event alert". This is a little more
sophisticated. It will inform you of events within your region that
have been newly posted on my website and will also optionally send
you an e-mail once a week to remind you of events taking place within
your region within the next month.

New Event Alert:

I hope you find these services useful. From the feedback I have
received people love the 'quote of the day'. You can receive it just
once a week or everyday if you are a "quoteaholic"!

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

1 - Cynefin Certification Programme
2 - KnowledgeBoard Update
3 - Dave Snowden CD-ROM Masterclases
4 - Revenge of the Right Brain
5 - Understanding Wikipedia
6 - Global Knowledge Review
7 - Ivan Illich
8 - Bit-Torrent
9 - Getting Buy-In
10 - Meaning Scales
11 - Open Source Biology
12 - Firefox Extensions
13 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar
14 - What's New?

**************** CYNEFIN CERTIFICATION PROGRAMME ****************

As many of you know Dave Snowden has left IBM and his Cynefin Centre
for Organizational Complexity has moved with him. A new Cynefin
website is under construction and worth bookmarking:


Also, if you are interested in attending a 4-day programme 31-March
to 3-April 2005 at the University of Greenwich, London on Cynefin
frameworks, tools, and methods and to begin the process of Cynefin
certification then see:


If you book before the 28th February and quote the booking code
"gurteen" then you will receive a 10% discount on the course fees.

********************* KNOWLEDGEBOARD UPDATE *********************

We are very proud of our new journals listings, with free KM articles
from some great publishers:


On Thursday 24th February, we will be hosting the first ever online
meeting with an EC project live during its review - join us with the
Wear-IT team in the hotseat:


*************** DAVE SNOWDEN CD-ROM MASTERCLASES ***************

Since I started selling Dave Snowden's CD-ROM Masterclasses on "Using
Narrative in Organizational Change" and "Emergent Knowledge
Management" early last year I have shipped over 50 copies around the
world. If you are interested in Dave's work take a look, I have a
short excerpt online - Dave at his provocative best :=)


****************** REVENGE OF THE RIGHT BRAIN ******************

A great article here from Wired Magazine by Daniel Pink on the new
skills required to thrive in the knowledge world. A couple of quotes:

"We've progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory
workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we're progressing
yet again - to a society of creators and empathizers, pattern
recognizers, and meaning makers."

"Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work,
and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were
the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and
deployed by CPAs. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But
they're no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing,
deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter
most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right
hemisphere - artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing
the transcendent."


I often wonder what in 100 years time we will call this 'age' we are
entering ... I suspect it won't be called the 'information age' or
the 'knowledge age' :=)

******************** UNDERSTANDING WIKIPEDIA ********************

Have you ever wondered how Wikipedia works? How does a page get
edited by hundreds of people and not fall into chaos? If so, then
take a look at this 'screencast' that describes how a page on
Wikipedia has evolved over a period of two years. Don't forget to
turn your speakers on. The 'show' is hypnotic ... as the author of
the screencast says:

"It's a wonderfully silly topic, but my point is somewhat serious
too. The 8.5 minute screencast turns the change history of this Wiki
page into a movie, scrolls forward and backward along the timeline of
the document, and follows the development of several motifs. Creating
this animated narration of a document's evolution was technically
challenging, but I think it suggests interesting possibilities."


******************** GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE REVIEW ********************

Have you taken a look at the Global Knowledge Review yet?

We are almost up to issue 5 and you will find four past articles
on-line see:


The full September 2004 issue is also still available to download for


And take a look at the contributors; their weblogs and personal


I am a little biased but I think I have gathered together a great
bunch of writers - many whom I know well and have met but others whom
I have never met but feel I know equally as well :=) I just love
scrolling down the page of photos/bios and seeing the faces from all
over the world!

************************** IVAN ILLICH **************************

A little while back I discovered the work of Ivan Illich and since
then seem to keep tripping over references to him on the web. The
most recent in an interesting blog by Matt Mower:


I so agree with Matt about taking "responsibility for ourselves".

This in turn took me to an interesting bio page for Ivan:


and to this remarkable quote from him:

"I believe that a desirable future depends on our deliberately
choosing a life of action over a life of consumption, on our
engendering a lifestyle which will enable us to be spontaneous,
independent, yet related to each other, rather than maintaining a
lifestyle which only allows to make and unmake, produce and consume -
a style of life which is merely a way station on the road to the
depletion and pollution of the environment. The future depends more
upon our choice of institutions which support a life of action than
on our developing new ideologies and technologies. (Illich 1973a: 57)"

If you are not familiar with his work - take a look - he was an
outstanding and controversial thinker and so ahead of his time. This
is what Wikipedia has to say about his book "Deschooling Society"

"The book is more than a critique - it contains positive suggestions
for a reinvention of learning throughout society and throughout every
individual lifetime. Of particular relevance here is his call (from a
1971 perspective) for the use of advanced technology to support
"learning webs". Many characteristics of these as described relate
strongly to the nature and use of the WWW in general, and strongly to
the workings and ideals of this Wikipedia."

My ideals too :-)

Ivan Illich:

************************** BIT-TORRENT **************************

Sometimes, I overlook new and exciting developments. It took me a
while to cotton on to weblogs but I still managed to do so before
most :-) But how come I missed picking up on a new technology called
BitTorrent? I do not know! The concept is rather techy but quite
awesome and hugely speeds up the download of large files. Take a look
- it is COOL.

See here for a good description:

Here for a background article:

And here to download a BitTorrent client - its the one I am using and
it works just fine:

And here for some BitTorrent files to download:


************************ GETTING BUY-IN ************************

I would like to tell you about a workshop "Getting Buy-in : How to
ensure your organizational initiatives succeed" that I am running in
just over a week's tome on the 22nd February - facilitated by a
tremendous guy called Jon Thorne. To my mind, what Jon has to teach
is something that all of us need to learn if we are to be successful
in getting things done in our organizations.

Have you ever had to pitch to your senior management team for the
budget for a new project? Have you have had to try to persuade the
people in your organization to change the way that they work? Its
hard work isn't it? You are in competition for scarce resource and
people's time. And it frequently ends in failure!

What Jon has to teach however are some simple yet powerful techniques
that hugely increase your chances of getting buy-in for such
initiatives; obtaining the resources you need and making the change
you wish to see happen in your organization.

What I love about Jon's ideas are that they also apply at the
everyday level. How many times have you wanted someone to do
something for you. Maybe you have wanted your boss to pay for a new
software tool, maybe you have needed his or her permission to attend
a course or to borrow that new departmental graduate for a few months
to conduct some research. And yet again how many times do such
requests fail?

Jon has been working in this area for many years and he is full of
enthusiasm and energy. He ran a similar workshop for me a year ago
that was a huge success and has also run a lively knowledge cafe for
me on a similar theme that people still talk about a year or more
later! So I can personally vouch for Jon's credibility.

If you would like to lean more about the event, including some
insights into his methods then look here:


This event is supported by KnowledgeBoard:

************************ MEANING SCALES ************************

Please please read Hugh Lloyd ... I just keep going back to his
website ... here is how he starts a recent posting ... and oh btw I
love his cartoons but if they are not your taste or they offend you
then don't dismiss Hugh's ideas because of them :-)

We are entering "The Creative Age". We have started to look for

We are hungry. Meaning is the prey.

That doesn't mean we suddenly quit our accountant jobs and go back to
film school, or give up selling real estate and start cranking out
our first novel.
Some of us might, but not all. That would be far too predictable.

It means we're starting to recognize that our work is just as much
part of real lives as our evenings and weekends, that our jobs are
not mere economic units that pay for "our real lives" outside the

Our jobs ARE our real lives, dammit, and we're going to fight like
hell to make sure that people recognize and respect this, not just
our colleagues, but even sometimes ourselves.


********************** OPEN SOURCE BIOLOGY **********************

Back in August 2004, I wrote about "Open-Source Everywhere" and
predicted the concept would be huge. Well take a look at this article
on open source biology ... the idea is moving into many new fields.

"Under an open-source contract between scientists, just like
open-source software, developers would be free to use these methods
to create new products. The products themselves would be proprietary,
but the techniques and components used to make them would be open to
all, meaning more bio-products, competition, smaller markets and
faster improvements."


Open Source Everything:

********************** FIREFOX EXTENSIONS **********************

Have you changed youir browser to Firefox yet. If not here is another
good reason to do so ... hundreds of cute little add-ins or
extensions - most open source and for free ... I think Microsoft are
going to have huge problems keeping up with the speed and creativity
that open source developments can offer ..


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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