Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 6 - 30th October 2000


First Published

November 2000

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.


One of features of this knowledge-letter is that it is integrated
with my web site. You may have noticed that most of the links point
to my site and if you follow them you will find many more links on
each page that branch out across my site and the Web to a wealth of
additional information.

My goal has been to make my site fun and easy to explore. Try this
for yourselves - follow one of the links below to my site and then
click on the "Category Search" link at the bottom of a page. All my
pages (documents) are categorised. Select a category such as "Human
Resources" - not only will you get a list of all documents
concerning "Human Resources" on my site but a number of "one click"
buttons to search the web via Google or search Britannica for the
same topic.


1 - Quotation:On Knowledge by Edward de Bono
2 - The Coffeemachine Lecture
3 - Planet Project
4 - Knowledge Management Europe 2000
5 - People: John Holt
6 - Exploring New Forms Of Organizing
7 - In the Groove!
8 - Knowledge Working Tip: Capturing Ideas
9 - Consultancy
10 - Events


I enjoy the work of Edward de Bono's and have a large number of his
books even though I have difficulty with his writing style. I
consider him worth the effort however! One of my favourite books is
"I Am Right, You Are Wrong", published in 1990, in which he looks
at the short comings of our traditional hard-logic, "black and
white", "right and wrong" way of thinking and proposes a "softer"
approach. This is a short excerpt on "knowledge" that has profound
implications for "knowledge management" and "creativity".

"If you are setting out to work in a new field you should
thoroughly research that field. Right? Wrong! The traditional view
is that you should read all that you can in order to get the base
of existing knowledge and then move forward from this. There is a
flaw in this argument and it is a flaw in the scientific method. We
do not just get knowledge, we get knowledge packaged up as concepts
and perceptions. ... Together these concepts and perceptions give
what Thomas Kuhn called paradigms."

To view this quotation on my web site and its associated links:

Further quotations can be found on my web site:


If you are within easy reach of London then the next meeting of the
Coffeemachine is a case study lecture by Justin Souter, a
consultant at ICL, on "The ICL Knowledge Management Story". It will
be held on Tuesday, 7th November, 6.30pm, Level 7, City University
Business School, Frobisher Crescent, Barbican Centre, London.

Justin will focus on the ICL experience with internal and external
clients, the nature of Knowledge Management and knowledge
communities and a treatment of the Knowledge Management

Doors will open from 6.00pm to allow for an opportunity to network
and there will be a post lecture drink at a local venue for those
interested in continuing the discussions.

*** The session is free and anyone is welcome to attend. ***
*** RSVP to Angela Hector
mailto:[email protected] ***

Follow this link for more information, including directions:

For other events relating to Knowledge Management:


Planet Project will be the largest global on-line polling event
ever. This global survey will be conducted on-line by Harris
Interactive between November 15th and November 18th, 2000.

The poll will ask people all over the world provocative questions
in eight languages. Sample questions include "Would you switch
your race if you could not change it back?" and "When you die, what
do you think will happen to you?

After you participate, you will be able to compare your answers
immediately to millions of like-minded and not so like-minded
participants from around the world!

Sounds fun. I'm going to give it a go!

For more information and to pre-register:


The Knowledge Management 2000 exhibition and conference billed as
Europe's largest Knowledge event is being held in Brussels from
20th to 22nd November. If you pre-register it is free and has some
big name speakers such as Larry Prusak, Tom Davenport, Leif
Edvinsson and Ron Young.

I will be attending on the Monday only - if you will also be there
and would like to meet up - please drop me an e-mail.

For more information on KM Europe 2000 and to pre-register:


John Holt was born in New York City in 1923. He was a teacher and
taught at schools in Colorado and then Massachusetts where he was a
visiting lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was
also the author of many books on learning. During the war he served
in the US Navy and afterwards worked in various parts of the world
government movement. He finally became the Executive Director of
the New York State branch of the United World Federalists and
published a magazine called "Growing without schooling" to help
parents who taught their children at home. He is known particularly
for his works: "How Children Fail", "Freedom and Beyond" and
"Escape from Childhood."

His first book "How Children Fail" - on how children learn and why
they fail was based on his observations of children in the
classroom. When this book was first published in 1964, it initiated
an international debate on educational reform. The book sold over a
million copies and established itself as a classic in its field.
Despite the years which have gone by since its original
publication, it remains must reading for every parent and every
teacher. I only wish I had read this book when my children were
much younger but even if you do not have children the book gives a
lot of insight into the learning process. John Holt died in 1985.

See more about John Holt:

See: How Children Fail


I am working with the Bath Consultancy Group who are forming a
"Learning Network" of people who seek to be at the leading edge in
developing "New Forms of Organizing" to meet their business

A common underlying need is to be able to integrate more
effectively and quickly across teams, knowledge bases, disciplines,
functions, locations and organizations to create, adapt and deliver
products and services, - and at the same time to be able to modify
continuously the way we work and organise to meet the changing
needs of a dynamic, interdependent and complex environment.
Organisational hierarchies are found not to be sufficient for this
and so they are developing lateral forms of organising alongside
them. This involves making use of "computer-based communications"
and exploring the concept of "virtual organizing".

The development of the network is at an early stage and several
large organizations have expressed interest. It is planned to hold
the first meeting in February 2001. If you would like to learn more
then please contact
Alison Stephenson of the Bath Consultancy Group at
mailto:[email protected]

To learn more about the Bath Consultancy Group:

Resources on New Forms of Organizing:


On October 24, Ray Ozzie, CEO and founder of Groove Networks
unveiled Groove - a new peer-to-peer collaborative application
development platform. Ray Ozzie was the founder of Iris Associates
and the creator of Lotus Notes and is widely recognised as one of
the best software architects in the world.

Instead of information flowing through a central server, Groove
applications update other Groove clients directly. The platform is
more open than Notes and could make a solid foundation for many new
collaborative applications. This looks like exciting new
technology. If you are not a technologist the white paper "The
Connection Age" is well worth a read and takes a historical
perspective as to how technology has changed almost everything in
the world around us and continues to do so in the age of the
Internet. If you are a technologist - this technology should be hot
on your list to investigate - you can download a free beta preview
from the Groove web site.

To download the whitepapers and for more information on Groove:


Creativity and innovation concern the process of creating and
applying new knowledge and as such they are at the heart of
knowledge management. What are creativity and innovation? There are
several definitions. Often they are not distinguished. They are
simply seen as part of the process by which knowledge is developed
and transformed into business value. This is acceptable but is not
very useful for practical purposes.

A more useful approach is to view creativity as the process of
generating ideas and innovation as the sifting, refining and
implementation of those ideas. Creativity is about divergent
thinking. Innovation is about convergent thinking. Creativity is
about the generation of ideas. Innovation is about putting them
into action.

Ideas however are fleeting. We need to capture them else they are
lost. There are many different ways of in which we can capture our

+ on a notepad or in a note book
+ on 3 x 5 inch coloured index card
+ on a micro-casette recorder - tape or better still digital
+ on a PDA such as a Palmtop
+ in a simple text editor on your PC or laptop

We cannot predict when great ideas are likely to pop into our
heads. The only way to reduce the risk of losing them is to be
prepared at all times. So we should stop and think about how we
might capture ideas in different situations:

+ in bed or in the bathroom
+ in the kitchen
+ in the office
+ when commuting, by car, train, bus or plane
+ out at lunch or dinner
+ at the gym

I recently gave this some thought to my own process and improved my
ability to capture ideas any place, any time by buying a digital
voice recorder and several packs of coloured indexed cards. The
recorder is always with me and I have the cards and pens scattered
around the house and always have a bunch of them in my inside
jacket pocket. Not too many places where I can't capture an idea
now. The voice recorder is absolutely ideal for the car.

You also might like to think about creating a computer database in
which to store your ideas. I have a simple Lotus Notes database
that I have developed and use. It is not only designed to capture
ideas but also observations, reflections, trends, books I would
like to read etc. If you are a Lotus Notes user and would like a
free copy - see the link below.

For more details on my Idea Capture database and free download:


This newsletter and my site are primarily a work of "love", but are
also intended in part, as a marketing tool for my consulting and
development services. So far, this has worked well and has brought
me a small amount of new business, and vastly expanded my network
of contacts. So - if you like what you see here, remember - I am
available for hire!

I am also happy to answer simple questions via e-mail for free. If
I do not know the answer I may be able to point you to another
consultant or resources on the Web. I make no promises that you
will get an instant reply though I'll do my best to reply within a
few working days - at most a week. If your query or problem is more
substantial then I may propose a fee for the work.

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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