Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 11 - 30th April 2001


First Published

April 2001

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.


Welcome to the 11th Gurteen Knowledge-Letter.

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

1 - MIT Open CourseWare
2 - Article: When Bad Things Happen to Good Ideas
3 - KM Site: KnowledgeBoard
4 - On Technology
5 - Henley Management College KM Survey
6 - Quick Clicks
7 - Book: Learning To Fly
8 - Meta KM Site
9 - Groove Update
10 - Events

********************** MIT OPEN COURSEWARE **********************

I read recently that over the next ten years MIT plans to spend $100
million to post most of the ingredients of its courses on the Web,
including lecture notes, assignments, video lectures, courses
outlines, test questions and reading lists for anyone to use free of
charge. Yes free of charge! Its generating quite a bit of controversy
- not least amongst MIT Professors themselves.

MIT Open CourseWare:


Its long been my opinion that many IT vendors have 'hi-jacked' the
concept of KM for their own ends - namely to sell more technology.
Anyone who has any experience of KM knows that KM is not so much
about technology but about people; their attitudes and their
behaviors. Technology can play a major role but it is only an enabler.

This article by Eric Berkman of Darwin Magazine explores this view
and is a must-read for anyone about to embark on a KM initiative.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Ideas:

Darwin Magazine:

******************** KM SITE: KNOWLEDGEBOARD ********************

I've two new interesting KM sites to tell you about this month. The
first is KnowledgeBoard - the portal site for the EC Knowledge
Management Forum, a 3 year project to build a KM Community in Europe.
The aim is to support and identify commonality in KM terminology,
application and implementation and to define 'KM Made in Europe'.

The site provides KM industry news, case studies, events listings,
academic papers on KM research. You also have the ability to exchange
your views with other KM professionals on specific KM Topics in the
Discussion Forum.

This is a very young site but I expect to see it grow fast with its
EC backing - well worth a look.


************************* ON TECHNOLOGY *************************

In this newsletter, I try to draw a balance between the "hard and the
soft" - technology hard to touch but easy to control - people soft to
touch but hard to control. Its a difficult balance to achieve as I
know that many of you are more interested in the softer human side
than the technology. Technology though pervades our lives - for good
or for evil. We all need to better understand it - its uses and
abuses - if we are to survive in an increasingly technical world.

My view is that non-technologists do not need to understand all the
bits an bytes of technology but that they do need to understand its
potential and impact on their business lives. Lets take a simple
example. How many of you could explain in a sentence or two what XML
is and how it is different to HTML - and then go on to explain how
XML is relevant to your business? If you can't I believe you should -
especially if your reaction is - this is 'techy' stuff that I just
don't need to worry about. I think you do!

On the other hand technologists need to understand more about

An Introduction to XML:

************** HENLEY MANAGEMENT COLLEGE KM SURVEY **************

Henley Management College are inviting people to participate in a
knowledge management research project that is examining
organizations' different approaches to knowledge management with the
objective of identifying those practices that lead to better
performance. This includes aspects of organizational culture, HR
policies, information systems, IT, business strategy and the external
business environment.

The questionnaire should take no more than 25 minutes to complete. In
return you will receive an executive summary of the research findings
and an invitation to one of a series of seminars at which the results
will be presented and their practical applications discussed. The
online survey is at http://www.henleymc.ac.uk/kosurvey

Henley Management College:

************************* QUICK CLICKS *************************

Etienne Wenger
- Nice personal site from Etienne Wenger. Etienne is a well known
pioneer in the field of "communities of practice" research.

Trojan Mice
- Another interesting personal site from Peter Fryer dedicated to the
concept of complex adaptive systems.

Gurteen.com Updates
- For those of you who visit my site - take a look at the pages I
have added or modified in the last month.

Tom Peters
- One hell of a site from Tom Peters - if you can take his 'rant &
rave' style.

********************* BOOK: LEARNING TO FLY *********************

Yet another book on my list of books to review! This time "Learning
to Fly" by Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell of BP. This must be one
of the best books on KM I've seen for a long time. What I love about
it - is its lack of focus on technology. Yes - BP are using
technology in a big way - but it is just the enabler. The book
focuses on the people side - building learning into an organization
and on the concepts of the After-Action Review (AAR) - 'Learn
Before', 'Learn During' and 'Learn After'.

Learning to Fly:


************************* META KM SITE *************************

The second new KM site I want to tell you about is the "Meta
Knowledge Management portal". It is specifically designed to cater
for the needs of the three major communities in KM, - knowledge
management practitioners, researchers and solution providers. The
purpose of this portal is to promote the study, practice and
implementation of knowledge management. Like KnowledgeBoard it is a
young site but already has a lot of interesting material.

Meta Knowledge Management Portal:

************************* GROOVE UPDATE *************************

On April 9th, Groove Networks shipped Groove 1.0 to enterprise
customers and Groove Private Edition (a subset of the full product)
that is free to individual users or for business trial. Groove is a
peer-to-peer collaboration tool.

For those of you working with me to evaluate the beta version -
activity in the forum has pretty much died off. The old evaluation
space is still there are still works but uses the beta software - so
I have set up a second Discussion Space based on the released
product. Follow the links below to: 1) Upgrade to the released
product and 2) Download my new forum.

If you are new to Groove and wish to know more about the product
follow the first link.

Groove Networks & Product Download:

My Discussion Space:

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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