Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 29 - 7th November 2002


First Published

November 2002

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.


Is KM a fad? Is a question that gets asked time and time again. Take a
look at this article by Professor Tom Wilson of the University Sheffield
entitled "The Nonsense of Knowledge Management". His conclusion is:

"The inescapable conclusion of this analysis of the 'knowledge management'
idea is that it is, in large part, a management fad, promulgated mainly by
certain consultancy companies, and the probability is that it will fade
away like previous fads."

I would agree with Tom Wilson that most of what is called KM today is a
re-labelling of other material - principally Information Management by
software vendors and management consultancies.

But personally I believe that KM is anything but a fad. It is not going to
go away and over time will evolve and mature into a fundamentally new and
effective inter-personal discipline. Note: I do not say management

To me KM is about how we as individuals perceive the world, think and
behave! But then if that is the case it needs a new label.

The Nonsense of Knowledge Management:

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

1 - KM Europe 2002
2 - On Knowing & Understanding
3 - Knowledge-Raffle
4 - Conversations occur between equals
5 - The Coffeemachine
6 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow (KM) Australia
7 - KnowledgeBoard
8 - The Knowledge Café
9 - New KM Books
10 - The Mason-Dixon Line
11 - Discussion Forums
12 - Unicom Cops Seminar Review
13 - SIFT - "Powering Online Communities"
14 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar

************************ KM EUROPE 2002 ************************

The KM Europe 2002 conference and exhibition is coming up next week on the
13th to 15th November at Alexandra Palace, London.

They have some big names as keynote speakers including: Dan Holthouse,
David Snowden, Karl-Erik Sveiby, Karl Wiig, Tom Stewart and Tom Davenport.

This must be the Europe's premier KM event of the year. If are interested
in KM then there is no doubt in my mind that you should make a visit.

For me it is a great opportunity to meet up with a number of people from
continental Europe and the US who will be flying in for the event. If any
of you would like to meet up also to have a chat - please drop me an

KM Europe 2002

****************** ON KNOWING & UNDERSTANDING ******************

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."

Albert Einsetin (1879-1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate

Quotation:On Knowing and Understanding:

Albert Einstein:

*********************** KNOWLEDGE-RAFFLE ***********************

Out of 25 entrants, last month's winner was Paul Whitehead of the Brighton
& Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust who won a free place on the Unicom
Knowledge Enabled Public Services conference.

I'm donating this month's raffle item - a copy of the book - The
SpingBoard by Steve Denning. Take a look - its free!

The Gurteen Knowledge-Raffle

Unicom Knowledge Enabled Public Services (KEPS) Conference:

************** CONVERSATIONS OCCUR BETWEEN EQUALS **************

I was the guest expert at a KnowledgeBoard Online Workshop on 24th October
to discuss The Role of Conversation in KM. As ever, when I speak at any
conference, I was too close to the event to gauge how well it was received
but I came away happy and I hope I did a little to inspire people to think
more about the role of conversation in our everyday business lives.

What was fun though was that Lilia Efimova blogged the event - not in
great detail but she did capture some of the key points. Her summary was
cool :

a good conversation = trust + (history: people and topics->) context +
open emotions + questions that invite everyone to participate (<-

If you are interested the edited transcript is available:



Lilia Efimova:

*********************** THE COFFEEMACHINE ***********************

For those of you in London the CoffeeMachine starts up again after its
summer recess with a talk by Corrine Selens of IBM on Communities of
Practice on the 27th November in London.

Building dynamic communities by Corinne Sellens:

The CoffeeMachine:


If you live in Australia then you may be interested in this Postdoctoral
Research Fellow (Knowledge Management)job posting at RMIT University in


KM Australia:

************************ KNOWLEDGEBOARD ************************

If you have not come across the KnowledgeBoard website yet then I suggest
you take a look - it is one of the best KM resource/community sites

KnowledgeBoard is the portal site for the European Knowledge Management
Forum, a 3 year project to build a KM Community in Europe. The project was
launched by DG Information Society of the European Commission, as part of
its Information Society Technologies research programme which is managed
out of Brussels. The aim is to support and identify commonality in KM
terminology, application and implementation and to define 'KM Made in

The site provides KM industry news, case studies, events listings and
academic papers on KM research. It also provides the ability to exchange
your views with other KM professionals on specific KM Topics in the
Discussion Forums, and participate in a growing number of special interest
groups on topics including trust, assessment, communities of practice,
public sector KM, innovation, implementation, supporting technologies and
others. In addition, KnowledgeBoard sends out a fortnightly newswire
keeping you up to date with KM advances in Europe.

KnowledgeBoard also recently joined my website and several others on "Best
of the Web" on Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge website.


Harvard Business School Working Knowledge:

********************** THE KNOWLEDGE CAFÉ **********************

The second Knowledge Café was held in London on 16th October and 21 people
attended. The theme for the evening was "The Role of Conversation in KM" -
I led with a 15 minute introduction to set the theme and we then broke
into groups to discuss the subject - finally reconvening to share our

Anna McAvoy took notes and a short precis of the meeting will be available

The next Knowledge Café will be held at IBM, Southbank on the 9th
December. The theme will be "Flexible Working". More details will be
published nearer the time but if you are not already a member and are
interested in attending - please contact me.

I've had a lot of interest in the setting up of a Boston based Knowledge
Café - more about this towards the end of the year but several people have
pointed out that there is already a Boston KM Forum but I suspect there is
room for both :-)

Knowledge Café:

Boston KM Forum:

************************* NEW KM BOOKS *************************

I've received a record four new books this month that I have yet to
read/review but thought I would mention them nevertheless. Verna Allee's
new book looks of particular interest and is top of my reading list though
the others look good too.

Knowledge Management by Tom Knight & Trevor Howes

The Future of Knowledge by Verna Allee

The New Knowledge Management by Mark McElroy

Intangible Management by Ken Standfield:

********************* THE MASON-DIXON LINE *********************

I love the web. I love its ability to allow me to explore; to surprise me;
to put me in touch with like-minds and to leverage my intellectual capital
in a way that only a few years ago was largely undreamt of. Here is a
little personal story.

I received a CD for Xmas - Mark Knopfler's "Sailing to Philadelphia" and
was captivated by the track of the same name. First its a great piece of
music and second I love music that has an historical story that connects
me emotionally with the past - Al Stewart, for example, is my favorite

But as I first listened to the track, I realized that as a Brit, although
I had heard of the Mason-Dixon line - I had no idea what it was. A Google
search and I quickly knew the basic historical facts of the Mason Dixon

Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason were commissioned in 1763 by the heirs of
William Penn and Lord Baltimore to establish the boundary between
Pennsylvania and Maryland. Many years later their boundary - the
Mason-Dixon Line - became the demarcation between the slave and non-slave

But interestingly in my search I found other people who had been inspired
like me by the song to conduct similar research. Take a look at this page
from Ian Gurney in Finland:


This says it all - everything I wanted to know wrapped up in one web page
by a European who had the same questions in his mind as me. Or read this


by Paul Briand of the Portsmouth Herald where he says:

"What is wonderful in all this is the power of surprise and exploration. I
bought a CD on the hope it would contain a song or two of interest.
Instead, to my delight, I found a path of information unknown,

So if you are intrigued go take a look and I wonder if Jeremiah Dixon and
Charlie Mason when sailing to Philadelphia in 1763 ever realized just how
well known they would become.

The Mason-Dixon Line:

*********************** DISCUSSION FORUMS ***********************

Thanks to those of you who have visited my KM discussion forum this last
month. There are several new items of discussion - for those of you
interested - please take a look.

You will also find a list of other KM Forums in a small panel in the right
hand columns of my k-log home page.



****************** UNICOM COPS SEMINAR REVIEW ******************

By Anna McAvoy

"Building Communities of Practice" was the last in a series of KM
conference days that was run by Unicom Seminars from 7-11 October in
London. It was billed as providing practical guidance in building CoPs and
the day presented a series of interesting speakers reflecting a wealth of
practical experience across both the public and private sectors.

Dr. John Davies, BT kicked-off with a look at intranet-based CoPs.

Chris Hancock, Cabinet Office illustrated how the government used a
sponsor and a strategy to facilitate existing communities.

Corinne Sellens, IBM explored the wealth of analytical techniques which
underlie the company’s approach to building communities, and Catherine
MaCleod, Scottish Enterprises followed up with a case study that
demonsrated IBM’s expertise.

Graeme Mackay, Fujitsu Services presented a pragmatic, and collaborative
approach to community development.

Finally, David Gurteen rounded up with an examination of weblogs as a
simple, effective KM tool that could be used to facilitate CoPs.

Full Review of "Building Communities of Practice" Seminar:

************* SIFT - "POWERING ONLINE COMMUNITIES" *************

If you are interested in online community software take a look at SIFT.
SIFT is a UK based provider of online community know-how and technology.
They have some great technology - take a look at KnowledgeBoard to get
some idea of what their software can offer. And visit their site and sign
up for their newsletter.


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

Follow me on Twitter

How to contact me

My Blog

Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community is a global learning community of over 21,000 people in 160 countries across the world.

The community is for people who are committed to making a difference: people who wish to share and learn from each other and who strive to see the world differently, think differently and act differently.

Membership of the Gurteen Knowledge Community is free.
Knowledge Community


request help
visitor book
Friday 12 July 2024
03:54 PM GDT