Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 43 - 12th January 2004


First Published

January 2004

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 43, 12 January 2004) ***

Well a happy new year to you all! I guess its time for resolutions
about all sorts of things but here is one I found that Lilia Efimova
set herself last year:

"Find something you're really interested in, learn as much as you can
about it, and start working on it. Don't worry about the money, the
money will come. Invest your time and your energy in your passion,
not your job - reinvent your job if you have to, or plan to leave it
if you can't."

It worked for her - take a look at her weblog where she talks a
little more about it.


Why not try yourself - it might just work for you too :-)

*************************** Contents ***************************

1 - Personal Mission Statements
2 - Managing Organizational Complexity
3 - White Paper from Ray Ozzie of Groove
4 - Upcoming Events in the UK
5 - On Nerds by George Gilder
6 - Google: Defintions Search Feature
7 - KM in Higher Education
8 - Call for Papers: 5th European Conference on KM
9 - Speaking Opportunities
10 - KM in Asia
11 - The Indian Joint Family System
12 - A KM technique: 'Interview your boss'
13 - Search Inside the Book
14 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar
15 - What's New?

****************** PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENTS ******************

While on the subject of new year resolutions - someone asked me last
week if I knew of a site that would help him write a 'personal
mission statement'. To find good sites on anything is often about
figuring out the right words to key into Google - in this case the
word 'personal' is key.

So try this Google search for lots of great links to sites that can
help you in this quest.


************** MANAGING ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY **************

One of the world's thought-leaders whose ideas are incredibly popular
judging by the visitors who come to my website looking for more
information about his work is Dave Snowden of IBM's Cynefin Centre
for Organizational Complexity.

I met with Dave on New Year's eve in the depths of Wiltshire and was
delighted that he agreed to be an integral part of my 3rd Knowledge
Conference on Organizational Complexity which is scheduled for March
3rd in London. Like previous conferences, this event will be highly
interactive and participatory and with Dave on board it should be
tremendous fun and to me that equates with real learning! Here are
just a few words of what Dave has to say on the subject of
"Organizational Complexity".

"We've had a hundred years of management science and management
consultancy based on Newtonian physics and Taylorist principles. A
lot of good things like process reengineering and quality management
happened by applying machine metaphors to the firm. The trouble is
that when you move on to trying to manage areas such as knowledge,
learning and strategy you are moving into a completely different
frame - a system which is inherently complex. At that point you have
to completely rethink management methods."

The 3rd Gurteen Knowledge Conference - Managing Organizational


************* WHITE PAPER FROM RAY OZZIE OF GROOVE *************

It’s time for a back-to-basics assessment of the goals, challenges,
and opportunities in the application of technology to communication
and collaboration, says Groove Networks CEO Ray Ozzie in a recent
whitepaper. Download a copy from:


Ray Ozzie:

******************* UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE UK *******************

If you are based in Europe then you may be interested in three events
in which I am involved that are coming up in January and February.

27th January : The One-Minute Pitch - Making Concepts and Ideas Work
In my experience one of the reasons that so many KM initiatives fail
to get off the ground is the inability of people to sell 'intangible
concepts' to senior managers. This Gurteen Learning Event is a
workshop facilitated by Jon Thorne who has hard practical experience
of doing just this teaches you how to "sell your KM initiatives".


24th February : Knowledge Sharing, Creativity & Innovation
This is a 1-day workshop I am running for Unicom Seminars based on a
series of workshops that I am developing to educate people in the
skills and mindsets that they need to be effective knowledge workers.
The normal price is £550 but is reduced to £350 for members of my


25th February : The Second Communities of Practice in Action
I chaired the first of these events for Unicom Seminars in 2003. The
event is very interactive with plenty of time for discussion and to
learn from each other. If you are interested in 'getting going' in
Communities of Practice I'd highly recommend it. The normal price is
£550 but is reduced to £350 for members of my community.


******************* ON NERDS BY GEORGE GILDER *******************

Over the holiday period I added a number of new quotations to my
website (there are well over 500 posted now). This included one of my
long standing favorites from George Gilder's book Microcosm. I was
brought up to believe that the world of science and discovery was a
well ordered place - George sums up just how wrong I was in a rather
colorful way! I hope it makes you chuckle as much as it does me :=)

"The United States did not enter the microcosm through the portals of
the Ivy League, with Brooks Brothers suits, gentleman Cs, and
warbling society wives. Few people who think they are already in can
summon the energies to break in.

From immigrants and outcasts, street toughs and science wonks, nerds
and boffins, the bearded and the beer-bellied, the tacky and the
upright, and sometimes weird, the born again and born yesterday, with
Adam's apples bobbing, psyches throbbing, and acne galore, the
fraternity of the pizza breakfast, the Ferrari dream, the silicon
truth, the midnight modem, and the seventy-hour week, from dirt farms
and redneck shanties, trailer parks and Levittowns, in a rainbow
parade of all colors and wavelengths, of the hyperneat and the sty
high, the crewcut and khaki, the ponytailed and punk, accented from
Britain and Madras, from Israel and Malaya, from Paris and Parris
Island, from Iowa and Havana, from Brooklyn and Boise and Belgrade
and Vienna and Vietnam, from the coarse fanaticism and desperation,
ambition and hunger, genius and sweat of the outsider, the
downtrodden, the banished, and the bullied come most of the progress
in the world and in Silicon Valley."

Other Quotations:

*************** GOOGLE: DEFINTIONS SEARCH FEATURE ***************

Google has a great new feature that I recently stumbled on.

To search for a definition of a word or phrase, simply type the word
"define," then a space, and then the word(s) you want defined. If
Google has seen a definition for the word or phrase on the Web, it
will retrieve that information and display it at the top of your
search results.

You can also get a list of definitions by including the special
operator "define:" with no space between it and the term you want
defined. For example, the search "define:Knowledge Management" will
show you a list of definitions for "Knowledge Management" gathered
from various online sources.


******************** KM IN HIGHER EDUCATION ********************

Last April, I held my London Knowledge Café at the University of
Westminster on the theme of KM in Higher Education. The kcafé was
facilitated by Keith Patrick, a senior lecturer in the Business
School, where he sought to draw upon the Café experience to assist
the development of a postgraduate KM module.

The kcafé centered on an exploration of ‘What - Why - How’, should
be included in an introductory postgraduate module in KM. With this
input the University has successfully validated an Introductory
module in KM, which will commence in February 2004 running on a
Monday evening.

Also in response to interest shown the module will be available
without the requirement to take a full postgraduate course, as
either assessed with credit or without assessment.

For further information contact Admissions and Marketing on +44
(0)20 7911 5020 or


The 5th European Conference on Knowledge Management will be held at
the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers (CNAM) in Paris on the
9-10 September 2004. You will find a call for papers and other
information about the conference at:


The closing date for abstract submissions is 29 March 2004.

Academic Conferences International:

******************** SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES ********************

Thanks to the 35 or so of you who responded to my request for
suggestions for speakers last month. I will get back to all of you in
due course. If you missed my request last month then please see here :


************************** KM IN ASIA **************************

I've just discovered the iKMS (The Information and Knowledge
Management Society is a professional society based in Singapore )
newsletter :-


Lots of interesting stuff including links to one or two Asian KM
Societies/Networks that I was not aware of e.g. Taiwan, Philippines
and Thailand. Well worth a read whether you live in the region or

Other Societies/Networks:

**************** THE INDIAN JOINT FAMILY SYSTEM ****************

One of the things I love about weblogs is the wonderful insights I
get into other people's personal worlds that give me new perspectives
on life. This posting by Dina Mehta, although a sad story, is a
wonderful insight into the workings of the Indian Joint Family System.


More information on weblogs:

************* A KM TECHNIQUE: 'INTERVIEW YOUR BOSS' *************

By Steve Ellis

If you ever feel confused about the direction you need to take in
work, or find things changing faster than you can cope with consider
the following KM approach.

Ask if you can set up an 'interview' with your boss to capture
his/her views, only with one difference - you will be the interviewer.

Using a voice recorder, you play the role of interviewer so you can
simply ask your boss to outline for you what he or she sees as the
main business challenges and the ways forward, as if you were an
outsider. You will be surprised at the effect of having the recorder
present. At the end of the interview you will also be able to share
the knowledge gained as widely as you like, maybe prior to the next
team briefing.

When I recently did this I found after a 1 hour interview, my boss
had shared so much more with me than he ever did before, and because
of the recorder he had to think carefully about his replies. I became
convinced of it as a valuable KM technique. In addition we now have a
permanent record of what my boss thinks is important and how he is
looking to progress, enabling me to structure better what I do and
how I prioritize my time.

The only snag is you have to develop your interviewing skills and
resist the temptation to challenge, comment (or laugh) when your boss
makes a controversial point. In times when almost everyone is crying
out for better quality (not just more) communication in the workplace
this KM technique might well have a very valid place.

If anyone would like to know more about the process, please contact

******************** SEARCH INSIDE THE BOOK ********************

Maybe like me you missed Amazons announcement last October of their
new "search inside" feature - allowing full-text searches of over
120,000 books in their new digital archive. If you did - read on -
the concept and the longer term ramifications of this development are

More on the feature:


Article about the feature:


Great article in Wired Magazine about putting ALL the world's books


****************** GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE-CALENDAR ******************

Here is a list of some of the events on my site that are scheduled
over the next six months or so. You can see the full list on my
website by following the Gurteen-Knowledge Calendar link below.


Knowledge Activist Masterclasses
13 Jan 2004, London, United Kingdom

3rd Annual Knowledge Management Conference for the Oil, Gas and Power
13 - 16 Jan 2004, Singapore City, Singapore

25th McMaster World Congress
14 - 16 Jan 2004, Hamilton, Canada

Exhibition: Atopia Projects/Fraser Stables and Gavin Morrison
17 Jan - 14 Mar 2004, Houston TX, United States

Information architecture foundation programme: bringing order to
information chaos
19 Jan 2004, London, United Kingdom

Learning Technologies Conference
28 - 29 Jan 2004, London, United Kingdom

Gurteen Knowledge-Café (4 Feb 2004)
04 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Braintrust International 2004
08 - 11 Feb 2004, Scottsdale, AZ, United States

Knowledge Management International Conference and Exhibition (KMICE
13 - 15 Feb 2004, Penang, Malaysia

Communities of practice
13 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Intranet Peers in Government
19 - 20 Feb 2004, Sydney, Australia

How to Implement CSR Communications for Business Results
24 - 25 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Knowledge Sharing, Creativity and Innovation
24 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

Communities of Practice in Action II
25 Feb 2004, London, United Kingdom

European Business Information Conference (EBIC 2004)
16 - 19 Mar 2004, Lisbon, France

Re-Designing Your Intranet 2004
16 - 19 Mar 2004, Sydney, Australia

The e.learning age Symposium
29 - 30 Mar 2004, London, United Kingdom

Information Architecture Foundation Programme
22 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Breakthrough thinking in knowledge and information strategy
27 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

CROinfo 2004 Knowledge Management Conference
03 - 04 May 2004, Zagreb, Croatia

UKAIS 2004 Conference
05 - 07 May 2004, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Strategic Information Architecture Design
21 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

Learning Solutions 2004
25 - 26 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

International Conference on Virtual Communities
14 - 15 Jun 2004, The Hague, Netherlands

30 Jun - 02 Jul 2004, Graz, Austria

European Conference on IS Management, Leadership and Governance
02 - 03 Jul 2004, Reading, United Kingdom

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change
in Organizations 2004
03 - 06 Aug 2004, London, United Kingdom

Competia International Symposium 2004
28 Sep - 01 Oct 2004, Toronto, Canada

29 - 30 Oct 2004, Toronto, Canada

Fifth International Conference on Practical Aspects of Knowledge
02 - 03 Dec 2004, Vienna, Austria

************************** WHAT'S NEW? **************************

The following pages have been added to my website within the last
month. It does not include quite all of them as the list is typically
quite long. You can follow the What's New link below to my website
for the full list.

What's New:

Book: Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

Book: Managing Knowledge Work by Sue Newell, Maxine Robertson, Harry
Scarbrough, Jacky Swan

Book: The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

Category: Organizational Complexity

Category: Personal Branding

Comment: Grassroots Mobilization Through KM by Srinath Jayaram

Comment: Knowledge Awareness Understanding by Wilf Archer

Link: Club of Amsterdam

Person: Ralph Stacey

Quotation: On change and decisions by Isaac Asimov

Quotation: On existing and obligation by the universe by Douglas Adams

Quotation: On knowing more than we can say by Dave Snowden

******* S u b s c r i b i n g & U n s u b s c r i b i n g *******

You may s u b s c r i b e to this newsletter, via the following link:


or you can e-mail your request to s u b s c r i b e or u n s u b s
c r i b e to

***************** THE GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE-LETTER *****************

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based knowledge
management 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. It is
produced in association with the Knowledge Management Forum of Henley
Management College, 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 the following copyright notice is included
intact: "Copyright 2004, David Gurteen, All rights reserved."

David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge

Copyright 2004, David Gurteen, All rights reserved.

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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