Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 71 - 9th May 2006


First Published

May 2006

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 71, 9 May 2006) ******

You will now find the first of my 'knowledge conversations' on-line.

These are conversations I had with Martyn Laycock of the London
Knowledge Network and Bob Buckman last February when Bob was in the
UK to run a "Knowledge Sharing" workshop at the University of

The conversations were recorded and edited by Brad Meyer of I.T.L and
are available in multimedia format.

If you haven't done so yet also take a look at my 'media player'
where you will also find a growing number of KM related video and
multimedia resources - some of my own but others that I have found by
scouring the web.

Knowledge Conversations

Gurteen Media Player

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

1 - Lesson of the Month from Fifty Lessons
2 - Knowledge Networking
3 - KM and IM Job Vacancies
4 - Contactivity Report
5 - Google Calendar
6 - Business Performance Communities
7 - Selfish Gene 30 years old
8 - Online Poll
9 - Multiplayer games may be the best kind of job training.
10 - Highlighted Events
11 - Event Calendar
12 - What's New?

************ LESSON OF THE MONTH FROM FIFTY LESSONS ************

I often talk about the role of conversation in our organizational
lives and say that we not only need to learn to tell the truth - that
is not distort what we say for fear that it may be taken the wrong
way or that it is not politically correct or whateber but also that
we need to listen more attentively.

This month's video lesson is from Phil Smith of Cisco Systems. And
its this "If you take the time to listen to your staff, you may find
an answer to your organization's problems without having to seek
external assistance!"

Simple really! But then most good ideas are. :-)


********************* KNOWLEDGE NETWORKING *********************

A month or so ago I ran a one-day workshop on "Networking" for the
global KM managers of a large professional services firm. The
objective was to stimulate their thinking about how they networked
within their organization and how they could encourage others to

In developing the workshop I drew on a lot of material from past
workshops on "knowledge sharing" and "becoming an effective knowledge
worker". But as I put the day together a number of ideas emerged and
blended such that I found myself giving it the title "Knowledge

Not that there is anything really new in that - people have been
using the term for a little while. But what I could not find on the
web was a clear definition or overview of what it was about.

So I took some of the workshop material and reworked the 'personal
networking' category page on site and relabeled it "knowledge

Take a look. I have also included a flash-based version of a few of
my powerpoint slides from the day.


******************** KM AND IM JOB VACANCIES ********************

I told you sometime ago about a new jobs section that I had added to
my site. This is running well with a number of jobs have been posted
mainly from the UK, US and Australia.

I have now further developed the function and you can request email
alerts to inform you when a new job has been posted in your region.

I have also added a number of RSS feeds for the major regions of the

This feature will only be of real use if a number of jobs are posted
on a regular basis from around the globe. Posting is currently free
so if you are a recruiter please make good use of the system.

Job Vacancies

RSS Feeds

********************** CONTACTIVITY REPORT **********************

You may recall the KnowledgeBoard Contactivity event that I took part
in a few weeks back. I ran a knowledge cafe on the second day. This
turned out to be a really good event and I'd highly recommend it.
Another is planned for Tel Aviv in the Autumn that I will tell you
about nearer the time

A major piece of learning for me was taking part in an 'open space
technology' session facilitated by Martin Leith. Although I had been
aware of OST for some time this was my first real experience of the

Like a knowledge cafe, it is probably best described as a 'meeting
methodology' and its actually got nothing to do with technology as
its name implies.

Take a look and if you get a chance take part in a session. My
knowledge cafes and OST although quite different - have some
philosophy in common.

Open Space Technology

Knolwdge Cafes

Event report on KnowledgeBoard:


************************ GOOGLE CALENDAR ************************

Google have a new online Calendar in beta. It looks really good and I
am very tempted to use it as I like the idea of making some of my
calendar public.


In particular take a look at the "Google Calendar event reminder
button" -- this is very cool indeed.

But what I would really love is the ability to embed a read-only
version of my 'public calendar' into a page on my own website.

*************** BUSINESS PERFORMANCE COMMUNITIES ***************

To my mind one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get
buy-in for any KM initiative in an organization is to fail to focus
on selling the business benefits to the business managers and to
answer the question "What's in it for me?" for the staff.

This is especially important for some of the 'softer' initiatives
such as setting up a Community of Practice.

Someone though who really does understand this is Seth Kahan. Take a
look at this 3 mins video clip where he describes the 3 levels which
you need to take into account to create a healthy Community of
Practice and note that even before he starts he has positioned them
in more business related language by calling them "Business
Performance Communities".

Seth Kahan video

Communities of Practice

******************* SELFISH GENE 30 YEARS OLD *******************

Richard Dawkin's book "The Selfish Gene" is 30 years old this year. I
still have my original copy that must be almost the same age!

It was this book that introduced the concept of the 'meme',

You will find a short video below of Richard Dawkins talking about
his book and why it was seen at the time to be so revolutionary.

The Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins


************************** ONLINE POLL **************************

Last month I posted a on-line poll asking "Which of the following
offer the greatest potential for productivity gains over the next 10

1. Improved human resource management
2. New technologies
3. Improved organizational processes
4. Effective knowledge management
5. Better training

Which do you think came top and which came second? Decided? Go take a
look and see if you were right:


also see this month's poll:



I love to discover new ideas or new perspectives that potentially
change the way we see things. For example, there is research both
practical and theoretical that indicates that we may not have free
will. That its all predetermined. True or not - I like to reflect on
'if this were really true' - what would be the impact?

The impact of 'no free will' would be enormous but there are lesser
questions. What if people who spend all those hours playing massively
multiplayer on-line games were really acquiring useful management
skills. Here is a clip of an article in Wired Magazine and the link
to the full article below.

"Gaming tends to be regarded as a harmless diversion at best, a vile
corruptor of youth at worst. But the usual critiques fail to
recognize its potential for experiential learning. Unlike education
acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what
takes place in massively multiplayer on-line games is what we call
accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural by-product of
adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about. Where
traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully graded
challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual
environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of
failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are


Oh and if the free will thing fascinated you see:


But if the lack of free will is too much to swallow - maybe you will
find Newton's law of gravitation less sacrosanct!


********************** HIGHLIGHTED EVENTS **********************

I would like to draw your attention to two UK events this month in
which I am involved.

The first is another Bizmedia event run at the University of
Greenwich where I will be running a knowledge cafe. Note: there is a
good discount for my community members.

Tools & Techniques for Effective Knowledge Sharing
22 - 23 May 2006, London, United Kingdom

The second event will be held in Oxford in July. Yet again I will be
running a knowledge cafe and there is a good line up for this event
including Dave Snowden, Victor Newman and others.

Innovation and Knowledge Management in Research & Product Development
05 - 07 Jul 2006, Oxford, United Kingdom

************************ EVENT CALENDAR ************************

My website contains such a comprehensive list of events that it is
no longer possible to display them all. The list below shows only the
major events or ones of special interest that will be held in the
next month or so.


Event Calendar:

How Can Knowledge Management Improve Actions In An Organisation?
11 May 2006, Adelaide, Australia

Unleashing potential: passion, creativity and execution
15 May 2006, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Innovation: How do you nurture new ideas in a big company environment?
18 May 2006, London, United Kingdom

Buried Treasure
19 May 2006, Sydney, Australia

eLA - eLearning Africa
24 - 26 May 2006, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

KMICE'06: Knowledge Management International Conference and
Exhibition 2006
06 - 08 Jun 2006, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

E-learning and the way humans learn
06 Jun 2006, London, United Kingdom

Understanding Interaction in Organizations
06 - 07 Jun 2006, Espoo, Finland

Knowledge & Content UK 2006
04 - 06 Jul 2006, London, United Kingdom

The Sixth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change
in Organizations 2006
11 - 14 Jul 2006, Prato, Italy

***************** 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 I am attributed.

David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge
Fleet, United Kingdom

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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