Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 89 - November 2007


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.

Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 89 - November 2007


  1 Introduction
  2 Some people I met at KM World 2007
  3 Knowledge Cafes in Trinidad and Tobago
  4 The Knowledge Cafe Facilitators' Forum
  5 A Leader's Framework for Decision Making
  6 The Sydney Harbour Knowledge Cafe
  7 Elitza Naidenova gets to buy her cow
  8 A Knowledge Sharing Game
  9 How Do We Make People Do Things?
10 KM Singapore 2007
11 Flock: a web browser going social
12 Google Reader Blogroll
13 KM Event Highlights
14 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
15 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter


I am at last back from my travels. In the last month I have been to I am not a Dave Snowden who amazingly seems to do this every week of the year and so for me this was a fantastic but exhausting trip. I met many friends whom I have been communicating with for years in cyberspace but never met face to face which I loved. So much went on in those 3 weeks and I was so busy that I have not been able to document it all but others have done that for me as you will see in this month's newsletter and in my blog.

A big thanks to everyone whom I met and who took out for lunch and dinner and looked after me so well!

Some people I met at KM World 2007

At KM World I met many people face to face whom I have been cyber friends with for many years. Two of these people were Stuart Henshall and Jon Husband. Where I ever I went I kept bumping into these two guys and great conversations ensued.

If you would like to know more about what went on at KM World, Stuart has done a great job of blogging the event including Dave Snowdens keynote.

Also got to meetup with Jay Cross at long last and was invited to his blogger beer bash.

Knowledge Cafes in Trinidad and Tobago

When I was in San Jose at KM World I met Valarie Walters of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago. She had arranged to meet me to tell me about how my Knowledge Cafes had inspired her to run Knowledge Cafes within her organization.

I was delighted to hear her story - so much so I shot one of my video mini-interviews with her.

The Knowledge Cafe Facilitators' Forum

Given the increasing interest in Knowledge Cafes I am planning to set up a Knowledge Cafe Facilitators' Forum for Cafe facilitators to share their knowledge and experience. If you are interested you will find more information here and can register interest.

A Leader's Framework for Decision Making

If you are waiting for Dave Snowden's book you may have to wait a little longer. He told the audience at KM World not to email him over the Christmas period as he planned to complete it then but its been in the making a long time and so I wouldn't hold your breath. :-)

But in the meantime maybe you would like the next best thing - the November 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) carries an article by Dave and his co-author Mary Boone titled A Leaders Framework for Decision Making.

The article is about the Cynefin Framework and you will find a review has been written by John Caddel. Jay Cross has also posted a blog entry which includes a rather serious looking Dave with pint in hand at the recent blogger beer bash at KM World in San Jose.

The Sydney Harbour Knowledge Cafe

On 25th October I ran a Knowledge Cafe in Sydney. It was hosted by Annalie Killian of AMP on the 25th Floor of their building overlooking Sydney Harbour - by far the best venue for one of my Knowledge Cafe's yet!

It could have been very special indeed as when I arrived and looked out over the stunning view of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House I noticed a score of photographers on a nearby roof top with cameras with telephoto lens on tripods and I was told that in 15 minutes time the Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 on its maiden commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney was to fly low over the harbour.

I was so excited this was just too good to be true as I had already seen the A380 on the tarmac at Singapore's Changi airport on my flight down to Sydney. But unfortunately I had brought the English weather with me - the cloud base was low and it was drizzling. Either the flight over the harbour was canned or we just did not get to see it because of the cloud. I even heard that the return flight to Singapore was delayed an hour or so the next day because of bad weather!

But apart from that disappointment it was a great Cafe on the theme "What will be the impact of Social Tools within Organizations?" which I co-facilitated with Helen Paige who is regional director of the Gurteen Knowledge Community in Adelaide. About 70 people attended - one of my largest yet and you can get an idea of the energy of the Cafe in this video I took.

And what a great view! Annalie thank you so much for hosting this. And a big thanks for everyone who turned out and made it such a fun evening.

Elitza Naidenova gets to buy her cow

Some time ago I blogged about a website called Kiva. Kiva is a microfinance organization that lets you connect with and loan money to a small businesses in the developing world. Throughout the course of the loan, you receive email updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

On the website there are photos of the borrowers and details of their lives and what they plan to do with the money. I had kept meaning to dip my toe in the water and make a loan but never quite got around to it but today I did. I decided I would make a loan to a woman in Africa with children as that seemed the most effective use of my money but somehow none of the borrowers profiles clicked with me so I browsed some more until I found Elitza Naidenova who lives in Bulgaria. Here is her profile:
Elitza Naidenova lives in the village of Medkovetz. She works in a dairy farm in the village, but she wants to buy a cow for herself so that she can start a cow breeding business. She is not married and she lives with her parents. She is requesting $750.
In her photo she is standing next to a cow, presumably on the farm where she works, and she has a great big smile on her face. She only needed $25 more to complete her loan for the cow. I just could not resist - I wanted to be the one to ensure she got her cow. The thought of Elitza buying her own cow; finding a bull to service it and then waiting patiently for the first calf to be born and the start of her new business was just too compelling.

Now through the site I get to track her repayments and also the growth of her new business!

What I love about Kiva is that it is a great example of social networking technology being used for social good. And oh by the way the default rate on the loans to date is the staggeringly tiny sum of 0.2%.

A Knowledge Sharing Game

Naguib Chowdhury posting in the actKM discussion forum recently asked if anyone could suggest any KM games to help raise awareness of aspects of KM and knowledge sharing and Madelyn Blair replied with a 'game' in response.

I particularly like her exercise as it is very 'knowledge cafe' in its approach. I plan to use it myself - maybe as part of a future cafe or workshop. I hope you like it too and make good use of it.
I ask the participants to think of a time when someone shared important knowledge with them that allowed them to do their jobs better. If they can't think of someone who shared with them, ask them to think of a time when they shared knowledge with someone to help the other person. Give them some examples -- like their favorite uncle who taught them how to ride a bike, like a project manager who gave them the reasons for a decision to the point that they understood why it had been taken, like the time they taught their child how to fry a sunny side up egg. 

I have found that when people get in touch with their own experiences of knowledge sharing, they begin to see the qualities that are needed to make KM happen. And if they say they are not storytellers, ask them to pretend they are 5 years old. They would all say they can tell a story at that age. Now if the group is large, or even if it is over 6, put them in small groups of 4 or 5 to tell their stories. Then ask the small groups to each talk about what they learned about sharing knowledge through the stories they just heard. Put time limits on the stories (2-3 minutes max) and have them process this for about 10 minutes after the stories are told. 

To make it easier on everyone, set some ground rules. (1) When someone is telling their story, everyone else listens until they are done; (2) assign a time keeper in each group who will signal when the teller has 30 seconds remaining; and (3) for those who can't think of a story, they will listen carefully to the stories told and allow their minds to remind them of their own story to tell. As facilitator or instructor, it is helpful to give time alerts at the approximate middle of the exercise and then at 1 minute remaining. 

Be prepared to tell your own story at the beginning to help them see how much can be said in 2-3 minutes. Be sure that you practice your story ahead of time so that it fits the objective and the time limit. 

I think you will be amazed at how much the group will understand about KS by the end of the exercise. 


Madelyn Blair, Ph.D.
Pelerei, Inc.
Turning Vision into Reality
Thank you Naguib for asking for help and Madelyn for sharing so readily and giving your permission to re-publish this.

How Do We Make People Do Things?

At KM World I took part in the "Interactive Thought-Leader KM Discussions". I was in good company with Dave Snowden, Verna Allee, Hubert Saint-Onge, Dave Pollard and Richard McDermott. Given the stream was an interactive discussion, Jane Dysart, the conference producer, asked me to speak for only ten minutes and then to start a conversation with the participants.

I took my 45 minutes and broke it into three parts. First, I spoke, with a few slides for 15 minutes to my theme "How Do We Make People Do Things?". As people were sitting at round tables in small groups I then asked them to have a conversation at their tables around the topic and finally I opened things up for questions but walked into the room amongst the participants to more informally engage with them. Clearly, I was trying to bring as much as I could of my Knowledge Cafe process to the discussion.

I felt that the format worked really well and I know from his blog that Steven Kaye liked the session. Jay Cross also blogged my talk and took some photos along with Ray Sims who blogged it too.

Its worth seeing all of the above three blogs as each blogger blogged many of the sessions - not only mine.

What I still don't understand though, given the instructions Jane gave me and presumably the other speakers, why most of them spoke for a full 30 minutes or more and then simply took questions - hardly an interactive discussion.

KM Singapore 2007

I attended KM Singapore 2007 on November 1st, at the Singapore Polytechnic Graduates Guild Clubhouse. The conference was organized by iKMS (Information and Knowledge Management Society of Singapore) and over 60 people participated from Asia & Europe. Lots of good people were there including Waltraut Ritter, Ron Young, Eric Tsui, Raksha Sukhia, Patrick Lambe and Naguib Chowdhury.

If you would like to learn a little more about the day, Nauguib has blogged the conference and Ron Young also has a little to say.

The highlight of the event was Ron Young teaching everyone to juggle which I caught on my new video camera.

Flock: a web browser going social

Thanks to Stuart Henshall I have just discovered Flock. Flock is a "social browser", due to its ability to interact with social networking sites such as Flickr, Delicious, FaceBook and other services.

It is based on Firefox code and so if you are already using Firefox its an easy move to make. I have been running it in preference to Firefox for the last few days. Its seems fast and stable and easy to use and though I have yet to figure out all the social features - they are AMAZING and I am increasingly loving using it. Looks likely that I will stick with it an ditch Firefox! I feel this could be the way that web browsers will evolve.

You will find a nice little introduction to the product in this recent PC World article by Harry McCracken.

If you are into social networking and use all the common services and products such as Flickr, Delicious andFaceBook then go take a look at Flock - I think you will love it.

Google Reader Blogroll

Thanks to Euan Semple for tipping me off on the new blogroll feature in Google Reader.

I can now simply keep all the feeds I read updated in Google Reader. Tag them and then create a blogroll for each tag as I see fit and embed that blogroll on my Weblog. So I have two tags/blogrolls : "KM Blogroll" and ""Other Blogroll" - take a look at the right hand column of my weblog and you will see the two blogrolls.

The beauty of it all - its kept updated by Google in real-time. I now need to do nothing and the blogrolls reflect all the sites that I am reading.

KM Event Highlights

This section highlights some of the major KM events taking place around the world in the coming months and ones in which I am actively involved. You will find a full list on my website where you can also subscribe to both regional e-mail alerts and RSS feeds which will keep you informed of new and upcoming events.

KM Brazil 2007
27 - 29 Nov 2007, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Dave Snowden will be giving the keynote.

KnowTech 2007
28 - 29 Nov 2007, Frankfurt, Germany

9th Asia Pacific Knowledge Management Conference
28 - 29 Nov 2007, Hong Kong, China

Online Information 2007
04 - 06 Dec 2007, London, United Kingdom
I will be giving a talk and running a Knowledge Cafe at this event.

1st Middle East Knowledge Economy Conference
27 - 28 Oct 2007, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

McMaster World Congress
16 Jan 2008 - 18 Jan 2007, Hamilton, Canada

Special Libraries Association Annual Conference
15 - 18 Jun 2008, Seattle, United States
http://www.sla.org/content/Events/conference/ac2008/index.cfm I will be running a Knowledge Cafe at this event.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

You may subscribe to this newsletter on my website. Or if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter or if you wish to modify your e-mail address or make other changes to your membership profile then please go to this page on my website.

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based KM 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. Archive copies are held on-line where you can register to receive the newsletter.

It is sponsored by 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. And if you have any queries please contact me.

David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge

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
Sunday 21 July 2024
09:23 PM GDT