Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 95 - May 2008


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 95 - May 2008


  1 Introduction
  2 A lot of Kafe fun in Amsterdam and Norway
  3 Famous Trials and John Brown's body
  4 Cheating the system
  5 Chicken Chicken
  6 Clay Shirky's talk at Web 2.0 Expo on Cognitive Surplus
  7 I love quotations


I am acutely aware that although I call the people who receive this Knowledge Letter, the Gurteen Knowledge Community that it is still only a hub and spoke network with me at the center and members at the periphery. Over time, I hope to change this. But in the mean time, here are some things that you may not be aware of that you can do to help build that community in some small ways:

Join the Gurteen Discussion Forum on Google.

Join the Gurteen Community Group on LinkedIn.

Join the Gurteen Community Group on Facebook or make friends with me on Facebook.

Or come along to one of the Communty Cafes that take place in a handful of cites around the world.

A lot of Kafe fun in Amsterdam and Norway

Well a lot of Kafe fun. First, a Kafe on a canal boat in Amsterdam on 30 April 2008, for a group of delegates representing Dubai Holding and related organizations. The event was organized by Sheffield Hallam University, Centre for Integral Excellence.

Carol Webb shot some video and I took some photos. If you are interested in applications for the Knowledge Cafe then watch the three minute introduction video as this explains the purpose of this particular Cafe and is a good example.

Second, my first cafe in a crane (albeit a pretend one) in Bergen. This was part of my tour of Norway with StatoilHydro: four knowledge cafe workshops and four open knowledge cafes in 4 days in Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo. See photos.

During the Cafe Workshops, I taught about 50 people from StatoilHydro how to run and facilitate Gurteen Knowledge Cafes. If you are interested in my running such a workshop for you - you will find more information here including the slide set I used.

The Norwegian trip ended up with a great day out with Renny Amundsen; including a visit to the amazing Vigeland Sculpture Park. I was later then also invited as a keynote speaker to Kunnskapstinget - a large KM Conference in Oslo in September which of course I accepted.

Famous Trials and John Brown's body

Thanks to Nerida Hart for pointing to me to this awesome web site on Famous Trials. As a child I learnt the song John Browns body lies a-mouldering in the grave but never knew who he was. And as a Brit, why should I ever have learnt the song - I don't recall!

So in a few minutes of browsing this site, not only did I discover the details of his trial and death but also Thoreaus moving plea for his life to be spared.

Those of you who know me, will know that Henry David Thoreau is one of my heroes and mentors. Yes I know he is long dead but he can still be a mentor to me! And making connections like this is just pure joy!

Cheating the system

When are we going to start working with people rather than trying to do things to them?

Measures, targets, rewards, incentives - even education and training are all a waste of time if the people being 'targeted' don't see the point or have not been involved in the decision making.

How will they respond? They will game the system. They will cheat! Just as in this story from James Robertson about some airline pilots in Australia.

When are we going to wake up?

Chicken Chicken

If you hate "death by PowerPoint" as much as I do then you will adore this short video but watch it through to the end - it gets even better during the Q&A! Absolutely brilliant!

Clay Shirky's talk at Web 2.0 Expo on Cognitive Surplus

I wrote about Clay Shirky last month but since then I found this video of a recent talk of his on Cognitive Surplus that so many people have been talking about.

To my mind, this is more than a switch from the passive watching of TV. Millions of baby-boomers like myself are coming up for retirement. I am often asked when I am going to retire. I am NOT. In the past you retired when you were physically no longer fit for work and died soon after. Today at 60 or 65 you may still have twenty years of active life left in you.

Why would I want to cultivate my garden; knock a little ball round a field; walk the dog; play bingo or watch TV when I can still contribute to the world; enjoy doing that and leave a little bit of a legacy. Sure its not for everyone; some people want to retire in the old-fashioned way. I and I hope millions like me will no longer do that! And the web ensures that we have a choice.

I love quotations

I love feedback. And I adored this short email from Betsy Nein as it enunciates the very reason I carefully select and post quotations on my website and distribute them via email and RSS feed as the Gurteen Knowledge Quote of the day. Sign up, if you too are inspired by them like Betsy.

Hello. You don't know me and I really don't know who sends these to me but I recall asking for them to be sent. I'm so glad I did. I open them every time and save them also. They are either inspiring or funny or tender or meaningful, etc.

I've always been a "short story" kind of person. Don't tell me too much, don't say too much. I usually get the point with as few words as possible. So these fit perfect in my brain. Also in my heart and soul.

I'm a vocalist here in The Villages, Fla and sing twice a week at a small cafe. On many occasion I'll quote the sayings to my audiences. It makes a hit with them every time. Just writing today to say thanks.

Betsy Nein
Though not everyone likes them:
I hate quotes. I really do. I wish every one would stop reading quotes and spend more time thinking about the issues at hand; the ones that really matter in their life. Instead, they wallow away looking for that brilliant person who fit an entire life's story in one beautiful grammatical sentence. I would just like to ask the world to stop dwelling on quotes about how one should live his/her life, and spend more time trying to activily enjoy his/her own life.
Credit: Bret Kuhns
He has a point! But my quotes help remind me of what is important in life and help me focus on actively living the life I want to lead.

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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