Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 101 - November 2008


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Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 101 - November 2008


  1 Introduction
  2 Online 2008 and London Knowledge Cafe
  3 Common Craft videos explain social tools
  4 Your grade is an "A"
  5 KM article in Wikipedia
  6 Capitalism's Missing Link
  7 Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War
  8 Michael Sampson's conference notes from KM World
  9 Service Learning
10 Money as debt
11 Google SMS Channels
12 KM Event Highlights
13 My Upcoming Activities
14 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
15 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction    (top | next | prev)

It has been an amazing month for me having spent the whole of October in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Christchurch, Terrace Downs, Wellington, Auckland and Singapore. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this possible and to the people I met who made it fun!

During that time I gave many talks/kcafes and three knowledge cafe masterclasses - about 20 events in all. Pretty much all of the talks I give these days I turn into knowledge cafes. I talk for maybe 30 - 40 minutes; pose a question and then turn the remainder of the time over to knowledge cafe format - maybe 45 minutes even an hour depending on how much time I have allocated. It works well and if you a speaker I'd recommend it to you.

As ever, I took lots of photos that I have posted to Flickr and posted my slides on Slideshare.

What did I learn? Well, more and more, just how powerful the knowledge cafe process really is and just how much people enjoy it and see the value in it. A comment that comes up and time and time again goes something like this "Being able to take the time to have conversations that surface hidden issues; give me time to reflect and improve my understanding of an issue without the pressure of having to immediately generate tangible outcomes is wonderful!".

And three more knowledge cafe masterclasses coming up in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Stellenbosch next week!

Online 2008 and London Knowledge Cafe    (top | next | prev)

If you are attending Online Information 2008 in London in November then although I will not be at the event this year I will be holding a Knowledge Cafe in central London on Wednesday 3rd December that coincides with Online.

The theme of the knowledge cafe is How do I know if my KM programme is effective?and the conversation will be seeded by two project managers from Deloitte.

The Kafe is hosted by Deloitte and starts at 18:00 for 18:30 and goes through to about 20:30 with drinks in a local pub afterwards for diehards :-)

Do register and come along if you can make it. I can assure you a great evening with plenty of intellectual stimulation with a great bunch of people. And hey even if you are not attending Online - you are still invited!

I will be staying in London the week 1-5 December. If you would like to meet with me - please get in touch.

Common Craft videos explain social tools    (top | next | prev)

Have you discovered Common Craft yet? I am surprised just how many people are unaware of them! Their videos are short, simple and focused on making complex ideas easy to understand.

There are a range of videos but many of them focus on explaining Social Tools in simple entertaining ways. Take a look, its a great resource. You will find them in my media player.

Your grade is an "A"    (top | next | prev)

Benjamin Zander was the closing keynote at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. In this short inspirational talk, amongst other things, he explains how he gives all his students an "A" grade at the start of each year and how it transforms his relationship with them! Take the time to watch the clip, I think you will love it.

KM article in Wikipedia    (top | next | prev)

Dave Snowden has worked hard to try to establish a high quality KM article in Wikipedia but it still needs a great deal of work to bring it up to an acceptable standard.

I have agreed with Dave that I will get involved and help achieve this but we could do with few more collaborators to help ensure a balanced view point.

Take a look at the article and if you would like to play your part introduce yourself at the bottom of the discussion page.

Capitalism's Missing Link    (top | next | prev)

I love the concept of the Social Business as defined by Muhammad Yunus. Here is an excerpt of what Karl Weber has to say about it in a recent article Why Social Business Is Capitalisms Missing Link on the Harvard Business Blogs website.

I think over the coming years we are going to see more and more social businesses as capitalism evolves and they will go a long way towards alleviating many of the sustainability issues we face in the world!
For most of us, business means one type of organization--the for-profit company that is the backbone of the free enterprise system. Ranging in size from a one-person corner store to a giant corporation like Wal-Mart, such companies recognize one fundamental purpose: to maximize profits. To be sure, they create other benefits along the way: they employ workers, provide useful goods, and pay taxes. But the bottom line is, precisely, the bottom line--the profits generated for owners and shareholders.

But we all know this is an incomplete pictue of human nature. People are driven by the profit motive, of couse. But they are driven by many other forces as well. Among these are the desire to do good for others, to help the needy, to make the world a better place--in fact, to solve all the unsolved problems that challenge humanity around the world. Yet today's capitalism is powerless to act on these motives, because it makes no place for them.

Unlike an NGO or a charity, a social business produces goods and services, sells them for a fair price, competes in the market for customers, and strives to cover its costs through revenues generated. But unlike a traditional profit-maximizing business, it exists to serve a social goal: to feed the hungry, house the homeless, provide health care for the sick, or clean the environment. What's more, it does not generate profits. Instead, any surplus generated goes right back into the business, enabling it to serve more customers and expand the benefits it provides. Hence this simple definition of a social business: a non-loss, non-dividend business with a social objective.

Credit: Karl Weber
You can see Muhammad Yunus talking about the Social Business Model here.

Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War    (top | next | prev)

I recently read an interesting and provocative article Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War from Venkatesh Rao that produced a number of reactions by other bloggers.

He makes some good points but I just don't agree that this is a generation war. I have run scores of knowledge cafes and knowledge sharing workshops around the planet these last few years and although I have met people of all ages: Boomers; Gen-Xers and Millennials - I have not seen attitudes and behaviors differentiated by chronological age.

As Mark Gould commented in his blog post Oh good grief… "Date of birth does not determine a generation. Where you fit in the generations will depend on a range of personal factors — personal responsibilities (are you a carer or a parent, or are you fancy-free), political focus (do you tend to respect authority, or do you seek your own gurus), and age (not when you were born, but how old are you)."

Personally, I think the post is nicely argued but it is a crude stereotype and is wrong but take a read and decide for yourself from your own experience.

Michael Sampson's conference notes from KM World    (top | next | prev)

If like myself, you did not get to KM World 2008 this year then you can catch a flavor of the event by reading Michael Sampsons conference notes.

Service Learning    (top | next | prev)

I love this concept of "service learning". Why can't most learning be like this. It seems to me that teaching in its quest to be objective is too academic; too theoretical and simply not grounded in the real world and this strips it of its context and relevance and to put it bluntly makes it dull and boring. Service-learning not only brings learning back to life but achieves worthy social goals at the same time and we have those in abundance that need addressing.

Service-learning combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content. 

For example, if school students collect trash out of an urban streambed, they are providing a service to the community as volunteers; a service that is highly valued and important. When school students collect trash from an urban streambed, then analyze what they found and possible sources so they can share the results with residents of the neighborhood along with suggestions for reducing pollution, they are engaging in service-learning. In the service-learning example, the students are providing an important service to the community AND, at the same time, learning about water quality and laboratory analysis, developing an understanding of pollution issues, learning to interpret science issues to the public, and practicing communications skills by speaking to residents. They may also reflect on their personal and career interests in science, the environment, public policy or other related areas. Thus, we see that service-learning combines SERVICE with LEARNING in intentional ways.

Via: iterating toward openness

Money as debt    (top | next | prev)

Having watched the video Money as Debt, I now realize that if we are to create a sustainable world we have to fix the money system first! I had often wondered how money was created and why it was never taught in schools - now to my horror I understand!

Thanks to Euan Semple for pointing me to this.

Google SMS Channels    (top | next | prev)

Google have launched a new service called Google SMS Channels. It is only available in India.

With it, you can create SMS groups to communicate with your friends, family, and co-workers.

Google SMS Channels are free both for content publishers as well as mobile phone users who subscribe to text updates via SMS.

It seems they have only released it in India because Indian Telcos have made SMS free.

This seems like an interesting development. It raises two questions in my mind. What does it mean for services like Twitter and how long will it be before other Telcos make SMS a free service.

KM Event Highlights    (top | next | prev)

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.

Gurteen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass
17 Nov 2008, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be running this Masterclass as part of my trip to South Africa

Braintrust International 2008
18 - 20 Nov 2008, Orlando, United States

Gurteen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass
19 Nov 2008, Pretoria, South Africa
I will be running this Masterclass as part of my trip to South Africa

Gurteen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass
20 Nov 2008, Stellenbosch, South Africa
I will be running this Masterclass as part of my trip to South Africa

KM Asia 2008
25 - 27 Nov 2008, Singapore City, Singapore
I spoke at this conference and/or ran a workshop in 2003, 2006 and 2007 but will not be attending this year.

Online Information 2008
02 - 04 Dec 2008, London, United Kingdom

How do I know if my KM programme is effective?
03 Dec 2008, London, United Kingdom

10th Asia Pacific KM Conference
04 Dec - 05 Nov 2008, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China

APQC Knowledge Management Conference 2009
14 - 15 May 2009, Houston, United States

My Upcoming Activities    (top | next | prev)

This section of my Knowledge Letter highlights my planned activities over the next six months or so. Its prime purpose is to allow you to know where I will be and to contact me if you would like to meet. I also use Dopplr to allow people to track my travlels more closely and to potentially meet up with me. You can see a list of my immediate activities below or a full list here.

South Africa Trip
15 - 22 Nov 2008, South Africa
One week trip to South Africa, the week of the 15th November

Subscribing and Unsubscribing    (top | next | prev)

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    (top | next | prev)

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 the Henley Business School, 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

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