Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 113 - November 2009


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Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 113 - November 2009


  1 Introduction to the November 2009 Knowledge Letter
  2 The story of TOMS Shoes
  3 How to organise a children's party
  4 We cannot problem solve our way into fundamental change, or transformation
  5 No More Consultants
  6 A talk by Dr David Vaine on 4th generation knowledge management!
  7 The chef & the recipe book user
  8 An interview with Theodore Zeldin
  9 KM Event Highlights
10 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
11 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the November 2009 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

Just a few weeks back I participated in KM India in Chennai where I gave a talk/kcafe and also ran a Knowledge Cafe Masterclass. I was in good company as the other Dave was there also LOL.

It was my first time in India and I was not too sure what I would make of both the country and the KM Conference. Unfortunately, all I got to see of India was the view from the taxi from the airport to the hotel as I did not have any free time and so I expected that. As I told everyone, I am simply going to have to return and indeed I hope to do so in 2010.

As for the conference, I was delighted! I had not attended a KM conference with so much enthusiasm and energy for a long time. I was also impressed with the degree to which everyone was talking about Social KM. The concept seems more established in India than any other country, so much so, when it came to my talk on the second day, I ditched much of what I had planned to say to make more time for conversation in the form of a knowledge cafe The question I posed was "What does it mean to you to work in a participatory 2.0 world?" and there were some great conversations at the tables.

I do hope to get back next year!

And oh yes, I came across this article India is morphing into a global R&D hub but can it ever take on Silicon Valley? a few days back - that India is morphing into a giant R&D machine does not surprise me at all!

The story of TOMS Shoes    (top | next | prev)

I love this story of TOMS shoes. So far they have given over 150,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world. The story is a great example of how you can create a for-profit business and still do "social good".

Blake Mycoskie, while on holiday in Argentina. and with no desire to get into philanthropy, met some kids who didn't have shoes and the idea was born. One man! One great idea!

How to organise a children's party    (top | next | prev)

If you have heard Dave Snowden speak you will almost certainly have heard his children's party story. I must have heard it a dozen time or more and it get better with each rendition. Take a look :-)

You will find two more videos on the Cognitive Edge YouTube Channel and I gather from Dave that several more will be posted over the coming months.

We cannot problem solve our way into fundamental change, or transformation    (top | next | prev)

Whenever I run my Knowledge Cafe Masterclasses, a few people always have a serious problem with the fact that when run in its "pure form" there are no tangible outcomes of a Knowledge Cafe.

There are plenty of intangible ones, such as a better understanding of the issue, a better understanding of ones own views, a better understanding of others perspectives, improved relationships and genuine engagement and motivation to pursue the subject but no outcomes in the form of a decision or a consensus or a to-do list.

I and many others don't have a problem with this -- the intangibles are worthy outcomes. And then I recently came across this quote from Peter Block in an online booklet of his entited Civic Engagement and theRestoration of Community: Changing the Nature of the Conversation

My belief is that the way we create conversations that overcome the fragmented nature of our communities is what creates an alternative future.

This can be a difficult stance to take for we have a deeply held belief that the way to make a difference in the world is to define problems and needs and then recommend actions to solve those needs.

We are all problem solvers, action oriented and results minded. It is illegal in this culture to leave a meeting without a to-do list.

We want measurable outcomes and we want them now.

What is hard to grasp is that it is this very mindset which prevents anything fundamental from changing.

We cannot problem solve our way into fundamental change, or transformation.

This is not an argument against problem solving; it is an intention to shift the context and language within which problem solving takes place.

Authentic transformation is about a shift in context and a shift in language and conversation. It is about changing our idea of what constitutes action.

So another intangible I should add to my list: "a shift in context and in language and conversation that changes our idea of what constitutes action."

No More Consultants    (top | next | prev)

Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell have recently released a new book entitled No More Consultants: We know more than we think.

Chris and Geoff's first book was Learning to Fly and I consider it one of the best books available on KM. This new book is of equal calibre.

We have been taught to look to "experts" for help and advice. And although we often do need guidance, we know more than we think. Given the complexity of our twenty-first century organizations it is dangerous to rely on external consultants who can never fully understand the richness of the context in which we work.

In this book, Chris and Geoff provide tools and techniques that allow us to tap into our innate capabilities and to do away with rather than automatically relying upon external consultants!

A talk by Dr David Vaine on 4th generation knowledge management!    (top | next | prev)

Those of you who know Patrick Lambe of Straits Knowledge may also know his alter ego Dr David Vaine. Dr Vaine gave a short speech at the ACTKM Annual Conference Dinner in October earlier this year where he outlined the key features of Fourth Generation Knowledge Management, and dealt with the difficult question of managing the transition between Generation X and Generation Y in the workplace.

Here are the first three generations of KM according to David Vaine! Enjoy the video!

  • Ist generation KM pioneered by No Knuckles "making tacit knowledge explicit"
  • 2nd generation characterised by David Green Teen "lets all just chat"
  • 3rd generation characterised by Dennis Snowden "its all about complexity, complexity"

You will find other video talks from David Vaine and more serious ones from Patrick Lambe on Patricks blip.tv channel.

The chef & the recipe book user    (top | next | prev)

I wrote recently on On best practice and thinking for yourself! and linked to some others with similar views.

Well, in the last few weeks Dave Snowden has blogged on the issue once more with a post entitled The chef & the recipe book user and so has Steve Barth on How to Treat Best Practices

I like Dave's metaphor of the chef and the recipe book. Coincidentally Steve's post also has a food theme!

An interview with Theodore Zeldin    (top | next | prev)

You may be interested in this recent interview with Theodore Zeldin by Ana Neves. It seems it was me that put Ana on to Theodore and as many of you will know I love his work and quote him in most of my talks and workshops. You will find lots more about him on my website including some of my favorite quotes of his.

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.

KMWorld & Intranets 2009
17 - 19 Nov 2009, San Jose, United States

KM Asia 2009
24 - 26 Nov 2009, Singapore City, Singapore
I will be giving a keynote talk and running a workshop and a reverse brainstorming cafe at KM Asia this year.

Online Information 2009
01 - 03 Dec 2009, London, United Kingdom
Unfortunately I will not be at Online Information this year as I am giving a talk at a conference in Edinburgh.

Implementing a Knowledge Cafe
09 Dec 2009, London, United Kingdom
I am looking forward to facilitating this Masterclass in December. This will be my fourth with the Ark Group in London.

KM Forum 10th Annual Conference
24 - 25 Feb 2010, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom
I will be at Henley for this event - how could I miss the 10th anniversary!

5th Knowledge Management International Conference
25 - 27 May 2010, Terengganu, Malaysia

KC UK 2010
15 - 16 Jun 2010, London, United Kingdom

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.

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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