Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 117 - March 2010


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 117 - March 2010


  1 Introduction to the March 2010 Knowledge Letter
  2 A colossal Knowledge Management failure!
  3 Father Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University
  4 Its a Cinch!
  5 Have you started your revolution yet?
  6 Zero rupee note that Indians can slip to corrupt officials who demand bribes
  7 Facts are free
  8 Indosat Innovation Week: A knowedge cafe in a reception area!
  9 Excel makes a poor shared database!
10 KM Event Highlights
11 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
12 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the March 2010 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

I now have over 17,000 subscribers in 170 countries to this newsletter. Some of you are new but many of you have been receiving it for almost ten years. I always think that if you read a little of every third newsletter and take away just one idea or action then it is all worth it.

I recognise that you are all busy and that often this newsletter gets deleted without even being opened and so every so often I feel compelled to repeat a few things that I feel are important or useful and I sometimes actually forget that I have mentioned something before!

Many of you will be aware of the various services I provide in addition to my website and newsletter such as email alerts. Here is a short list. Sign up if you can stand even more email from me :-)

Quote of the Day
Receive a quotation by e-mail on a day of the week of your choosing

Event Alerts
Receive e-mail alerts for new conferences & workshops in your region

New Book Alerts
Receive e-mail alerts for recently published books

Email Courses
Subscribe to short e-mail courses by e-mail

A colossal Knowledge Management failure!    (top | next | prev)

To my mind the failure by business but more so governments to understand the adverse affects of measures, rewards and targets is a colossal Knowledge Management failure. As far as I can tell nearly all the research and evidence shows that rewards and targets do NOT work in complex environments. In fact they have the opposite effect of what is intended! But despite all the evidence to the contrary they continue, out of habit, to put their heads in the sand and do not change.

This post from Ron Donaldson on A blind pursuit of targets points to yet more evidence. I really wish I had collected all the stories of the failure of targets by the Labour government over the last 12 years or so. I think there is enough to write a book! As Ron says "Is anyone in Govt health, education or the environment listening?"

This really is a KM issue. We have the knowledge but we refuse to act on it!

But apart from anything else "we really must stop trying to do things to people and to start to work with them".

Father Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University    (top | next | prev)

At Father Guido Sarduccis Five Minute University, he teaches what an average college graduate knows after five years from graduation in five minutes.

This is so funny because at its heart it is so true. Universities, schools and other educational establishments in their current form have had their day!

Thanks to Barry Camson for pointing me to this.

Its a Cinch!    (top | next | prev)

I recently discovered Cinch and I love it! It's a really easy way to create and share audio, text and photo updates using your phone or computer. Using a simple interface, you can take a photo and annotate it with a short piece of audio. You can then notify people through Facebook, Twitter or CinchCast. Its very simple and very effective and has the potential for being a powerful sharing tool. For example, photos could be taken of artifacts and annotated with a short voice description to form a simple library of sorts. Here are my Cinches so far.

Have you started your revolution yet?    (top | next | prev)

Take look at what Chris Brogan. has to say on Revolutions. My way of looking at this is that you get to achieve major revolutions one day at a time or as Chris puts it one tiny revolution at a time. Its pretty much the way I have worked over the last fifteen years or so. I have had a vision in my mind of what I have wanted to achieve and each day I have tried to take small steps in that direction. No grand plan but learning and adapting as I go. Chris describes the process well.

So have you started your revolution yet?

Zero rupee note that Indians can slip to corrupt officials who demand bribes    (top | next | prev)

If someone asked you for a bribe and you offered them a zero denomination note, how do you think they would react? Woild they get angry and demand the full bribe they were asking for or apologise and back down?

Surprisingly in India as this story about a zero rupee note that Indians can slip to corrupt officials who demand bribes explains the reaction seems to be the latter. Yes I can hardly believe it either. One posited explanation is that they shock people into honesty.

I often think that confronting people with the reality of their actions or behaviour in an in indirect, non-threatening way can cause them to reflect and change. Maybe we should experiment more with counter-intuitive ideas like this one. So often our intuition gets things wrong - nothing beats testing ideas - even crazy - ones in practice.

Facts are free    (top | next | prev)

I am not so sure I am comfortable with the style of this speaker Dan Brown on the theme An Open Letter to Educators but I have learnt over the years to try to overlook the presentation style and focus on the content. I may not like his style but although Dan is only 20 years old he is already a minor YouTube celebrity with over 100,000 subscribers and 2 million page views to his credit.

Two messages jumped out at me:

  • "Society no longer cares how many facts we can memorize because in the information age, facts are free."

  • " Education is about empowering students to change the world for the better."
The first point is clearly a somewhat similar message to my recent post on Father Guido Sarduccis Five Minute University. Interestingly, Dan claims to have recently dropped out of school as his "schooling was interfering with his education". I think he will be one of the first of many!

Indosat Innovation Week: A knowedge cafe in a reception area!    (top | next | prev)

I have run Knowledge Cafes in lots of interesting places but this Kcafe at the Indosat Innovation Week last week in Jakarta was the first time I had held one in a reception area with people walking by :-)

Excel makes a poor shared database!    (top | next | prev)

Fifteen years ago or more when I was developing Lotus Notes applications I was often asked to take an Excel spreadsheet and turn it into a Notes app. A common way of sharing information then was to create an Excel spreadsheet and store it on a shared disk drive where people could access it and update it or to pass it around by email.

Why Excel and not a database? Well Excel was the only tool that everyone had easy access to. Either they did not have access to a database tool because IT would not allow it or they did not have the skills to develop a database application themselves and could not afford to ask IT. But everyone had Excel and everyone knew how to program it - however crudely. Turning a spreadsheet into a Notes app was usually trivial and only took an hour or two but hugely improved the quality and accessibility of the information.

Using a spreadsheet was a very poor fudge back then but today its a crazy solution given all the modern tools we have! But guess what I came across an organisation a week or two back that were sharing information just that way - Excel spreadsheets on a shared drive! I still find it hard to believe.

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.

Making KM Productive
30 Mar 2010, Hong Kong, China
I will be speaking at this event.

The Gurteen Knowledge Café Masterclass
31 Mar 2010, Hong Kong, China
I will be running this Masterclass as a post-conference workshop at HKKMS 2010.

KM Egypt 2010
20 - 21 Apr 2010, Cairo, Egypt
I will be speaking at this event. My first trip to Egypt!

Driving Business Performance
26 - 30 Apr 2010, Houston, United States

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

Global MAKE Conference 2010 Brasil (GMC 2010)
25 - 27 May 2010, São Paulo, Brasil

Third International Congress on Knowledge Management
03 - 04 Jun 2010, Bogota, Colombia
I am looking forward to this conference. My first trip ro Colombia.

KM UK 2010
15 - 16 Jun 2010, London, United Kingdom
I will be giving a keynote talk at this event.

5th Knowledge and Project Management Symposium
04 - 05 Aug 2010, Tulsa, United States

World Library and Information Congress
10 - 15 Aug 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden

11th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2010)
02 - 03 Sep 2010, Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal
I will be attending this event for the seventh year in succession.

7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2010)
11 - 12 Nov 2010, Hong Kong, China

KMWorld & Intranets 2010
16 - 18 Nov 2010, Washington DC, United States

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

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
Friday 12 July 2024
02:09 PM GDT