Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 125 - November 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 125 - November 2010


  1 Introduction to the November 2010 Knowledge Letter
  2 Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin
  3 Maggie Doyne and Kopila Valley Primary School
  4 KM Videos from Judi Sandrock
  5 Does "being professional" limit things?
  6 Self-Improvement Myths?
  7 Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus
  8 Improving understanding
  9 Hot tweets: November 2010
10 November 2010: Major upcoming KM Events
11 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
12 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

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

I am now back home after six weeks on the road (Singapore, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Auckland, Sydney, Singapore and home - phew!). This is the third year I have made such a journey and I am still amazed that these trips go off without a hitch!

I met a lot of great people - many whom were good friends or I had met on earlier trips and many who introduced me to clients, hosted me for the night, bought me dinner and more. But also a lot of new people who so enthusiastically engaged in my knowledge cafes and workshops. To all of you a BIG thank you.

Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin    (top | next | prev)

The Gurteen Knowledge Group on LinkedIn is now the central discussion forum for the Gurteen Knowledge Community.

Over the past month, it has grown by over 100 people to 1,308 members. It's a great place to post questions and slowly more discussion and interaction are taking place on the forum.

If you would like to join then you can register here.

Maggie Doyne and Kopila Valley Primary School    (top | next | prev)

Maggie Doyne is an amazing young woman. This is how her story starts (watch the video):

After my senior year of high school, as my friends were heading off to college, my parents dropped me off at Newark Airport where I boarded a plane and set off to travel the world. It was just me and my backpack on my first solo trip away from home. Four countries and 20,000 miles later, I was trekking through the Himalayas in war-torn Nepal, where I began to meet hundreds of orphan children. I fell in love with their bright eyes and beautiful smiles, but was shocked to see them barely surviving without the most basic things that I had grown up with as a child.

As I shared my dream to build a safe home for these children, with my hometown in Mendham, NJ, I was astounded by the outpouring of support. Three years ago, I officially opened the frontdoor of Kopila Valley Children's Home, built brick-by-brick, by me and the local community in Nepal. There are now 35 children living in our home.

Credit: Maggie Doyne

Why is it that some people accept things as they are and others like Maggie set out to change the world?

KM Videos from Judi Sandrock    (top | next | prev)

Here are some short videos on various aspects of Knowledge Management by Judi Sandrock in South Africa from her DVD provided with her book The Art of Managing Knowledge.

In this one on KM Team Development she makes a point that I make time and time again, where she asks "At all times we must ask ourselves - what is the value that we are contributing to the organization?" Enjoy :-)

Does "being professional" limit things?    (top | next | prev)

I recently attended ECKM 2010 in Portugal and one of the participants, Kalle Tomingas, an amateur photographer, captured the social side of the conference so well in his photographs.

In an email, later, to Daniela Castrataro I commented:

"Yes I loved Portugal and Kalle's photos really captured the conference. I do like the ECKM conferences as they are so social. I think every conference should have a professional photographer to capture the spirit of the event - and its not that its an expensive thing to do :-)"

To which she replied:

"I think you're right about the photographer but I think that when we start adding the word "professional" to things, we somehow limit them. Talking about a photographer at a conference, he would certainly capture beautiful images and colours, actions, important moments, but the real essence will probably be missed out. If Kalle was called to take pictures at ECKM as The Professional Photographer, he would have seriously focussed on his job and probably missed the interaction and the 'social' of those days, and with that the true spirit of the event.

It's exactly the same difference that we have between conferences and your Knowledge Cafes. Conferences put pressure on people to do their job in a serious, formal and "professional" way. This will never change. I'm not saying that nothing good comes out of conferences, but it's a very slow process and often an empty exercise, which keep the brains stuck on the same ideas and beliefs for too much time. In just one hour of knowledge cafe you can get as much content, interactivity, flexibility, new ideas, opinions..., as you will get in 10 year of ECKM (maybe)!"

Daniela is of course right. I never do like that word "professional" and I am not too sure why I used it. I have written about my dislike for it in the past. Some how "being professional" seems unnatural and is the antithesis of "being human".

Self-Improvement Myths?    (top | next | prev)

In reading this article on Self-Improvement Myths by Michael Schrage. It reminded me of a quotation I recently added to my collection.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Good advice, given its 2,500 years old! Almost everyday I seem to trip over recent and not so recent research that shows that much of what we take for granted and never question has little or no evidence to support it whatsoever.

Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus    (top | next | prev)

My son Jonathan bought me Clay Shirky's book Cognitive Surplus for my birthday and I am looking forward to settling down to read it.

Clay Shirky has been talking about the Cognitive Surplus for a couple of years now and I have blogged about it in the past and I had assumed that everyone was aware of the concept but during my recent travels I was surprised how many people had not heard of Clay nor Cognitive Surplus so here's the gist and video talk here.

The central theme of the book Cognitive Surplus is that people are now learning how to more constructively use the free time afforded to them since the 1940s for creative acts rather than consumptive ones, particularly with the advent of online tools that allow new forms of collaboration. It goes on to catalog the means and motives behind these new forms of cultural production, as well as key examples.

While Shirky acknowledges that the activities that we use our cognitive surplus for may be frivolous (such as creating LOLcats), the trend as a whole is leading to valuable and influential new forms of human expression. He also asserts that even the most inane forms of creation and sharing are preferable to the hundreds of billions of hours spent consuming television shows in countries such as the United States.

Improving understanding    (top | next | prev)

I received an email from a student a month or so back in which she asked for my advise.

She told me that she was working on her KM thesis and thought she was doing well as she had received a merit on her literature review but was devastated when her supervisor told her 6 months later that she was doing worse than other undergraduate researchers as she had a very poor understanding of the main points.

In my reply I suggested that she found a small group of her fellow students whom she could come together with once or twice a week over coffee and have conversations around the work (a mini knowledge cafe) and that she would soon get to see that other people had different points of view - not necessarily right or wrong but different and this would cause her to think more deeply about the topics and reflect on her own perspectives and that this should help lead to a deeper understanding.

She replied very excitedly that she thought it was a brilliant idea and would try it. I have yet to hear back but I hope it works for her.

Funny though, when I think back to my undergraduate days - I never ever had conversations with my fellow students about our work. I recall once a few us thought about getting together to form a study group and my tutor urging me not to waste my time.

Now where did I read something recently that the critical success factor at Harvard was not innate intelligence (you need that to get there) or hard-work but the ability to network and to form study groups and learn informally and socially. I wish I could find the article.

Hot tweets: November 2010    (top | next | prev)

Here are some of my more interesting Tweets for the month of November 2010. Take a look, if you are not a Tweeter, you will get a good idea of how I use it by browsing the list of micro-posts. And if you like what you see then subscribe to my Tweets.
  • APQC 2011 Knowledge Management Conference Call for Presentations http://bit.ly/d7AheY #KM
    2010-11-22 15:59:31 UTC

  • RT @GurteenQuotes: "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." Anne Frank #quote http://bit.ly/7ROqfy
    2010-11-21 13:55:56 UTC

  • RT @JohnGirard: David Gurteen’s keynote at KM Middle East 2011: Don’t do KM!, Abu Dhabi, 15 March 2011, http://bit.ly/9Urw0P #KM #KMME
    2010-11-21 00:50:48 UTC

  • Key outcome from a knowledge cafe is what people take away in their heads http://bit.ly/9rnbpC /nice summary of my process
    2010-11-20 07:02:33 UTC

  • Video: Hole-In-The-Wall-Education http://linkd.in/bA0Teo #socialgood /love it
    2010-11-20 06:46:03 UTC

  • Listing of Bill Ives KM World 2010 session notes http://bit.ly/aLk0pu #km
    2010-11-19 15:28:14 UTC

  • RT @AlecJRoss: 20 years ago today, Tim Berners-Lee published his proposal for the World Wide Web. The proposal http://bit.ly/bDgwb9
    2010-11-19 11:54:44 UTC

  • RT @GurteenNews: Quotation: On what GNP means. by Robert F. Kenendy http://bit.ly/du3Tcl
    2010-11-19 06:51:41 UTC

  • RT @rotkapchen: "The only way you can understand a complex system is by engagement with it." @snowded #KMW10 #UX #ethnography
    2010-11-19 06:48:44 UTC

  • RT @complexified: RT @snowded: Slides and podcast from #kmw10 loaded http://bit.ly/a8E5zn #km
    2010-11-19 06:47:50 UTC

  • The Death -- and Reinvention -- of Management: A draft synthesis http://bit.ly/a3ceoO
    2010-11-18 07:45:47 UTC

  • Why You Should Focus on "Worst Practices" http://bit.ly/cPJA03 #km
    2010-11-17 17:16:28 UTC

  • Skype And Lessons Learnt http://bit.ly/bopBhz
    2010-11-17 12:08:34 UTC

    2010-11-17 10:31:03 UTC

  • KM World 2010 notes: Stan Garfield on Communities of Practice http://bit.ly/arSLEG #km #kmw10
    2010-11-17 08:38:37 UTC

  • My KM World 2010 + Enterprise Search Summit 2010 Notes: Tom Stewart Key Note http://bit.ly/bbfpde #km #kmw10
    2010-11-16 18:33:40 UTC

  • RT @amcafee: 1 of Gartner's 4 trends that will change IT + biz over next 20 years = Business impact of social computing http://bit.ly/97BqNq
    2010-11-16 18:11:36 UTC

  • Video: Facebook’s New Messaging System Explained http://on.mash.to/9UvR9N
    2010-11-16 06:24:13 UTC

  • RT @GurteenQuotes: The most moral activity of all is the creation of space for life to move around. Robert M. Pirsig http://bit.ly/aqmR4
    2010-11-16 05:56:57 UTC

  • RT @GurteenNews: Share: Scott Berkun Covers the Many Myths of Innovation http://j.mp/cNJXdu
    2010-11-15 00:23:13 UTC

  • You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions http://bit.ly/bdQ1sO #km
    2010-11-15 00:20:56 UTC

  • Integrating learning into the business http://bit.ly/cdV2Ny #km
    2010-11-14 02:34:21 UTC

  • RT @AlexGoodall That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way Dorris Lessing
    2010-11-14 02:29:49 UTC

  • Short video: Hidden assumptions http://bit.ly/92vYVV /brilliant!
    2010-11-14 02:15:15 UTC

  • Description of High and Low Context Cultures http://bit.ly/c0XjqW #KM
    2010-11-11 03:35:24 UTC

  • A marker can change the life (of your spouse) http://bit.ly/bQUORi /v. funny
    2010-11-11 03:33:30 UTC

  • Why Best Practices Are Hard to Practice http://bit.ly/cJVx0s #km
    2010-11-11 00:56:50 UTC

  • I have most common followers with @snowded (1318), @NancyWhite (809), @euan (764), @hjarche (718), @jclarey (714): http://tweeple.me
    2010-11-01 04:48:43 UTC

  • Dilbert on social media http://bit.ly/cTcOqh
    2010-10-30 21:35:08 UTC

  • Flipping lectures http://bit.ly/949Mml /brilliant idea
    2010-10-27 09:04:00 UTC

November 2010: Major upcoming KM Events    (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.

KM Asia 2010
Online Information Conference 2010
30 Nov - 02 Dec 2010, London, United Kingdom
I will be at this event.

02 - 04 Dec 2010, Bangalore, India

Knowledge & Information Management for Oil & Gas USA
08 - 09 Dec 2010, Houston, United States

3rd Iranian Knowledge Management Conference
08 - 09 Feb 2011, Tehran, Iran
I will be speaking at this conference in Tehran

Henley Knowledge Mangement Forum Annual Conference
16 - 17 Feb 2011, Greenlands, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

KM Middle East 2011
15 - 16 Mar 2011, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
I will be giving the keynote talk at this conference.

Online Information Asia-Pacific 2011
23 - 24 Mar 2011, Hong Kong, China

APQC’s 16th Annual Knowledge Management Conference 2011
12 - 13 May 2011, Houston, United States

KM UK 2011
21 - 22 Jun 2011, 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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