Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 163 - January 2014


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 163 - January 2014


  1. Introduction to the January 2014 Knowledge Letter
  2. KM mini-interviews with Nancy Dixon
  3. Why we should lay off "best practice" in KM
  4. Does Pope Francis know something about Knowledge Management?
  5. Telepresence: "Beaming in" to a Knowledge Cafe
  6. Peter Block: Lecture-style seating is a parade ground with comfort!
  7. Pause & Reflect Take Two
  8. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: January 2014
  9. Upcoming Events
  10. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  11. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the January 2014 Knowledge Letter

In my November Knowledge Letter I posted an item on Serendipity and Randomised Coffee Trials.

These have had quite a lot of attention with several people telling me how much they like the idea and I have added the RSA and the KHDA in Dubai to my list of organisations running them.

I am so excited by the concept that I am encouraging more people to take them up and to collect stories and anecdotes about how they have been implemented and the feedback received.

Also, I have now found two organisations that provide an RCT service: CoffeeWho and Lunch Roulette

Other organisations have mashed up an Excel spreadsheet to administer their RCTs. If you know of any free simple tool that will make the random matches please let me know.

But take a look at them! So simple, so powerful!

KM mini-interviews with Nancy Dixon

Ankur Makhija of eClerx Services recently let me know that they have uploaded two more KM mini-interviews to their YouTube channel. The latest are from Nancy Dixon and include:
They are short and well worth the time to view.

I also have a playlist of video talks by Nancy Dixon if you are interested.

Why we should lay off "best practice" in KM

I am still surprised to hear people talk about KM "best practices" and to see the topic on conference agendas.

As Dave Snowden, points out in this rather old article Managing for Serendipity or why we should lay off “best practice” in KM, they come at a severe cost.
... The common knowledge management focus on best practice is in effect contrary to natural practice; an attempt to impose an idealistic structured process onto the natural activity of learning and knowledge transfer through a focus on efficiency at the cost of effectiveness.
If you are new to KM and have not read this article then can I suggest you do :-)

Does Pope Francis know something about Knowledge Management?

Does the Pope Francis know something about Knowledge Management? Here is a recent quote from an interview with him. To my mind, it's not only the Church that needs to preach less and listen more- we all need to :-)
Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.

We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.

Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs.

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas.

The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.

Credit: Pope Francis

Telepresence: "Beaming in" to a Knowledge Cafe

There is an interesting thread in the Gurteen Knowledge Forum on the subject of how to run a Virtual Knowledge Cafe that has been running for while.

And then recently, I was talking to Kitty Wooley on Skype about this and we decided it would be interesting for her to join one of my London Knowledge Cafes virtually as an experiment. So this would be one virtual person in a sea of real people. My first thought was to have the "virtual Kitty" sit at a table as a laptop or better still as an IPad and to connect via Skype. It seemed to me that this could even work more generally if there was just one virtual person per table.

But as I reflected on it - I realised that there might be some better technology available than a laptop or an iPad. My first thought was a remote controlled WiFi webcam such as this one BESTEX remote controlled webcam

But it was obviously not ideal and so I Googled around a little and found Beam+

and Double Robotics - Telepresence Robot for Telecommuters.

Both are wonderful but expensive pieces of technology that I am sure will come down in price overtime and will have their place. But I wanted something simpler and less expensive and it did not need to be mobile. I then came across the Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam

At first glance, it looked as if in combination with a laptop, it might work well until I realised that the person "beaming in" could not control where the camera was looking. A big disappointment!

But I am sure it is only a matter of time before I can purchase something like this at a reasonable price and simply place the virtual person on a chair with the others at the table and for a good group conversation to take place even though it will still fall short of a genuine face to face, "body to body" conversation!

Peter Block: Lecture-style seating is a parade ground with comfort!

In the introduction to my April 2013 Knowledge Letter I mentioned Peter Block and Ken Everett sent me the email below in response.
Hi David,

Glad you highlighted Peter Block.

I became an admirer when I attended a presentation in a BIG ballroom thing at ASTD 2008.

He immediately pointed out the 'military' nature of our arrangement--in rows, facing the O-I-C, looking at the backs of heads.

He highlighted that this was a parade ground...with comfort.

And useless for real communication.

The auditorium, he said, should only be used for performances!

He then got us to break the rows of chairs (literally--they were connected) into groups of 3 or 4...and to discuss a question.


Keep up your good work.

Best wishes, Ken

Credit: Ken Everett

It reminded me of a Knowledge Cafe I ran at an ECKM conference in 2007 in a University in Barcelona where the chairs were actually screwed down to the floor ... so we went across the road and held it in a real Cafe!

Pause & Reflect Take Two

I recently posted an item titled Pause and Reflect referencing a blog post ‘Pause & Reflect' session or an ‘After Action Review'? by Paul Corney.

In response Paul has posted a further item describing the difference between a Pause & Reflect and an AAR: 10 tips for running a successful Pause & Reflect debrief that you may find of interest.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: January 2014

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for December 2013 to January 2014. 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.

If you like the Tweets then subscribe to my Tweet stream.

Upcoming Events

Here are 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 India 2014
21 - 22 Feb 2014, Bangalore, India

3rd Conference on Value Adding Management of Knowledge, Innovation & Intellectual Capital (KICC 2014)
22 - 24 Feb 2014, Tehran, Iran

6th Iranian Knowledge Management Conference
25 - 26 Feb 2014, Tehran, Iran

Henley Forum Conference 2014
26 - 27 Feb 2014, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

KM Middle East
10 - 12 Mar 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

APQC's 2014 Knowledge Management Conference
07 - 11 Apr 2014, Houston, United States

4th International Action Learning Conference
14 - 16 Apr 2014, Berkhamsted, United Kingdom

The Middle East Leadership Communications Conference
21 - 22 Apr 2014, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

KM Legal 2014
14 - 15 May 2014, London, United Kingdom

KM UK 2014
11 - 12 Jun 2014, London, United Kingdom

KMICe2014 : Knowledge Management International Conference
12 - 15 Aug 2014, Langkawi Island, Malaysia

The 9th International KMO Conference (Knowledge Management in Organizations)
02 - 05 Sep 2014, Santiago, Chile

15th European Conference on Knowledge Management
04 - 05 Sep 2014, Santarém, Portugal

KM LatinAmerican 2014
20 - 24 Oct 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

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

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 Henley 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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