Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 166 - April 2014


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 166 - April 2014


  1. Introduction to the April 2014 Knowledge Letter
  2. Dubai Today: Leadership
  3. Ownership not buy-in
  4. Why the Good Share but the Great Collaborate
  5. 3 mini-interviews with Kuebel-Sorger Ludger, head of the KM practice at Boston Consulting Group.
  6. A problem with online conversations
  7. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: April 2014
  8. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  9. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  10. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the April 2014 Knowledge Letter

I spent the Easter Saturday on an over night flight to Dubai and Easter Sunday speaking on Dubai Eye 103.8 - a Dubai radio station and then travelling on to Abu Dhabi. I then spent Easter Monday delivering a Knowledge Cafe workshop as part of a Leadership Communication Conference. The Tuesday was the main day of the conference and on the Wednesday I flew home.

So that was my Easter break gone. I would have rather been at home with my wife as we do not get that many long weekends together but my job means that I need to work anywhere in the world and be available 52 x 24 x 7. I don't have a problem with that and my wife supports my decision.

So when Euan Semple talks about Proper days off I have a lot of empathy with him .

Dubai Today: Leadership

While I was speaking at the Middle East Leadership Communication Conference on Conversational Leadership in Abu Dhabi last week, I was invited as a guest on a Dubai radio show.

The topic was "Leadership" with Suzanne Radford who hosted the show and Samineh Shaheem - a cross cultural psychologist.

It was an interesting chat - where I got to explain some of my thoughts on Conversational Leadership.

You can listen to a recording of the show here

Ownership not buy-in

Some years ago I gave a series of mini-interviews that I posted on YouTube. (I am not going to check how many actual years it was as I look so much younger then!) One of them was entitled "How do you make people share?" You can view it here.

In the video, I talk about the need for ownership of any change you wish to instigate in an organization verses trying to get buy-in through bribes such as rewards. This is still an issue dear to my heart as I continually see so many organizations get this wrong.

So I was delighted a few days ago when Lisa Kimball contacted me having seen the slides of my recent talk on Conversational Leadership at the Leadership Communication Conference in Abu Dhabi as she recognised we had so much in common.

In her email she shared several resources with me including a great handbook entitled Engaging Everyone with Liberating Structures It is full of useful resources and advise but what quickly jumped out for me was the section on "Ownership verses Buy-in". Here is what she has to say.

Ownership is when you own or share the ownership of an idea, a decision, an action plan, a choice. It means that you have participated in its development; that it is your choice freely made.

Buy-in is the exact opposite. Someone else, or some group of people, has done the development, the thinking and the deciding, and now they have to convince you to come along and buy-in to their idea -- so that you can implement their idea without your involvement in the initial conversations or resulting decisions. Aiming for buy-in creates lukewarm, pallid implementation and mediocre results.

When it comes to solving intractable socio-technical behavioural problems in systems the notion of buy-in is just not useful – people in the system need to own the new behaviors.

Anytime you or someone around you thinks or talks about buy-in, beware! It is a danger signal telling you that your development and implementation process is missing the essential ingredient of involving all who should be involved.

Thank you Lisa.

Why the Good Share but the Great Collaborate

My good friend and colleague Andrew Armour invited me to talk part in a Webinar last week with Powwownow on Collaboration.

It was a fun morning in Richmond with Andrew and several of the Powwownow team including Robert Gorby, their Marketing Director who joined us on the show.

You can find a recording of the webinar on the Powwownow blog

One thing I said that seemed to resonate with Andrew and Rob was relationship before collaboration - in other words before you can effectively collaborate in an organization you need to establish good relationships first.

Those of you on the ball will recognise this is an adaption of the words of Peter Block when he says connection before content.

Their next free online event comes up on 1st May : Business Yoga -- Why Smarter Businesses Use Flexible Working.

3 mini-interviews with Kuebel-Sorger Ludger, head of the KM practice at Boston Consulting Group.

Ankur Makhija recently emailed me to let me know that three new mini-interviews, recorded at the KM India Summit in Bangalore in February with Kuebel-Sorger Ludger who heads the Knowledge Management practice at Boston Consulting Group have been added to the eClerxServices KM Channel on YouTube. This makes over 40 mini-interviews now, including some early ones with me.

A problem with online conversations

One of the problems of discussing issues in on-line forums is that it is far too easy to be misunderstood.

When you compose a post, you often overlook to explain a lot of the background context and much of your reasoning and so you open yourself up to misunderstanding.

And when reading another person's post, maybe their reply, you misinterpret what they have written in a similar manner. Unlike face to face conversation, you can't correct misunderstandings easily and quickly. and so it is easy to slide into an argument.

What makes things worse, is that you know there are possibly hundreds of observers watching the exchange and you do not wish to lose face.

You also have the problem that when having a conversation with someone you know well you can read between the lines. Even when they state something badly, you know what they really mean. But of course the observers don't and so you feel the need to respond to the issues as stated and not as understood else you are in danger of being misunderstood yourself by the observers and thus open yourself up to attack.

This is just one of the reasons why I think online forums are great for sharing stuff but not so good for two way interactive conversations especially where the participants do not know each other well.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: April 2014

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for March 2014 to April 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 Knowledge 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.

ASTD 2014 Conference
04 - 07 May 2014, Washington DC, United States

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

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

Knowledge for Development (K4D)
08 - 10 Jul 2014, Bonn, Germany

European Conference on Social Media ECSM 2014
10 - 11 Jul 2014, Brighton, United Kingdom
I will be speaking at this conference.

KM Australia 2014 Congress
22 - 24 Jul 2014, Sydney, Australia

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 Brasil 2014
17 - 19 Sep 2014, Florianópolis - SC, Brasil

19th Knowledge Management Tracks
06 Oct 2014, Milano, Italy

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

KM World 2014
04 - 07 Nov 2014, Washington DC, United States

11th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning – ICICKM 2014
06 - 07 Nov 2014, Sydney, Australia

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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