Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 168 - June 2014


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 168 - June 2014


  1. Introduction to the June 2014 Knowledge Letter
  2. Random Beer Collaborations
  3. Question: What would be the implications for socety if we discovered we didn't have free will?
  4. KM UK 2014 storified
  5. Learning Circles @ Plan Zimbabwe
  6. Knowledge Management - Financial Sector Collaboration Group
  7. Gamification Cafe
  8. My Knowledge Letter is available in Russian
  9. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: June 2014
  10. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  11. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  12. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the June 2014 Knowledge Letter

Chris Collison wrote a very interesting bog post recently: Secret Objectives v Shared Knowledge. Open Performance Management anyone? that has been talked about a little on my LinkedIn KM Forum. The nub of the idea is this:
What if we could bury forced-ranking and focus on releasing the best from our people; start managing talent collectively rather than individually, and reform closed performance management into collaborative knowledge sharing?

Is anyone aware of any organizations doing this or have any thoughts on the idea. If so, join the discusssion on LinkedIn.

Random Beer Collaborations

As many of you know, I have been spreading the word far and wide about Randomized Coffee Trials (RCTs) and so I am delighted when ever I hear that my efforts have yielded some results.

Sunita Anderson, Head of KM - Group Commercial at SABMiller (the brewing company) mailed me recently to tell me that she and Sara Bell were both at the February Henley Forum and heard me talk about RCTs and this inspired the birth of their Random Beer Collaborations (RBCs). Naturally beer is SABMiller's beverage of choice and at their offices they have a bar area that serves their brands of beer from 4:30pm every day!

The RBC process is a simple one. This is how Sunita describes it:
  • We created a group on Yammer and through this, internal comms and physical posters we announced the launch of RBC, inviting people to sign up by posting #pairmeup on the Yammer group.

  • Sara and I randomly paired people up making sure that they did not belong to the same Function. We keep a log on a simple excel spreadsheet.

  • They are introduced by email and then encouraged to make their own ‘meet up' arrangements. They are not compelled to drink beer – they could meet up earlier in the day over a coffee. Whatever works best for them.

  • Early days yet but we have asked the pairs to feedback on their sessions via the Yammer group. If new ideas have come up as a result of this collaborative conversation, we hope that they will share these and we have offered a prize to the best idea.

I am now looking forward to hearing stories about Random Tea Learnings, Random Water Sharings and Random Fruit Juice Innovations!

Oh I forget to mention, the Bank of England has a form of RCTs they call CoffeeFours where four people meet up once a month for conversation. There are all sorts of different ways of running these things.

Give them ago, the cost is minimal and the potential outcomes high.

Question: What would be the implications for socety if we discovered we didn't have free will?

I have often thought about posting interesting questions on my blog to include in my monthly knowledge letter.

When somebody tells me what I or society has deeply believed for aons is not correct - rather then get defensive I ask myself the question - "what would it mean if we have been wrong about this all the time". It's rare that I change my mind on the issue unless faced with strong evidence but it makes for an interesting conversation in my head.

So here is my first question: read the following article Free Will May Just Be the Brains Background Noise or Scientific evidence that you probably don't have free will and then ask yourself the question "What would be the implications for society if we discovered we didn't have free will?" And as in my Knowledge Cafes, it is OK to go off topic.

Better still, have the conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee. Enjoy :-)

KM UK 2014 storified

For those of you who could not attend KM UK recently, most of it was tweeted by the participants and storified by Paul Corney and Irene Aurianne.

Here are the "stories":

Learning Circles @ Plan Zimbabwe

Its always good to hear inspiring stories of how organizations have gone that "extra mile" in their knowledge sharing and learning efforts.

I recently learnt about how Plan Zimbabwe - part of the Plan international development organisation that promotes and protects the rights of children around the globe share and learn through regular learning circles and bi-annual staff conferences.

Every three weeks, country office and field staff gather for a two-day ‘Learning Circle' to share their successes, challenges and experiences, and at times to engage with external participants and speakers.

These have helped them understand key developments in their specific area of work, and gain new knowledge and skills from their colleagues and visitors.

Examples have included their finance director sharing insights on global economic markets, the Office Drivers sharing their safe driving techniques and a local attorney advising staff on estate planning.

Staff also attend bi-annual conferences to reflect on and share their learnings, and engage with external speakers such as Robert Chambers (see this interesting article by him on Participation: people power by putting the first last?).

Initiatives such as these are simple and effective. Not only do they encourage people to reflect more deeply and more broadly on various aspects of their work, they also encourage them to interact and learn from one another.

Yes - that's two whole days every 3 weeks for the Learning Circles - I'd love to see more organizations take such initiatives.

Knowledge Management - Financial Sector Collaboration Group

Pam Watson, KM Manager at the Bank of England has recently created a Knowledge Management - Financial Sector Collaboration Group on LinkedIn. You can join here

She has a few members already but it would be good to grow it into a thriving community.

Or if your KM interests are broader then you can join my Gurteen Knowledge Community Group

Also watch out for a London Knowledge Cafe specifically for the Financial Services sector in the next month or two.

Gamification Cafe

I recently ran a Knowledge Cafe in London hosted by Westminster Business School on Gamification with Andrzej Marczewski as the speaker. Irene Pardo of Willmington wrote about the Cafe A little KM story… and Claire Valentine of TFPL bogged about it - Gamification – the new way forward in engaging with staff and clients?. You will also find a lot of feedback from the earnings on the Knowledge Cafe Wall for the event if you are interested.

Andrzej Marczewski also spoke on Gamification at KM UK 2014 and an exercise was run to explore how Gamification could be used in a KM environment.

Although Andrzej was an articulate and knowledgeable speaker and removed many of my doubts about gamification I am still not sure that I fully appreciate the concept but these are my thoughts to date:
  • Gamification is not about turning something into a game.

  • Gamification is of value (I am no longer quite as sceptical as I was)

  • When ever I design a system of any sort in the future, I will stop to think how gamification might be of benefit in helping to engage people.

  • Key "gamification elements": Think about how to give more timely feedback to people; how to introduce elements of competition and how to give frequent small psychological rewards. (I suspect there are a few more I have missed).

  • Consider carefully the possibility of people gaming the game or other unintended consequences.

  • Be careful not to undermine intrinsic motivation. Like most "rewards" intrinsic motivation can be easily undermined.

  • I have yet to see or been told about an application in the KM field that works and does not have any of the above pitfalls. Hence my scepticism.

One of the best examples of Gamification I have come across. It can't be gamed. It does not undermine intrinsic motivation and there are no obvious unintended consequences. But then it is a very simple situation.

My Knowledge Letter is available in Russian

If you are a Russian speaker and enjoy my Knowledge Letter then you might be pleased to know that most of it is now available in Russian as part of the Журнал Business Case Study Magazine thanks to the folks at the KM Alliance.

You can download the recent issue here http://yadi.sk/d/VbhFxv7TStxYL

And if you would like to subscribe to it, email your request to Mikhail KIRICHENKO

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: June 2014

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for May to June 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.

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

Intimate Converstions
08 Jul 2014, London, United Kingdom

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

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

What life experience has influenced you the most?
29 Jul 2014, Farnborough, 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 Brasil 2014
17 - 19 Sep 2014, Florianópolis - SC, Brasil

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

IKMAP 2014
09 - 10 Oct 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

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

LEARNTech Asia Conference 2014
13 - 14 Nov 2014, Singapore City, Singapore

KM Asia 2014
18 - 19 Nov 2014, Singapore City, Singapore

KM Russia 2014
27 - 28 Nov 2014, Moscow, Russia

3rd International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
19 - 20 Mar 2015, Durban, South Africa

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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