Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 170 - August 2014


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 170 - August 2014


  1. Introduction to the August 2014 Knowledge Letter
  2. Randomised Coffee Trial Variations
  3. Jakarta Trip:15 - 24 September 2014
  4. Engaging each other and challenging our thinking
  5. IKI Talks: Interviews with 34 International Experts in Knowledge Management and Innovation.
  6. Question: Do strong relationships create an impasse to cutting-edge debate?
  7. Henley Forum: free guest places at upcoming event
  8. The Coffee Connector: Can a machine connect two strangers over coffee?
  9. Video of my Smarter Socially Mediated Conversations Talk
  10. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2014
  11. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  12. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  13. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the August 2014 Knowledge Letter

I'd like to remind you this month of some of the services available to you as a member of the Gurteen Knowledge Community.

If you would like to be an active member of the community and not just receive stuff then you should join the Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on LinkedIn. It has over 4,500 members and is a great place to meet and have discussions with like-minded people. You can join here: http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1539

In addition there are several other services. Here are just three of them:

RSS Feeds
Subscribe to a number of RSS feeds

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

Randomised Coffee Trial Variations

I had an interesting meeting with the KM Team at Airbus CIMPA in Bristol recently.

At one point, we talked about RCTs (Randomized Coffee Trials. CIMPA knew the concept and liked the principles of it but raised the concern that in the business environments they are used to dealing with there would be a need for tangible business outcomes from an RCT.

In further conversation, an interesting variation of the RCT concept emerged.
  • take a group of people

  • take a small collection of business problems/challenges/issues

  • randomly match two people with a random business issue

  • ask them to meet over coffee and discuss the selected issue (no reason why they cannot discuss other things too)

  • at the end of the session, each person writes up a short summary of their conversation and any ideas that emerged - these are posted and shared centrally in someway
a further variation on this idea:
  • take one big issue and over a period of say a month, run RCTs where all the pairs discuss the same issue

  • at the end of the month bring them ALL together in a Knowledge Cafe style gathering to discuss the issue further and draw some conclusions

This could be a powerful innovative process.

I think the real beauty and success of the RCTs is in the organic flow of the conversation. Focusing on tangible business outcomes although worthy and useful is maybe a little bit too organised and just a short step away from being another form of business workshop. I therefore wonder, can this variation still be considered an RCT?

What do you think and have you experimented a similar form of RCT?

Jakarta Trip:15 - 24 September 2014

I am greatly looking forward to visiting Jakarta with my wife Leni in September. We will be there from the 15th to 24th of the month.

It's mainly a personal trip for Leni to see her family and for her to catch up on a lot of stuff as she has been away from Indonesia for 2 years since we married.

So I will have several days free time.

If you would like to meet with me or invite me to give a talk or run a Knowledge Cafe or workshop for your organization then please get in touch.

I will be speaking at KM Asia in Singapore, the week of 17th November and may possibly spend a few days in Bangkok.

I will also be speaking at KM Russia in Moscow the week of the 24th November.

Engaging each other and challenging our thinking

Those of you who have had the privilege of hearing Dave Snowden speak know that he delights many people and angers others.

I never quite understood why until I read this recent blog post of his On Public Speaking.

His style is quite deliberate and for good reason. He is purposefully disruptive to engage people and to provoke them to think for themselves.

Here are a couple of snippets from his blog post.
If I am in shock and awe mode, trying for a long term shift then I operate my three-thirds rule.

That seeks to inspire a third, confuse a third and anger/disturb a third of the audience.

It works! Everyone who hears Dave speak talk about him for days, weeks, even months afterwards. They don't always agree with him or appreciate his style. But he engages them and challenges their thinking!

Some years ago, I recall recording one of Dave's talks and playing it back to myself on the train home, pausing every few moments to take in an outlandish statement of his and reflecting - "Is this really true?" "Have I had this so wrong in my head for so long?" or "Is Dave just saying this to provoke the audience?". Either way he sure gets me thinking.
Another good disruptive technique is to read the descriptions of other speakers and deliberately create the odd virus like the five most dangerous things people say about X which includes paraphrases of points you know will come after.

Good speakers take this in their stride and give as good as they get, others get flummoxed and that is no bad thing as we need better speakers, oh do we need better speakers.

The point about all of this is to create diversity for learning.

Conferences where all the speakers agree with each other are turgid.

Dave also makes the point that "Good speakers stimulate debate and discussion at events and organisers need to provide for that."

It's why I am so keen to promote conversational techniques such as Knowledge Cafes at conferences. The Cafe is often seen as people talking nicely to each other and thus prone to Group Think. Some times this is true, some times it is not.

There is nothing I would like to see more in my Knowledge Cafes than more passionate but respectful dialogue and debate around a significant issue.

Some time ago Dave suggested that I run Ritual Dissent sessions in addition or as part of my Knowledge Cafes. Somehow I have never got around to this. It's about time I did :-)
Ritual Dissent is a workshop method designed to test and enhance proposals, stories, ideas or whatever by subjecting them to ritualised dissent (challenge) or assent (positive alternatives).

In all cases it is a forced listening technique, not a dialogue or discourse.

The basic approach involves a spokesperson presenting a series of ideas to a group who receives them in silence.

The spokesperson then turns their chair, so that their back is to the audience and listens in silence while the group either attack (dissent) or provide alternative proposals (assent).

The ritualisation of not facing the audience de-personalizes the process and the group setting (others will be subject to the same process) means that the attack or alternative are not personal, but supportive.

Listening in silence without eye contact, increases listening.

Overall plans that emerge from the process are more resilient than consensus based techniques.

Ritual Dissent is meant to simulate the process of delivering new ideas to management or decision-makers, and to open up new thinking to necessary criticism and iterations.

The process is meant to enforce listening, without disruption.

The scenario replicates real-life proposal making especially with regards to new and non-conventional ideas - as more experimental approaches are commonly met with the most challenges from management.

Watch out for a Ritual Dissent session as part of one of my future London Knowledge Cafes!

IKI Talks: Interviews with 34 International Experts in Knowledge Management and Innovation.

The Institute for Knowledge and Innovation South-East Asia (IKI SEA) at the Bangkok University in Thailand has interviewed 34 International Experts (Practitioners and Academics) in Knowledge Management and Innovation.

They have asked all of them the 6 same questions and are publishing one new interview each week. Six have been published so far, interviews with Davd Snowden, Patrick Lambe, Eric Tsui, Geoff Parcell, Kate Andrews, Waltraut Ritter, Dr. Manasi Shukla and Prof. Rivadávia C. Drummond de Alvarenga Neto.

The six questions:
  1. How do you explain the difference between information and knowledge?
  2. What will be the most important topic in KM in the future?
  3. How do you foresee KM as a discipline in the future?
  4. How do you explain the link between Knowledge Management and Innovation?
  5. How do you foresee the future of Innovation Management?
  6. Why do you think companies are still struggling to implement Knowledge Management and Innovation Management?
You can watch the videos here and while on their site check out their Creative Bangkok six day workshop in October 2014.

Question: Do strong relationships create an impasse to cutting-edge debate?

Read this blog post on Robust Dialogue Without Roasted Feelings and then ask yourself the question:

Do strong relationships create an impasse to cutting-edge debate?

Or have coffee with someone and discuss (maybe not a close friend LOL)

Henley Forum: free guest places at upcoming event

Henley Forum guest event, Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Henley Forum (previously known as KM Forum) has a limited number of free guest places at their next one day themed event, titled Learning from Projects; Learning from Practice .

If you work for a large public, private or third sector organisation, and think that your organization could benefit from membership of the Henley Forum, here's a chance to join them and to explore some of the emerging challenges for knowledge based businesses.

For more information and agenda please Contact Marina Hart

The Coffee Connector: Can a machine connect two strangers over coffee?

If you like the idea of Randomized Coffee Trials (where two people are connected at random to have coffee with each other) then I think you will love this coffee machine.

The machine known as the Coffee Connector was created by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and its agencies TSLA, Tellart and Strawberry Frog. This is what they say about it.

In Asia, Singapore often facilitates connections between companies and successful business ventures with a wealth of resources.

Our machine, the Coffee Connector, is this symbolic idea brought to life.

Designed for high-end conferences and networking events, the Coffee Connector only brews a cup of coffee when two attendees work together to request one.

Once you've found a partner, the machine's exposed kinetic brewing process engages viewers and uses interactive touchpoints to support the EDB's messaging.

I have no idea of the cost but I suspect it's a tad too expensive for wide use at conferences and in any case when getting a coffee at a conventional coffee machine its not too difficult to start up a conversation with the person next to you.

Video of my Smarter Socially Mediated Conversations Talk

I recently wrote about my talk on Smarter Socially Mediated Conversations at the European Conference on Social Media (ECSM 2014) at the University of Brighton in July.

I now have the Video

and here is the Presentation

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2014

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for July to August 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.

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

Social Business Collaboration 2014
28 - 30 Sep 2014, Berlin, Germany

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

IKMAP 2014
09 - 10 Oct 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

Creative Bangkok Week 2014
12 - 18 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 - 20 Nov 2014, Singapore City, Singapore

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

30 Nov - 01 Dec 2014, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

7th Iranian Knowledge Management Conference
17 - 18 Feb 2015, Tehran, Iran

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

7th European Conference on Intellectual Capital
09 - 10 Apr 2015, Cartagena, Spain

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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