Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 177 - March 2015


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 177 - March 2015


  1. Introduction to the March 2015 Knowledge Letter
  2. Capturing the Value of Project Management Through Knowledge Transfer
  3. The Red Cross Red Crescent Experience of the Randomised Coffee Trials
  4. The difference between a Knowledge Cafe and a Community of Practice
  5. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: March 2015
  6. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  7. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  8. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the March 2015 Knowledge Letter

Randomised Coffee Trials are slowly but surely catching on. In this month's newsletter I have included a report from the Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC) that describes their experiences with them.

I am also starting to experiment myself. Over 90 members of my community in the London region have registered for the Gurteen London Coffee Club and had their first coffee conversations last month. So far they are going well and I have had some great feedback - pretty much in line with the Red Cross Red Crescent report though unlike the IFRC most of the London meetings have been face to face.

If you live in or near London and are able to meet face to face for coffee then you learn more and sign up for the London Coffee Club here but keep in mind it is a commitment to meet with what will be most likely a stranger (albeit a member of this community that share some common interests) once a month, face to face for coffee.

I plan to also create a second Gurteen Global Coffee Club in the near future. Unlike the London club, being global, the idea will be that people meet for a virtually via say Skype for their coffee chat. More on this soon.

Capturing the Value of Project Management Through Knowledge Transfer

If you are into project management then you may find this report from the Project Management Institute on Capturing the Value of Project Management Through Knowledge Transfer of interest.

Larry Prusak has written an introduction and highlights some of the more important points. Here is the key one he makes:
The first highlight that stands out is the very substantial value the respondents place on the identificationof “critical” knowledge. This is essential, yet often difficult to do. It's essential because without this activityone can drown in the huge amounts of “stuff” labeled knowledge in any organization, which leads to greatwaste. It also gives knowledge activities a bad reputation. At the same time, it is difficult to do, because thevery word “knowledge” encompasses many forms of “knowing” that are more tacit and, not only uncodifed,but often not easily codified at all. We sometimes call this type of knowledge “know-how” or practiceknowledge, and it is often difficult to identify in ways that make it more scalable and effective.

Credit: Larry Prusak

The Red Cross Red Crescent Experience of the Randomised Coffee Trials

Randomised Coffee Trials (RCTs) are an amazingly simple way of connecting people in an organization, helping to build the social fabric and build community.

The Red Cross Red Crescent have been one of the pioneers to implement them on a global scale. This report from Shaun Hazeldine describes their experience with them in connecting over 600 people from around the globe to have regular "virtual coffee meetings" with each other once a month. The bottom line: "people loved them".
In the Red Cross Red Crescent the RCTs were implemented as a component of a broader Learning andEngagement Plan for Volunteering Development. A core principle underpinning this plan has been to createspaces (both physical and otherwise) where people could come together and talk, learn from each other andcollaborate for solutions and innovation. The plan focuses on conversation as an underestimated tool forlearning. A number of similar ‘conversational approaches to learning' have also been implemented alongsidethe RCTs in the Learning and Engagement Plan.

The difference between a Knowledge Cafe and a Community of Practice

I am frequently asked the difference between a Knowledge Cafe and Community of Practice (CoP) as it is not always clear to people.

Etienne Wenger defines a Community of Practice as a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact on a regular basis.

A Knowledge Cafe on the other hand is a highly adaptable face to face conversational process that can be used in many different business situations to bring a group of people together to have an open conversation for a specific purpose.

A Cafe can be run as a one-off event, for example to explore the impact of a new technology or as a regular series of events, for example a series of talks/cafes on a specific theme or a variety of different themes.

A Cafe or a series of Cafes does not constitute a CoP. And although a series of Cafes for people with a common interest may appear very CoP like, in reality a CoP will adopt many different ways of interacting rather than just the Cafe format. e.g. less structured conversations, open space technology sessions and on-line discussion forums.

So in summary, the Knowledge Cafe is a powerful conversational tool that can be employed by a CoP but is not the same as a CoP.

I hope this helps.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: March 2015

Here are some of my more popular recent tweets. 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.

Abu Dhabi Police First International Conference on Knowledge Management
April 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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

KM Legal 2015
20 - 21 May 2015, London, United Kingdom

2015 Southern African Knowledge Management Summit
27 - 29 May 2015, Gauteng, South Africa

KM UK 2015
10 - 11 Jun 2015, London, United Kingdom

Knowledge in technologies of freedom
Thu 25 Jun 2015, Bristol, United Kingdom

KM Australia 2015
04 - 06 Aug 2015, Melbourne, Australia

The First International Conference on Dialogic Organization Development
Thu 06 Aug 2015, Vancouver, Canada

KM Singapore 2015
02 - 04 Sep 2015, Singapore City, Singapore

16th European Conference on Knowledge Management
03 - 04 Sep 2015, Udine, Italy

CoachingOurselves: Reflections 2015
10 - 11 Sep 2015, Montreal, Canada

Knowledge Sciences Symposium Western NY 2015
08 - 09 Oct 2015, St. Bonaventure, NY, United States
I will be giving the keynote talk at this conference.

KM World 2015
02 - 05 Nov 2015, Washington DC, United States

Knowledge and Information Systems for Knowledge Management (ICKM2015)
04 - 06 Nov 2015, Osaka, Japan

12th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning
05 - 06 Nov 2015, Bangkok, Thailand

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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