Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 190 - April 2016


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 190 - April 2016


  1. Introduction to the April 2016 Knowledge Letter
  2. Humble Inquiry is the first and most important step in building any kind of relationship
  3. The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality
  4. Tripp Crosby ... has joined the meeting
  5. Espresso Café and Café Debate
  6. Henry Mintzberg's TWOGS
  7. Henley Forum: Advanced Course in Knowledge Management
  8. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: April 2016
  9. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  10. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  11. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the April 2016 Knowledge Letter

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, "In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the thing you have long taken for granted."

What is the one big thing you are taking for granted that you should be "hanging a question on"? And of course, using to trigger a conversation. Who should you be having that conversation with?

Humble Inquiry is the first and most important step in building any kind of relationship

Some people seem to think that Knowledge Management is dying or has died but it hasn't - it is alive and well. One of the reasons for this misconception is that so much that falls in the realm of Knowledge Management masquerades in another form or under another name.

Humble Inquiry - a term invented by Edgar Schein is one such example.

Edgar has written a book on the subject Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling and you will find a substantial excerpt of it online.

Quite simply, in Edgar's words, "Humble Inquiry is asking the question to which you already don't know the answer, bolstered by an attitude of inquiry, an attitude of interest in the other person, a curiosity."

He goes on to say that "And the importance of that very curiosity, that interest in the other person, is precisely why Humble Inquiry is the first and most important step in building any kind of relationship, whether you are just making a new friendship or wooing a girl or trying to talk to a team-mate on a more personal basis. It should usually almost always start with some form of Humble Inquiry."

Watch this video, where Edgar explains what it is all about, and notice this is not just at the heart of KM but about face-to-face conversation and relationship building - something that Conversational Leadership is all about too :-)

It keeps bringing me back to the words of Peter Block:
We must establish a personal connection with each other.

Connection before content.

Without relatedness, no work can occur

Credit: Peter Block

The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality

I have a degree in physics but my scientific life is long ago in my past.

But I try to keep up with scientific thinking and still regularly read New Scientist.

As I get older, I become more and more curious about the world, why we are here and the nature of reality. Maybe more philosophical questions than scientific ones LOL.

I have long suspected that we have got reality all wrong. That there is something fundamental we are missing that what we see is some sort of mirage. But these are just idle thoughts of mine, I am no expert in the matter.

And then this morning I came a across this article The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality and the thinking of the cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman. I must admit I don't fully understand all of what he has to say but he has seriously provoked my thinking about reality. This sentence especially so:

"It's not that there's a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It's that there's no brain!"

What are we really? Does it matter? Take a look, in some ways it is a little scary :-)

Tripp Crosby ... has joined the meeting

What do you think of conference calls? Love them? Hate them?

This conference call in real life, I think, will have you rolling in the floor in laughter :-)

Espresso Café and Café Debate

I am often asked to host a Knowledge Café as part of a conference. To run a good Café, ideally, I need two hours but I can run them in an hour at a pinch. But I have never tried to run one in less - until now that is.

I have come up with the idea of an "Espresso Café" - one that can be run in as little as half-an-hour. I will be trying it out for the fist time at Knowledge Management UK 2016 in London in June. I have been taking part in this conference for more years than I care to remember. It's an excellent conference - take a look if you are not already registered. Paul Corney and Nick Milton are among the speakers.

And then Café Debates, I have talked about them in the past. I am delighted to be running one at KM Legal UK 2016 in London in May. The motion, I think is an interesting one:

"This Café believes that legal KM can only be successful if embedded in the organizational culture."

I have found two eager debaters to debate the motion and then we will open things up to Café style conversation. If you work in the legal sector, take a look at the rest of the agenda, the conference has a great line up of speakers and topics. I am looking forward to this one!

Henry Mintzberg's TWOGS

I am a great fan of Hentry Mintzberg and subscribe to his TWOGS.

He writes some entertaining and interesting blog posts such as this one Ye gods: an efficient orchestra!

And this is one of my all time favourite quotes from his work.

An enterprise is a community of human beings, not a collection of "human resources".

If you are not familiar with his work - check him out - he is one of the more insightful business and management academics. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Henley Forum: Advanced Course in Knowledge Management

I have been a "friend" of the Henley Forum for Organisational Learning and Knowledge Strategies (known as the Henley Forum) since its inception in 2000..

It has done some great work over those years - some of it published freely online. Take a look at their Knowledge in Action series of leaflets for example (over 30 of them) such as this one on Evaluating communities of practice: adopting learning-oriented approaches - really good, useful material if you are working in KM or even if you are not!

They also run an annual conference and regular workshops. Most of these events are only open to members but increasingly they are making a small number of places available to non-members.

They have a 2-day Advanced Course in Knowledge Management facilitated by Dr Christine van Winkelen coming up in July. for example. I often get people asking me where they can find a really good Knowledge Management course and this is one - go take a look.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: April 2016

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.

Multiple perspectives: electrons and people in an energy system
Tue 10 May 2016, London, United Kingdom

KM Legal 2016
18 - 19 May 2016, London, United Kingdom

eLearning Africa 2016
24 - 26 May 2016, Cairo, Egypt

KM UK 2016
15 - 16 Jun 2016, London, United Kingdom

Theory and Applications in the Knowledge Economy
06 Jul - 08 Feb 2016, Aveiro, Portugal

3rd European Conference on Social Media ECSM 2016
12 - 13 Jul 2016, Caen, France

CILIP Conference 2016
12 - 13 Jul 2016, Brighton, United Kingdom

Advanced Course in Knowledge Management
20 - 21 Jul 2016, Henley on Thames, RG9 3AU, United Kingdom

Innovations in Knowledge Organisation Conference
20 - 22 Jul 2016, Singapore, Singapore

Hong Kong Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) Award 2016
August 2016, Hong Kong, China

Knowledge Management Australia 2016
02 - 04 Aug 2016, Melbourne, Australia

17th European Conference on Knowledge Management
01 - 02 Sep 2016, Belfast, Ireland

13th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning
14 - 15 Oct 2016, New York, United States

8th International Conference on Innovation and Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific (IKMAP 2016)
23 - 24 Oct 2016, Kobe, Japan

KM World 2016
14 - 17 Nov 2016, Washington DC, United States

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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