Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 195 - September 2016


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 195 - September 2016


  1. Introduction to the September 2016 Knowledge Letter
  2. Decisions Are Emotional, Not Logical
  3. The dangers of anonymity
  4. World Values Day 20th October 2016
  5. In the future, will everything be a coffeeshop?
  6. The last of human freedoms
  7. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: September 2016
  8. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  9. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  10. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the September 2016 Knowledge Letter

Something a little different to kick off this month's knowledge letter :-) Have you seen Elon Musks plan for colonizing Mars? It's a tremendously ambitious plan that even as he acknowledges might never happen.

I love the vision. I am sure one day we will do this. Take a look at his recent hour-long presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he outlined the long-term technical challenges that must be solved in order to support "the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars."

And if you don't have an hour to spare but would like to get an idea of the vision, watch this simulation of his envisaged SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System.

It would be an incredible adventure. It would be the most inspiring thing that I could possibly imagine.

Life needs to be more than solving problems every day.

You need to wake up every day and be excited about the future, and be inspired, and want to live.

Credit: Elon Musk

Decisions Are Emotional, Not Logical

Neuroscience is throwing more and more light on our true nature as human beings and has the potential to dramatically transform the way we see the world.

This is an interesting article about decision making and the research that confirms what I suspect most of us have intuited for a long time - decisions are emotional - not logical.

Think of a situation where you had bulletproof facts, reason, and logic on your side, and believed there was absolutely no way the other person could say no to your perfectly constructed argument and proposal.

To do so would be impossible, you figured, because there was no other logical solution or answer.

And then the other person dug in his heels and refused to budge. He wasn't swayed by your logic. Were you flabbergasted?

The dangers of anonymity

There are several ways in which we express our ideas or have discussions while hiding who we are.

Many on-line discussion forums allow us to post anonymously or to give a false name and we can frequently express our opinions anonymously in surveys or interviews.

We employ these techniques for seemingly good reason. If we are introverted or lack confidence in our beliefs; they allow us to speak up without fear of judgment or personal criticism.

And in fear of the consequences, they potentially make it possible to be more truthful by saying things that others might not wish to hear.

But anonymity has a serious downside as it encourages us:
  • to be less authentic
  • to avoid intimacy
  • to avoid building relationships
  • to lie rather than tell the truth
  • to avoid confrontation
  • to be nasty and vindictive (think internet trolls)

But worst of all, it allows us to avoid conversation.

I don't want my views challenged.

I want to have my say, but I don't want to hear what you have to say.

It's about monologue, not dialogue.

Anonymity kills the conversation.

World Values Day 20th October 2016

World Values Day is coming up on 20th October and will be the first truly international World Values Day.

The objective of the Day is to raise and deepen the awareness and practice of values all around the world. Positive values that is :-)

The day will provide an opportunity to think about our most deeply held values and to act on them. If we are aware to our values and put them into action each and every day, we can change our lives and change the world we live in.

See the World Values Day website for information on events and activities taking place around the world as well as many useful tools and resources that can help in exploring our own values and those of our organisations and communities.

And if you are in London on the 20th then come along to my World Values Day Café in the evening where the subject of the conversation will be "Putting our values into action - why is it so hard?" It's free.

In the future, will everything be a coffeeshop?

In the future, will everything be a coffee shop?. Universities? Bookstores? Retail Stores? Offices?

Note that like the coffeehouses of 17th century London, that even today coffee shops are more than just places to drink coffee. They are places to meet, to read, to study, to work, to hold meetings, to have conversations and more.

What do you think?

The last of human freedoms

In 1989, I first read Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and he introduced me to the life and work of Viktor Frankl.

Viktor Frankl was an internationally renowned psychiatrist. In 1946, he wrote the book Man's Search for Meaning.

In his book, he begins with a deeply moving personal account of his imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps during the Second World War, and his struggle during that time to find reasons to live.

In the second part of the book called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," he describes the psychotherapeutic method that he pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps.

At the core of Logotherapy is his belief that man's primary motivational force is a search for meaning.

One sentence in the book stood out for me:

The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.

Credit: Viktor E. Frankl

Stephen Covey expresses the concept a little more fully:
In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose.

Ultimately, this power to choose is what defines us as human beings.

We may have limited choices, but we can always choose.

We can choose our thoughts, emotions, moods, our words, our actions; we can choose our values and live by principles.

It is the choice of acting or being acted upon.

Credit: Stephen R. Covey

This idea that we have the ability to chose our response to any stimulus in any set of circumstances has had a huge shaping influence on me over the years and I have tried to abide by the philosophy. Not always successfully I might add.

And then much more recently, I came across the work of Peter Block. Peter in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging says this:

The real task of leadership is to confront people with their freedom.

Credit: Peter Block

Peter's ideas have been very much influenced by the work of Peter Koestenbaum

To my mind, we are all leaders to one degree or another, and so it's the task of each and every one of us to remind each other of our freedom to choose not only how we respond to situations but:
  • who we are
  • what we think
  • what we do
  • and how we go about it

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: September 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.

Knowledge Cafe 4 - Intelligent Machines and Network Analysis
Wed 05 Oct 2016, New York City, United States

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

World Values Day Café
Thu 20 Oct 2016, London, United Kingdom

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

Cultural and Community Knowledge in Australia
16 - 17 Nov 2016, Melblourne, Australia

Knowledge Cafe Masterclass - with David Gurteen
Tue 22 Nov 2016, London, United Kingdom

KM Asia 2016
30 Nov - 01 Dec 2016, Hong Kong, China

KM Legal Europe 2017
18 - 19 Jan 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Advancing your OD practice
24 - 25 Jan 2017, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2017
28 Feb - 02 Mar 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark

9th European Conference on Intellectual Capital
06 - 07 Apr 2017, Lisbon, Portugal

5th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2017
26 - 27 Apr 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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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