Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 221 - November 2018


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 221 - November 2018


  1. Introduction to the November 2018 Knowledge Letter
  2. An amazing hi-tech Knowledge Café
  3. Six Ways Leaders Kill Conversation
  4. Knowledge is NOT power
  5. Please help support my work
  6. Have more conversations in your head
  7. Amazon book reviews often tell me a lot
  8. I love to banter
  9. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: November 2018
  10. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  11. Unsubscribe
  12. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the November 2018 Knowledge Letter

Like the majority of the posts in my blook on Conversational Leadership, this one on Big Talk is still not complete but I thought I'd share it anyway as I think it is such an important issue.
Big talk – no not boasting, bragging or talking big but "big talk" – deep, genuine, meaningful conversations.

How do we initiate and sustain "big talk"? This is a question that is preoccupying me right now, especially how as individuls we do this in our everyday conversations.

Take a look at who is already making big talk to get some ideas of what various people and organizations are up to and let know if you have any ideas of your own.

An amazing hi-tech Knowledge Café

Many of you will be familiar with my face-to-face Knowledge Cafés and know that I also run them virtually using the Zoom video conferencing platform.

On November 28th I did something a little different and somewhat more challenging, I ran a Future Café for Paul Nunesdea at Visual Collab 2018 - a hybrid Café where some participants were in a room face-to-face (the RSA in London) and others were remote on their laptops running Zoom. They could have been anywhere in the world but were in Canada, US, Italy, Finland, Belgium and Portugal.

The event was not as difficult as it sounds as we had two large interactive touch screens in the room plus some high-tech microphones and video cameras courtesy of Jon Knight of Ascentae.

I hosted the room at the RSA and my good friend John Hovell hosted the Zoom room from Washington DC.

As if this were not enough, we are also used some innovative software Nureva Span Workspace from Nureva to allow participants (both local and remote) to capture ideas and insights on virtual post-it notes that they posted to a virtual wall in the room (one of the big screens) from their smartphones. This was really quick and easy to do.

It was a bit of an experiment but it worked exceptionally well and we learnt a great deal about how to do it better next time. I am sure this type of interactivity for large globally distributed organizations has got to be a wave of the future.

You can watch a short video clip here to get a feel for the set up or take a look at these photos posted on Facebook.

I plan to fully document the process including how the technology all hang together and share it in my blook at some point.

Six Ways Leaders Kill Conversation

Nancy Dixon recently posted a blog post entitled "Six Ways Leaders Kill Conversation". Take a look at the post and go the Gurteen Knowledge Community Forum and add the ways that you have seen managers (I won't call them leaders) manage to kill conversations!

I feel this is a really important topic as most of us one way or another frequently manage to close down conversations before they have even got started! We need to learn how to sustain conversations and not kill them.

Knowledge is NOT power

You can have perfect knowledge but
  1. ignore it
  2. not accept it as true
  3. not understand it
  4. be biased against it
  5. not appreciate its relevance
  6. be too busy to act on it
  7. not have the political skills to influence or persuade senior management to take you seriously
  8. not have the budget or other resources to put the knowledge into action
  9. not have the leadership skills to act
  10. not have the collaborative skills to work with other people
Knowledge is not power. The self-motivation and the ability to act on knowledge and to influence and work with people (especially those in authority) is power.

Please help support my work

I have been writing and publishing this Knowledge Letter every month for over 17 years and most of you have been receiving it for 5 years or more. My Knowledge Café also had its 16th birthday in September.

If you enjoy it and find it valuable, please consider giving me a little support by donating $1 (or more) a month to Become a Patron.

I am not going to get rich on this but it will help cover some of my website hosting expenses.

I have 42 patrons so far. A big thanks to you all.

Have more conversations in your head

I'm not so sure I would call this a real conversation but let me share with you a little game I often play in my head. I usually play it when I am driving on a long journey, and sometimes when I cannot sleep at night or when I know I am not going to be interrupted.

I interview myself on a topic; usually, one of interest, e.g. Conversational Leadership or one for a bit of fun, say my views on Trump or Brexit.

I pretend that the interview is in real-time say on stage or the radio and I am being interviewed by a tough, maybe highly skeptical, even aggressive interviewer. I am as hard on myself as I can be. I don't allow myself, to start again, and if I talk myself down a one-way alley, I have to talk my way out of it. I put the pressure on myself!

It's interesting to reflect as to what's goes on in my head when I do this.

In response to a question, I draw fragments of knowledge from deep in my mind and form them together in some structured away and express them through speech in real-time.

At the same time, I'm listening to what I'm saying and looking for the flaws in my logic.

Also in parallel, I am thinking of questions and responses that I'm going to verbalize through the mouth of my phantom interviewer.

It's quite amazing that the human mind can do all of this at the same time!

I also have two variant's of this that are a little kinder on myself, first I make it a conversation rather than an interview and second I pretend I am giving a speech on a topic. No preparation, I launch right into it.

Try it, its a great way of testing out how informed you are on a topic on which you hold strong opinions

Amazon book reviews often tell me a lot

When looking at Amazon book revews, I find it just as useful to read the one-star ratings as to look at the five-star ones. There is nearly always a perspective I have missed.

The rating distribution is also of interest.

A book with nothing but five-stars is probably good even if the author did get all his or her friends to rate it.

A book with mainly 1-star ratings is probably bad.

But a book with a polarized distribution of stars - lots of five-stars and one-stars - is probably the most interesting, people love it or hate it.

Why? Sometimes it is obvious if the topic is on politics or religion but often it is not - the author has something controversial to say. This many well be a really good read!

I love to banter

I do love gentle banter.
Banter is an art form - a conversational game. It requires a degree of skill and sensitivity. The fact that you are bantering needs to be understood by both parties. Played sensitively, it can help build and strengthen relationships. Played poorly it can be destructive. Play it with care.

I say a little more about banter and have two short video examples in a post in my blook.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: November 2018

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.

  • “Much development and humanitarian thinking and practice is still trapped in a paradigm of predictable, linear causality and maintained by mindsets that seek accountability through top-down command and control. ” https://buff.ly/2qZkMDG

  • We now face the uncomfortable reality that truth, fact, statistics and “expert” views are losing currency in decision-making and democratic choices, being replaced by assertions that “feel right” but have no basis in fact ... https://buff.ly/2DNnsgh #BridgingDivides

  • “How often do you talk to someone who has completely different views? Switzerland has ventured into a social experiment this month: People with different opinions met on blind dates. An algorithm chose the pairs. ” https://buff.ly/2S2rEf4 HT @klowey22 #ConversationalLeadership

  • In a world of unprecedented accelerating change there is an eminent need to improve our decision making capability. Effective decision making of our leaders is paramount to be able to address current global challenges. https://buff.ly/2RPCK72 #ConversationalLeadership

  • “A team does not learn from reading a document about what some other team has done.” @nancymdixons https://buff.ly/2zMsDst #KM #KMers#KnowledgeManagement

  • “A document in a repository is not knowledge any more than a book on a shelf is knowledge. Knowledge is created and resides in the minds of human beings.” @nancymdixon https://buff.ly/2zMsDst #KM #KMers#KnowledgeManagement #ConversationalLeadership

  • Towards the idea that complexity IS a theory of change https://buff.ly/2QtRcSa #ConversationalLeadership #complexity #km#kmers

  • How you talk to your child changes their brain https://buff.ly/2JsR1Um #ConversationalLeadership

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.

Advancing your OD practice
22 - 23 Jan 2019, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

Learning & Development Executive Summit 2019
03 - 05 Feb 2019, Orlando, FL, United States

Henley Forum annual conference
06 - 07 Mar 2019, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

24th Annual Knowledge Management Conference
29 Apr - 03 May 2019, Houston, United States

10th European Conference on Intangibles and Intellectual Capital
23 - 24 May 2019, Pescara, Italy

6th European Conference on Social Media
13 - 14 Jun 2019, Brighton, United Kingdom


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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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