Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 234 - December 2019


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 234 - December 2019


  1. Introduction to the December 2019 Knowledge Letter
  2. War on Sensemakimg
  3. Are you science curious?
  4. People have some crazy opinions
  5. Henley Forum Annual Conference 05 - 06 February 2020
  6. The wisdom of crowds of crowds
  7. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: December 2019
  8. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  9. Please help support my work
  10. Unsubscribe
  11. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the December 2019 Knowledge Letter

I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas have had a wonderful time and wish all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

As usual, it's a short newsletter this month.

War on Sensemakimg

Daniel Schmachtenberger's two War on Sensemaking videos contain some of the most exciting insights and ideas I have come across in 2019.

To a great extent, what he has to say relates strongly to Conversational Leadership - taking responsibility for not polluting the information ecosystem, becoming more aware of our human biases and working hard at improving our own sensemaking and that of others.

The videos are long but start watching the first one and I think you will be quickly hooked.

Are you science curious?

One of the significant cognitive biases we face in society is motivated reasoning where we tend to find arguments in favor of conclusions we want to believe, to be stronger than arguments for conclusions we do not want to believe.

Research shows that science curious people, however, are more likely to explore data contradicting their world view and are thus less prone to this bias.

People have some crazy opinions

Paradoxically, providing people with accurate information doesn't necessarily lead to better decisions. It is not how we operate.
People have some crazy opinions. Generally, these are the opinions that we disagree with.

The standard view in both academia and the wider culture is that people have such opinions due to knowledge deficits; they are lacking information.

On this view, providing information and critical reasoning skills is the best way to get opinions to converge, because they'll converge to the truth.

There is already strong reason to doubt this deficit model. I provide more in the form of evidence that knowledge is unrelated to attitudes about issues, including climate change.

In contrast, a person's ideology influences both their attitudes and their sense of understanding. A competitor to the deficit model, the cultural cognition view, explains the effect of ideology on attitudes, but does not address the sense of understanding.

I follow the cultural cognition view in proposing that people outsource much of their reasoning to their communities; I add that it is the resulting sense of understanding that mediates their attitudes.

The relevant reasoning is both causal (based on evidence) and deontic (based on protected values), a distinction people are rarely aware of despite its importance.

Henley Forum Annual Conference 05 - 06 February 2020

This year's Henley Forum Annual Conference (it's the 20th!) takes place 05 - 06 February 2020 at the Henley Business School on the theme Collaboration for Innovation: Celebrating leading-edge practice.

To my mind, the Forum conference is the best KM conference by far, both in terms of speakers, content and interactivity. The location on the banks of the river Thames is also hard to beat.

You don't need to be a member of the Forum to attend and you can book online here. Note, if you an ex-member of the Forum there is a particularly attractive discount.

The wisdom of crowds of crowds

You may have heard of the concept of "wisdom of crowds" in which individuals in a crowd are privately asked to give an answer to a question, such as how many jelly beans are in a jar. Then when the answers are averaged together, the response provided by the crowd is generally better than for any given individual.

This method can be improved by dividing the crowd into smaller groups and asking the small groups to discuss the question and come to a consensus. The result when averaged produces a more accurate figure than the average produced by the large crowd.

You can learn more about the method here

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: December 2019

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.

  • Five Misconceptions About Virtual teams | Nancy Dixon @nancymdixon https://buff.ly/2sEUrPo

  • How does After Action Review increase staff engagement? @JudyWalker5 https://buff.ly/3544ufb #ConversationalLeadership#KM #KMers #AAR

  • Conversation is the most powerful learning technology ever invented | Jay Cross https://buff.ly/2YexVso #ConversationalLeadership #ConversationalWisdom #conversation #dialogue #KM #KMers

  • Ritual Dissent, Facilitation that Goes Beyond Comfortable Consensus https://buff.ly/37Xwpj7 #ConversationalLeadership /love this methodology

  • “Conversational leaders are different. Since we all have the power to speak, anyone can be a conversational leader, no anointment or appointment required. These leaders appear in the moment, when they see a need and meet it.” https://buff.ly/2IrYoMv #ConversationalLeadership

  • “The Future of Work is Human Conversation” @dastillman https://buff.ly/2IrYoMv #ConversationalLeadership #ConversationalWisdom #conversation #dialogue

  • “A conversational leader directs and deepens thinking through questions, being mindful of how their questions frame the conversation.” https://buff.ly/2IrYoMv #ConversationalLeadership #conversation #dialogue

  • We need to use conflict and disagreement as a way to deepen our relationships and expand our possibilities. @jgberger https://buff.ly/32NpoNI #complexity #ConversationalLeadership #KM

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.

Henley Forum 20th Annual Conference
05 - 06 Feb 2020, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

APQC 2020 Knowledge Management Conference
27 Apr - 01 May 2020, Houston, United States

TAKE 2020 - Theory and Applications on the Knowledge Economy
01 - 03 Jul 2020, Sttutgart, Austria

7th European Conference on Social Media
02 - 03 Jul 2020, Larnaca, Cyprus

21st European Conference on Knowledge Management
03 - 04 Sep 2020, Coventry, United Kingdom

15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
17 - 18 Sep 2020, Rome, Italy

Please help support my work

I have been writing and publishing this Knowledge Letter every month for over 19 years and most of you have been receiving it for 5 years or more. My Knowledge Café also had its 17th birthday last September.

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

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

I have over 50 patrons so far. A big thanks to you all.


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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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