David Gurteen's Talks


As part of my work, I give keynote speeches and short talks either in-house or at public conferences. These normally last from 30 to 60 minutes. I like to give over lots of time for questions and interaction and if it is appropriate will often turn a talk into a knowledge cafe where the participants really get to engage with the subject.

I speak on a diverse range of topics pertinent to knowledge management, the knowledge economy and knowledge working.

You will find my past and future public schedule here and some examples of topics I talk on below:
  • What is a knowledge worker?
    This talk takes a look at what it really means to be a knowledge worker. Its aim is to shake people up a little and get them to think about their changing role in the new knowledge economy.

  • Why do people really share their knowledge?
    This talk takes a humorous look at why people share or do not share their knowledge. Its intent is to provoke people to think about why they do or do not share their knowledge and why they need to see knowledge sharing in a different light if they are to be successful knowledge workers.

  • The KM challenge
    Knowledge Management has had a checkered start. There have probably been more failures than successes and in some organizations KM can mean "Kill Me!". This talk takes a look at the challenges to making KM successful and how to rise to them.

  • The role of interesting conversations! (learning to listen and telling the truth)
    This talk takes a look at the role of conversation and storytelling in business and why conversation is literally the job of a knowledge worker!

  • Opening up
    Knowledge work by its nature is hidden. You cannot tell if a knowledge worker is working or not by just looking at him or her. And you cannot tell if a knowledge worker is open to new ideas. This talk takes a look at the concepts of openness (allowing stuff in to influence you) and transparency (allowing stuff out to influence others).

  • The real role of measures
    Measures are used in many organizations to supposedly raise standards but more often than not such measures are 'gamed' by the employees - they invent ways of meeting the measure that not only fail to meet the objective they are meant to support but do damage to the organization itself. This can be best summed up by the adage "When a measure becomes the objective - it is no longer a good measure!" This talk looks at the real role of measures - not to force people to meet some arbitrary performance level - but measures that they set themselves and take ownership of - in order to provide feedback and hence improve their ability to learn.

  • Punished by rewards
    This is the title of a book by Alfie Kohn where he describes frighteningly how children are demotivated by reward systems such as gold stars and the like. KM is the same. In rewarding people to share their knowledge with trinkets such as air miles rather then simply give them the recognition they deserve for doing a good job or as part of the natural pay-for-performance system you undermine their intrinsic motivation to do a good job by replacing the objective with the 'goody'.
I am an avid networker. I naturally love to help people to 'make their knowledge productive'. If you think I could help, I am more then happy to take the occasional phone call or e-mail or meet for lunch though clearly I charge for more substantial consulting, coaching or other support.

If you would like to talk or learn more about any of my services then please contact me.

Video: BLU Lesson 5: How I discovered blogging by David Gurteen

One of six BLU lessons on how I discovered blogging and its applicability to knowledge management by David Gurteen.

In April 2005, BLU, the UK's Business Link University which no longer exists hired Fifty Lessons  to produce a series of video stories for them to which I (David Gurteen) was invited to contribute. This is one of those stories.

Media Information: Image

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
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