Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 111 - September 2009


The Gurteen Knowledge Letter is a monthly newsletter that is distributed to members of the Gurteen Knowledge Community. You may receive the Knowledge Letter by joining the community. Membership is totally free. You may read back-copies here.

Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 111 - September 2009


  1 Introduction to the September 2009 Knowledge Letter
  2 The best defintion of KM yet!
  3 Are traditional rewards as effective as we think?
  4 Do managers need to measure and reward trust?
  5 Pecha Kucha
  6 Sugar rush at the knowledge Cafe
  7 Can you measure personality?
  8 KM Event Highlights
  9 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
10 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the September 2009 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

I am writing this introduction to my newsletter from Auckland during my 3 week trip to Australia and New Zealand. I have been having a wonderful time - thanks to all of you who have helped to make it possible and whom I have met on my travels.

While here in NZ, I have been running Knowledge Cafe masterclasses almost back to back for the week. The masterclasses are something I am increasingly doing and given their conversational nature they just do not feel like work and I love them :-)

As for this month's newsletter, interestingly you will see that three of the posts take the form of questions. All potentially great topics for future Knowledge Cafes LOL

And for the geeks amongst you note I am updating my geographic location during my trip via Google Latitude and my iPhone. On the home page of my site you can see where I am via a Google Latitude embedded widget!

The best defintion of KM yet!    (top | next | prev)

The best definition of KM yet and some excellent guiding principals from Dave Snowden in a recent blog post.

The purpose of knowledge management is to provide support for improved decision making and innovation throughout the organization. This is achieved through the effective management of human intuition and experience augmented by the provision of information, processes and technology together with training and mentoring programmes.

Why do I like this? It starts with the purpose; the business outcome that you wish to achieve. And then follows through with the "how". To my mind, all definitions of activity should take this format. So if I ask "What is your KM project about?" The reply should not take the form "We are implementing COPs" but "Our aim is to improve innovation in R&D through the use of COPs". Start with the specific purpose and then the how.That way you don't get to take your mind off what you are really aiming to achieve! Its the "outcome" that is important not the "how". KM is a how not an outcome! That's why I always say "You don't do KM!".

And another reason, I like it? Well in my Knowledge Cafe Masterclasses I say this (influenced and adapted from the words of David Weinberger in the Cluetrain Manifesto):

KM should not be about "knowing more" - it should be about "understanding better". Better understanding leads to improved decisions and innovation. How do we understand better; how do we make sense of the world? Through conversation!

Are traditional rewards as effective as we think?    (top | next | prev)

I think most of you are aware of my views on the rewards ... if not see what I have to say here on Measures Targets and Rewards.

And you may also have seen my little blitz on the subject in Twitter ... tagged #NOREWARDS.

I know many of you believe in rewards - from my Twitter Poll - well over half. But watch this TED video from Dan Pink and see if it changes your opinion at all. Even more compelling evidence that traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think!

And Alfie Kohn thinks we are punished by rewards!!.

Do managers need to measure and reward trust?    (top | next | prev)

Its not very often I "sound off" but the other day I tweeted a section of an article and tagged it as #RUBBISH and having been gently reprimanded, I agreed, backed off and tagged it #DISAGEE LOL.

The post is titled Ten ways how leadership can influence and promote interpersonal trust in knowledge management behaviour and processes. And it was item 7. I mainly had a problem with where it says that "managers need to measure and reward trust".

To me, this not only seems impossible and a huge waste of time but it will almost certainly be "gamed" by many individuals. Value and respect trust - yes - but that's it.

In response, Johan Lammers expanded on the post in a comment which helped explain a little moe but I am still not convinced. I think we need to stop trying to do things to people and work with them :-)

What do you think?

Pecha Kucha    (top | next | prev)

I have just discovered Pecha Kucha - a presentation format in which a presenter shows 20 images for 20 seconds apiece, for a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds.

Looks like the driving force was similar to the one that inspired my Knowledge Cafes - a desire to avoid Death by Powerpoint.

I wonder if I could adapt the idea to create a variation of my Knowledge Cafe? But I cannot believe that they have patented the process!

Sugar rush at the knowledge Cafe    (top | next | prev)

A month or so back, I ran a Knowledge Cafe at Cadbury in Birmingham. The lure of free chocolate drew a good crowd LOL.

A day or so before the event though I tweeted it and a freelance writer in London - Joanna Goodman - decided to travel up to Birmingham to experience the Cafe. She enjoyed it so much she the wrote an article for Smart People magazine titled Sugar rush at the Knowledge Café - How conversation is bringing KM back to the people.

If you haven't experienced a Knowledge Cafe and would like to learn more - take a look - though no free chocolate I am afraid :-)

Can you measure personality?    (top | next | prev)

You may have noticed that over recent months that I have often referred to Stephen Billing in my newsletter or tweeted some of his posts. I found Steve only a few months back when I stumbled over his blog and instantly liked his work, what he had to say and the values he stood for and so it was a delight to have dinner with him the other evening in Wellington (thanks Stave for such an excellent meal and great conversation).

This is the power of the web ... I get to meet someone in cyberspace literally half-a-world-away and form a relationship that is later, often much later, cemented in a face to face meeting.

Here is another recent post from Stephen Personality Profiles -- Measuring an Inner Essence that Doesn’t Exist?. Its that thorny old issue again ... "What is measurable and what is not and do attempts to measure certain things cause more harm than good?"

Steve is not the only one who does not like the idea of "putting people in boxes". Dave Snowden thinks that a special place in Hell should be reserved for the creators and perpetrators of what he considers the worst of these psychometric tests such as Myers Briggs. LOL

Personally, I find these tests a bit of fun; they do give a glimmer into people's personalities and are great for triggering reflection and conversation but they shouldn't be taken too seriously.

What do you think? There are some views here.

KM Event Highlights    (top | next | prev)

This section highlights 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.

Sydney Knowledge Cafe
01 Oct 2009, Sydney, Australia
Over 100 people signed up - this should be good!

International Conference on Knowledge Economy (ICKE2009)
20 - 22 Oct 2009, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
I will be speaking at this conference in Sandton, Johannesburg and spending some additonal time in South Africa while there including Cape Town.

KM LatinAmerica 2009
26 - 30 Oct 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina

KM India 2009
28 - 30 Oct 2009, Chennai, India
I will be speaking at this conference. It will be my first trip to India.

KMWorld & Intranets 2009
17 - 19 Nov 2009, San Jose, United States

KM Asia 2009
24 - 26 Nov 2009, Singapore City, Singapore
I will be giving a keynote talk and running a workshop and a reverse brainstorming cafe at KM Asia this year.

Online Information 2009
01 - 03 Dec 2009, London, United Kingdom

Subscribing and Unsubscribing    (top | next | prev)

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    (top | next | prev)

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 Knowledge Management 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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