Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 129 - March 2011


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Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 129 - March 2011


  1 Introduction to the March 2011 Knowledge Letter
  2 Why are so few KM events done over the web?
  3 Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin
  4 Free online access to Knowledge Management Research & Practice (KMRP) Journal to 8th April
  5 Don't do KM!
  6 Matt Moore meets Nancy White
  7 KM Middle East
  8 March 2011: Major upcoming KM Events
  9 Hot knowledge tweets: March 2011
10 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
11 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the March 2011 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

I have been travelling again, and at the KM Middle East conference in Abu Dhabi, as well as giving the keynote talk, I ran one of my Gurteen Knowledge Cafe workshops. During the workshop, one of the men, who was probably in his 40s, approached me and told me that he was from Saudi Arabia and that he had found it difficult to speak to the women at the tables.

This had been the first time in his life that he had spoken to a woman other than his mother, his wife, his sister and two nieces. He had two brothers and had never spoken to their wives.

He went on to say, that in his opinion, Saudi Arabian men and woman did not talk much within their families and thus there was thus little understanding of each other and a consequent lack of respect.

I am well aware of the segregation of men and women in Saudi Arabia but the impact of this brought it home to me in a very personal way. I have often thought it would be good to bring men women together to discuss our differences in the safe, respectful setting of a Knowledge Cafe. One day I will but its unlikely to ever be in Saudi Arabia.

Why are so few KM events done over the web?    (top | next | prev)

A month or so back Matthew Loxton started a discussion on the Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin by asking the question "Why are so few KM events done over the web"

This generated some fascinating discussion and lots of comments but the post that stood out for me was this reply by John Maloney. John can be a little blunt but that's his style - don't let it get in the way of the message :-)
Hi - As probably the person that has conducted more face-to-face KM events, over the last three decades, than all others combined, arrival at the definitive answer to this question is easy.

The bottom line is impact and outcome.

Same-time, different-place (STDP), different-time, different-place (DTDP) and different-time, same-place (DTSP), aka, Webinars, eLearning, Learning Centers, etc., are excellent for deterministic impact and outcomes. These are activities where the outcome is known. Thinks like certification training, operations, policy diffusion, 'best practices,' etc. These complicated activities are well-served by technology.

Same-time, same-place (STSP) is for non-deterministic impact and outcomes. This is where the outcome is unknown, emergent, complex. These are creative activities like design, relationships, strategy, etc. These complex activities depend on authentic conversation, genuine collaboration, diversity, personal interactions, trust, ongoing relationships, etc.

There are NO exceptions to these rules. Unfortunately, KM people aren't very good at leading these activities. The main and classic problem they have, is, of course, leading-with-technology. Never worked, never will. People matter.

KM is about Creating the Future. Thus, by definition, ALL worthwhile KM activities must be STSP.

To be honest and blunt, it make no difference what you think people enjoy or value. What matters is impact and outcome. No exceptions. People will serve the social networks that best serve their goals and objectives. Guidance and configuration are certainly welcome.

Fortunately, the KM trend line is favoring STSP. Social media, communities, CoPs, etc., are great KM practices in-so-far as they serve STSP KM. That's good news and all KMers should be encouraged!

Again, build and strengthen your STDP, DTSP and DTSP programs and activities for training.

For KM, STSP carries the day. Always has, always will.

This is among the key themes of the Network Singularity ...


Thanks to all for the thread.

P.S. To anwser the specific question, in proper social media vernacular --

Q: Why are so few KM events done over the web?
A: Because they s-u-c-k.

Credit: John Maloney

I agree with so much of this and the thinking is behind much of the rationale for my Gurteen Knowledge Cafes. To my mind nothing beats face-to-face authentic conversation.

I must admit I love John's bottom line! I liked Al Simard's response also:

I tend to agree with John's view, although I put it a bit differently. In my experience, at the beginning of a group process (even if it is reasonably known), members need to develop a trust in the other participants. Humans have been doing this since we existed as a distinct species. We're hard-wired to do it through face-to face encounters; it is really hard to do electronically. It is also essential to get through what I call the "mating dance" in which everyone puts his wants and grievances on the table. This can either be done at the outset, in a planned way and informative way, or it will happen latter in an unplanned and disruptive way.

But, when a process is unstructured or unknown, I have found that face-to-face dialogues are virtually essential to first wander and then spiral around a subject towards a common understanding. I have found that sitting around a table in a dialogue group is far more effective than doing this electronically.

I have met people at conferences that I've corresponded with electronically for years. Somehow that face-to-face meeting added something intangible yet palpable to our relationship. I'm sure psychologists have a word for it. But, like tacit knowledge, although I can't name it, I have felt it.

Yes, Al, there is often something magic in a face-to-face meeting.

What do you think? You can join in the discussion on the forum

Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin    (top | next | prev)

The Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on LinkedIn has grown by over 100 members from 2,184 members last month to 2,289 today and is still one most active of all the KM LinkedIn groups.

Here are three of the discussions taking place:

You can join LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/reg/join and the Gurteen Knowledge Community Group here : http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1539

Free online access to Knowledge Management Research & Practice (KMRP) Journal to 8th April    (top | next | prev)

Many of you will have made the most of the free online access to all the Palgrave Macmillan journals throughout March. If you weren't aware of the offer then you have only a few days left but access to the Knowledge Management Research & Practice (KMRP) Journal has been extended to April 8th. Here are some hot links.

Enjoy :-)

Don't do KM!    (top | next | prev)

My recent keynote talk at KM Middle East was titled Dont do KM. You can find the slides on SlideShare.

This was clearly a provocative, catchy marketing title but I had a very strong message nevertheless! It was based on a talk I gave at the HK KMS Conference in 2010 which was titled less provocatively "Making KM Projects Work". Kim Sbarcea blogged about it and her post sums up my views on the matter quite well..

Naguib Chowdhury picked up on my recent presentation in Abu Dhabi and blogged Don’t do KM - then let’s not have a term called- KM! Naguib, pretty much supports what I have to say but adds at the end of his post:
So, David is right. Let us not do KM as a project itself, it is embedded in the organization already. But then I cannot call David a KMer or we cannot have any conference/forum called KM!

I think this is meant to be toungue-in-cheek, but let me answer it any way. This is a step too far. I am not advocating we get rid of KM or even that we adopt a stealth approach.

So often when people start a so called KM initiative they ask the question "How do we do KM?" and "What are the benefits?". To my mind this is the wrong place to start. We should start with the question "What are the business problems we are facing and how can KM help." This ensures a sharp focus on business outcomes. The benefits? - well they are your desired outcomes. Simple really! Hnece "Don't do KM!"

I have written more on this subject in Inside Knowledge Magazine see: What keeps your CEO awake at night?

Matt Moore meets Nancy White    (top | next | prev)

Matt Moore spoke to Nancy White recently as a prelude to her trip to Australia and recorded three video interviews.

KM Middle East    (top | next | prev)

There has been three major KM conferences in the Middle East in recent months that I have been privileged to attend:
There is also The 8th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM) coming up in Jordan in September of this year.

All three events have been excellent; they have been well attended (KM Iran had over 900 participants) and the participation has been exceptional. I have also loved the warmth and hospitality of the Arab people.

KM Middle East in Abu Dhabi was the most recent and let me share some of the resources with you
What with everything else going on in the Middle East - its hard not to wonder if there is a connection. If there is one, then to my mind, it has got to be about the intrinsic human thirst for knowledge and for freedom.

March 2011: Major upcoming KM Events    (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.

KM Legal 2011
11 - 12 May 2011, London, United Kingdom

APQC’s 16th Annual Knowledge Management Conference 2011
12 - 13 May 2011, Houston, United States

KM UK 2011
21 - 22 Jun 2011, London, United Kingdom
I'll be running a Knowledge Cafe at this event.

10th Annual Information & Knowledge Management Conference
22 - 23 Jun 2011, Johannesburg, South Africa

KM Australia - Asia Pacific Congress 2011
18 - 21 Jul 2011, Sydney, Australia
I will be chairing this event.

i-KNOW 2011
07 - 09 Sep 2011, Graz, Austria

The 8th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM2011)
12 - 14 Sep 2011, Amman, Jordan

International Conference on Knowledge Economy (ICKE2011)
24 - 28 Oct 2011, East London, South Africa

8th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2011)
27 - 28 Oct 2011, Bangkok, Thailand

Hot knowledge tweets: March 2011    (top | next | prev)

Here are some of my more interesting Tweets for Feb-Mar 2011. 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. And if you like what you see then subscribe to my Tweets.

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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