Blog Post

Improving understanding

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 25 November 2010



Improving understanding
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 125
Posted DateThursday 25 November 2010 07:26 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
CategoriesKnowledge Cafe; Learning

I received an email from a student a month or so back in which she asked for my advise.

She told me that she was working on her KM thesis and thought she was doing well as she had received a merit on her literature review but was devastated when her supervisor told her 6 months later that she was doing worse than other undergraduate researchers as she had a very poor understanding of the main points.

In my reply I suggested that she found a small group of her fellow students whom she could come together with once or twice a week over coffee and have conversations around the work (a mini knowledge cafe) and that she would soon get to see that other people had different points of view - not necessarily right or wrong but different and this would cause her to think more deeply about the topics and reflect on her own perspectives and that this should help lead to a deeper understanding.

She replied very excitedly that she thought it was a brilliant idea and would try it. I have yet to hear back but I hope it works for her.

Funny though, when I think back to my undergraduate days - I never ever had conversations with my fellow students about our work. I recall once a few us thought about getting together to form a study group and my tutor urging me not to waste my time.

Now where did I read something recently that the critical success factor at Harvard was not innate intelligence (you need that to get there) or hard-work but the ability to network and to form study groups and learn informally and socially. I wish I could find the article.

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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