Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 119 - May 2010


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Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 119 - May 2010


  1 Introduction to the May 2010 Knowledge Letter
  2 A call for mindful leadership
  3 KM books galore!
  4 How do you subvert the Dilbertesque business world?
  5 KM Jobs
  6 Follow Robert Patterson!
  7 How do you prevent people from stealing your ideas?
  8 I never knew Skype did screen share!
  9 Call people - PEOPLE - not capital!
10 KM Event Highlights
11 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
12 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the May 2010 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

I have one big pet peeve that I would like to share with you. I communicate with a very large number of people and in response to an email, I so often wish to pick up the phone and talk to the sender but amazingly most people don't append an email footer to their message. So unless I know them well and have their phone number I can't do that.

Recently I wanted to get hold of someone as I wanted to make an offer of a speaking engagement to them for the following day. I needed to know if they could do it urgently - but no footer on their past emails to me; no phone number on Facebook or Linkedin and no reply to my messages. So no way of getting hold of them in a hurry. I gave up and someone else got the work.

Now I understand that not everyone wants to be that easily contactable but most people do. So check it out - if someone wanted to contact you urgently could they? I make my mobile phone number available everywhere and I have never received an unwanted call. I also forward my land-line calls to my mobile. My iPhone is always with me. I am connected 24x7.

One very simple thing to do is to add an automated footer to your emails. Its easy - what ever your email system - you can find instructions here. You should also consider adding your phone number to Linkedin and maybe even Facebook but certainly Linkedin if you only use it to connect with your professional contacts.

This is my mail footer. On the odd occasion that I don't need it or don't wish to share all my contact details, I simply delete it before I send the email.
Gurteen Knowledge
Fleet, United Kingdom

Tel:       +44 1252 812 878
Mobile: +44 7774 178 650

Call me on Skype: dgurteen
Send me an Email: [email protected]
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DavidGurteen
Visit my Website: http://www.gurteen.com
Subscribe to my RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GurteenKnowledgeUpdate

A call for mindful leadership    (top | next | prev)

I have long been a fan of Ellen Langer and reviewed her book The Power Of Mindful Learning in my August 2000 knowledge letter. And more recently I wrote a little about her most recent book Counterclockwise.

But here is a recent article of hers A Call for Mindful Leadership. This is how she summarises:
In sum, there is no best way to do anything independent of context, so the leader cannot have privileged information. When leaders keep everyone in their place with the illusion of knowability and possession of this privileged knowledge the benefit to them is that we "obey" and leaders feel superior. The cost is that they create lemmings. Their mindlessness promotes our own mindlessness which costs us our well being and health. Net result, the leader, the led, and the company all lose.

Credit: Ellen Langer
This is all about knowledge management! We all need to be more mindful. Take a look at Ellen's two books that I reference above and you will start to see the importance of message!

KM books galore!    (top | next | prev)

I have long had a book section on my website with links through to amazon.com and amazon.uk to make it easy to order the books. (Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and I so I earn a small percentage on most items that your order.)

I also have an Amazon banner ad on the left hand side of most of my pages which I have cleverly programmed to display ads pertinent to the topic of the page. Using the keywords I provide, Amazon determines the books to display in this panel and so they are not necessarily ones I would recommend but it makes a great serendipitous search and I often spot interesting books that I was not aware of.

These features have been on my site for many years and recently I thought I would take a look to see what Amazon had done to update things and found that I could actually create my own Amazon stores. What's more, the effort was trivial. So you will now find a stand-alone Gurteen Knowledge Amazon.com store and a Gurteen Knowledge Amazon.co.uk store and also find them embedded on my site: Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

I have yet to fully configure the stores with the books and products I would recommend but take a look at the work in progress. You will find a lot of good KM books in both stores.

Its all very easy to do and those of you with your own sites or blogs might like to take a look and build your own store!

How do you subvert the Dilbertesque business world?    (top | next | prev)

Take a look at this blog post from Steve Denning How do you subvert the world of Dilbert cartoons?. I am not so sure its the cartoons I would like to see subverted but the Dilbertesque business world we live in! But that is exactly the point that Steve is getting at!

The quote from Frederick Winslow Taylor's book on The Principles of Scientific Management jumps out from the page and clearly is the root cause of so many of the problems in the world today. But take a look at the quote in its original context. I am not so sure Frederick Taylor quite meant Man to be totally subverted to the System! But maybe he did - his ideas were for a past industrial age - not our modern knowledge based one.

You may know of Steve Denning for his work and books on storytelling but he has changed his tack somewhat recently see Why did I abandon storytelling and get entangled in management speak? and is writing some very good material indeed.

KM Jobs    (top | next | prev)

I am often told that there is shortage of KM jobs or that people do not know where to look to find them. To help with this, for some time I have had a KM Jobs section on my website and you can access this via one of my RSSJob feeds. You might like to subscribe to the Global Jobs feed as this is the most comprehensive.

Alternatively you can subscribe to my Job Alerts Service which sends you an email whenever a new job is posted on my site.

Recruitment agencies can post KM jobs on my site for free.

But recently I have added a Twitter Job Feed to my Jobs Section. Quite simply, I have embedded a Twitter Search Widget at the bottom of the page that searches for Tweets that contain the words "knowledge management" and "job". Unfortunately the Twitter search syntax is extremely limiting and despite a lot of experimentation this turns out to be the best search.

But take a look - I think you may be surprised - there are more KM jobs out there than you might think. Also if you see a KM job - Tweet it and add the hashtag #kmjob so that myself and others can pick it up.

Follow Robert Patterson!    (top | next | prev)

I tweet most days especially when I am office based. Some tweets are personal comments or reflections but most are pointers to interesting articles, blog posts or videos that I trip over as I read my RSS feeds via Google Reader. Its quite slick. I mostly read my feeds on my iPhone and star the ones that I particularly like which gets synched back to Google Reader in my browser. As I step through the articles later I choose to tweet some of them by using a small Bitly Sidebar Bookmarklet that I have installed on my tool bar. It takes seconds to tweet an article in this way. Often it is just two clicks of the mouse.

One person I seem to be tweeting more and more is Robert Patterson. Almost everyone of his blog posts is a gem - he seems to find the most interesting articles out there on the web and then blogs them with his own insightful comments. What does he blog about? Well its quite diverse but the focus is on what's wrong in the world and needs fixing and that's not in a negative sense but more about here is a problem and here is what we could be doing better to respond to it.

Most of his posts have little to do with KM in a direct sense but all of them deep down are about how we manage and act on our knowledge.

Take a look! If you like the stuff I natter on about, I think you will love Robert's material too.

Here are three recent posts of his to wet your appetite.
You can subscribe to his RSS Feed here.

How do you prevent people from stealing your ideas?    (top | next | prev)

I recently received an email from someone who pointed to an article on my website Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture where I said the following:

Some people object to sharing as they feel that others will steal their ideas and reap the rewards rightly theirs. This is a fallacy. Knowledge sharing isn't about blindly sharing everything; giving away your ideas; being politically naive; or being open about absolutely everything. You still need to exercise judgment. If you have a great idea - don't share it with a competitor - external or internal but on the other hand don't try to develop it on your own and don’t sit on it for fear of it being stolen from you. Figure out how you can bring it to fruition by collaborating with other people.

He asked: "Easy said. For years I have had ideas I would like to bring to fruition, but have no idea how to protect myself. Have you any practical solutions to sharing ideas without losing out on the benefits. e.g. I tell you of a good business idea and you do it without me."

And here is an expanded version of my response:

There are no magic bullets, I am sorry to say, but my key piece of advise would be to only share those ideas with people you really trust - that's where the judgement comes in.

Or, depending on the idea, it may be patentable, but most ideas are not patentable and can be taken and applied by other people - in which case don't worry about the idea being taken but make sure you are first to market with the best implementation of the idea. And if the application of your idea is internal to your company - ensure that everyone knows it is yours by publishing it broadly in some way such as on an internal blog.

It also seems to me that ideas are like knowledge. The important thing is not to have an idea but to have the ability to act on it. Without that ability: the knowledge, the skills, the contacts, the political nous, the passion, the energy and much more - the idea is probably worthless to you. In which case give it away!

Finally, Howard Aiken has an interesting perspective :-)
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Credit: Howard Aiken

I rather like this :-)

I never knew Skype did screen share!    (top | next | prev)

I never knew Skype did screen sharing! Now I do and you do too!

And the new beta version supports group video chat.

Call people - PEOPLE - not capital!    (top | next | prev)

Victoria Ward recently emailed a bunch of people to ask the question "What do you reckon the best pithy read on social capital is?" and like many a web conversation, what started off with a simple question, quickly turned into an interesting exchange on a related but tangential topic!

It was so good to see that people like Madelyn Blair, Seth Kahan and Steve Denning HATE the way that people are referred to as "human capital" or "human resources" and the like. I have been gently ranting about this for some years and I back searched my blog and came up with this post from May 2003 People are people - not things!.

In the email exchange, Steve Denning captures the issue well:

There are thus two deep streams in management in today.

They are like oil and water. We can pretend that they are just evolutions or developments or nuances or verbal nitpicks and that it would be divisive to draw sharp distinctions between them.

But the reality is that these two ways of interacting with the world are incompatible and don't have much to say to each other.

One stream is about turning into people into things--human resources, human capital, social capital--which can be manipulated as things to produce goods and services (MORE THINGS) or profits (MONEY) for the organization and its shareholders. A dispiriting activity for all involved.

The other stream is about inspiring people (i.e (PEOPLE) doing work to generate continuing delight for clients and customers (also known as PEOPLE).

One is a simple linear activity under the control of management. And if it isn't under their control, the object is to get it under their control, as soon as possible.

The other is a complex undertaking in which only successive approximations can make progress to the goal. No one is in control. It is an interaction, a conversation, a joint voyage of discovery. The aim is delight. Generating that is more fun than fun.

The first stream is dying. Its day is done.

The second stream is the future.

Interestingly Steve has also just blogged on this Two streams of thought in management today.

Please, lets start calling people - PEOPLE and get rid of this "human capital" and "human assets" nonsense! And treat each other with respect.

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.

5th Knowledge Management International Conference
25 - 27 May 2010, Terengganu, Malaysia

Global MAKE Conference 2010 Brasil (GMC 2010)
25 - 27 May 2010, São Paulo, Brasil

Third International Congress on Knowledge Management
03 - 04 Jun 2010, Bogota, Colombia
I am looking forward to this conference. My first trip ro Colombia.

KM UK 2010
15 - 16 Jun 2010, London, United Kingdom
I will be giving a keynote talk at this event.

KM & Collaboration
19 - 21 Jul 2010, North Sydney, Australia

World Library and Information Congress
10 - 15 Aug 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden

11th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2010)
02 - 03 Sep 2010, Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal
I will be attending this event for the seventh year in succession.

KM Singapore 2010
16 - 17 Sep 2010, Singapore City, Singapore

7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2010)
11 - 12 Nov 2010, Hong Kong, China

KMWorld & Intranets 2010
16 - 18 Nov 2010, Washington DC, United States

KM Asia 2010
23 - 25 Nov 2010, Singapore City, Singapore

Online Information Conference 2010
30 Nov - 02 Dec 2010, 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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