Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 122 - August 2010


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 122- August 2010


  1 Introduction to the August 2010 Knowledge Letter
  2 No Kindle required
  3 Dilbert pokes fun at Knowledge Management
  4 Update: Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on Linkedin
  5 Are many conversations pointless and does technology discourage face to face interaction?
  6 Travel update for 2010
  7 Knoco KM Newsletter
  8 Academic Talk
  9 Hot tweets: August 2010
10 Don't Call Me a Guru, Dammit!
11 More Knowledge Cafe conversations
12 August 2010: Major KM Events over next 12 months
13 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
14 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

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

I have just come across a KM tool (thank you Anecdote) that I had not heard of before although it has been around for ten years or more.

I have never read about it in a KM book, blog or tweet, or heard anyone talk about it in a conference. But it is the most powerful, exciting tool I have come across.

Why have I not heard of it? And why, I suspect have most of you not heard of it? Well, it has never been described as a KM tool and has little been used in business. Though a KM tool its most definitely!

It comes from the international development world and is called Positive Deviance (PD). Yes, I know it is a terrible name but that's what it is called!

I have always had great respect for the KM folks working in international development field. Unlike their corporate counterparts, they have few financial or technical resources and they face problems on a massive social scale. But to my mind they seem to understand KM better than most. They understand that it is fundamentally about engaging people. And this is what PD is all about.

I have just finished reading the book The Power of Positive Deviance by Jerry Sternin, Monique Sternin, Richard Pascale and I believe the breadth of opportunity presented by Positive Deviance, as an idea, a mindset, and a methodology, is staggering.

I won't take up space explaining it all here but skip over to this new Positive Deviance section of my website where I describe the concept in simple terms and am slowly collecting the best resources on the web that I can find.

As a tool, it is best suited to problems that involve behavioural and social change and most success stories to date relate to the international development and health care fields though there have been some limited success in the corporate sector. I think though its potential is vast and you will be hearing a great deal more about if both from me and others.

Foot note: Do not confuse PD with Appreciative Inquiry (AI) they are totally different processes with very different aims though they do have some principals in common.

No Kindle required    (top | next | prev)

I only recently realised that I did not need a Kindle to read Kindle books or magazines and that quite a few Kindle books where the copyright has expired are free.

You can currently download free Kindle readers for the iPhone, Android smartphones, the iPad or your PC or Mac. There are probably other devices but try as I may, I can't find a definitive list.

I have downloaded Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience for now to see how I get on reading a book on my iPhone. So far, despite the small screen size, I am finding it easy going .

But do I buy a Kindle? At just over £100 its not a big decision but I still like traditional books. Amazon would make the transition so much easier if their ebooks were only a few pounds each but every time I have toyed with buying an ebook it is only slightly cheaper than the paper version. Some are even dearer!

"Buy a paper version - get the ebook free" would be cool. I'd even pay a few pounds extra to get the ebook thrown in. I hope its only a matter of time :-)

So I will play at the fringes for now until something tips me to go electronic. It may be articles like this: 5 Ways That eBooks Are Better Than Paper Books.

Or maybe I will go for the iPad - I can read Kindle books there too - as well as books from the Apple store: Kindle vs iPad Face-off.

Dilbert pokes fun at Knowledge Management    (top | next | prev)

Everyone loves Dilbert. Over the years there have been some gems relating to knowledge management, collaboration, knowledge sharing and the like.

So I thought I would start to dig them out and create a collection of Dilbert comic strips on KM that can be viewed through my media player. You may find a lot of other interesting stuff there too. Enjoy!

Here is one of my favourites from 1998 no less!

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

I talked about the Gurteen Knowledge Group on LinkedIn recently and how I was making it the central discussion forum for the Gurteen Knowledge Community.

Since then, over 120 people have registered and we are now up to 1,120 members or thereabouts. A few new discussions have started also.

If you are not a member, you can find more information here and register. Please join-up and start to use the forum, as apart from Facebook, it is the best place to meet and have discussions with other members of the community.

And if you would like to connect with me personally on LinkedIn please do so.

Are many conversations pointless and does technology discourage face to face interaction?    (top | next | prev)

I recently came across this article on conversation: Pub is hub of conversation and I tweeted it thus:

43% of all conversations are pointless http://bit.ly/coXmPR /or are they?

I hoped someone would take the bait and ask what I meant by the question and one or two did.

Personally, I beleive that some conversations are totally pointless but I suspect far less than we think otherwise as Johnnie Moore quipped "if "pointless" why are we having em?"

My response is that we are having them to get to know each other better. Conversations help build and sustain relationships regardless of the value of the content - amongst other things they reveal the other persons values. Conversely they can also destroy relationships - often for the bad but sometimes for the good. There are some people whose values I so dislike that I don't want a relationship with them LOL

To my mind then trivial everyday conversations aren't pointless though like Theodore Zeldin I would love for many of them to be more meaningful.

Euan Semple also chipped in on the tweet to say this

@johnniemoore @DavidGurteen what a crap article! Now that technology is encouraging less face to face interaction," - rubbish!

Now this I would agree with. I think Theodore has got this wrong. "Conversational" technology such as blogs, Twitter, Skype, Facebook etc have connected me with many more people than the past and allowed me to stay in touch with them and keep up with their lives and interests. Thus I want to meet them more and enjoy their company and their conversation face to face and of course the technology allows me to do this too. I see this not only in myself but in my three children (Y-geners). They have phenomenal social lives compared to me when I was their age - where of course a lot of "pointless conversation" goes on LOL

Travel update for 2010    (top | next | prev)

I am about to enter a busy travel period between now and the end of the year, including what is starting to become an annual event: five weeks in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand-Singapore.
If you would like to meet with me, get in touch!

Knoco KM Newsletter    (top | next | prev)

I am starting to build a new section of my site dedicated to newsletters on KM and related subjects. I only have three or four newsletters at present and have yet to create the section page but here is one of the KM newsletters for you to be going on with. Its from Nick Milton and Tom Young of Knoco.

Please let me know if you are aware of any other publications.

Nick and Tom have a YouTube channel with over 40 KM videos that you may also find of interest.

Academic Talk    (top | next | prev)

Dan Remenyi is a visiting professor at the School of Systems and Data Studies, Trinity College Dublin. He is also a good friend.

Dan has created a new resource called Academic Talk on the Academic Conferences website. It is a collection of videos of talks that should be of interest to researchers. I find the one on "The Moral Side of Murder" by Michael Sandel of Harvard University quite fascinating. Go take a look!

Dan also has an interesting blog on Research Methodology that he recently started.

Hot tweets: August 2010    (top | next | prev)

Here are some of my more interesting Tweets for the month of August 2010. 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.

Don't Call Me a Guru, Dammit!    (top | next | prev)

I occasionally get called a "KM guru". I appreciate the compliment but I don't like the term and I don't like being labelled a guru. I usually laugh it off by objecting that I am not a "Kangaroo". Say KM guru fast enough and it sounds like KM guru. LOL.

Given this, I rather liked this blog post by Rick Ladd Dont Call Me a Guru and Peter Drucker's observation that the only reason people called him a guru was that they did not know how to spell the word "charlatan".

Oh and one other pet peeve. If you call yourself an expert then you are most likely not one. To my mind only other people can bestow that honour on you. And even then, like the word guru, I am not so sure I like it. Both words smack of elitism and marketing hype.

More Knowledge Cafe conversations    (top | next | prev)

I was talking with my friend David Pottinger the other day over a beer or two. David has attended a number of my London Knowledge Cafes, including the last one at Arup. He was particular interested in the conversations that took place before and after at the Arup event and had blogged about them.

As we talked we came to realise that there were up to eight quite distinct phases of the Cafe were different types of conversation took place. This was something I had not seen before. Here are eight potential conversations:
  1. Conversation with a friend at a pre-Cafe meeting and on way to Cafe on the tube
  2. Conversation during the pre-Cafe networking session
  3. Speed networking conversation at the start of the Cafe
  4. Conversation in small groups as part of the Cafe
  5. Conversation in whole group as part of the Cafe
  6. Conversation during the networking session after the end of Cafe as people are leaving
  7. Conversation at a local pub after the Cafe
  8. Conversation on the tube or train on the way home
Not everyone gets to experience all eight of these conversations but many do. I for one, often meet up with someone before the Cafe and travel with them to the venue. There is conversation down the pub and I frequently travel home to Fleet with David as we live in the same town and of course the conversation continues.

That's a lot of conversations and each one is quite different. David's particular interest was the post-Cafe conversations as he felt this was the most interesting and productive phase. People are at their most relaxed and unfocused and thus the conversations often took an unexpected direction. People were also more likely to be themselves and not act out their job role.

Quite a fascinating insight. Its got both me and David thinking about how the nature of all of these conversations might be improved.

August 2010: Major KM Events over next 12 months    (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.

Masterclass: Implementing a Knowledge Cafe
25 Aug 2010, London, United Kingdom
Yet another opportunity to learn how to run and apply Knowledge Cafes.

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.

KnowTech Pre-Conference Tutorial with David Gurteen
14 Sep 2010, Bad Homburg, Germany
This is a Gurteen Knowledge Cafe Masterclass - my first in Germany.

KnowTech 2010
15 - 16 Sep 2010, Bad Homburg, Germany
I will be giving a keynote talk at this conference and running a pre-conference workshop.

KM Singapore 2010
16 - 17 Sep 2010, Singapore City, Singapore
I will not be at KM Singapore this year.

KM Egypt 2010
21 - 22 Sep 2010, Cairo, Egypt
I will be speaking at this event. My first trip to Egypt!

Implementing the Gurteen Knowledge Cafe
12 Oct 2010, Sydney, Australia
I will be running this workshop during my October trrip to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Gurteen Learning: An interactive open forum on what needs to be done to Drive KM within our business
13 Oct 2010, Sydney, Australia
I will be running this workshop during my October trrip to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

actKM Conference 2010
18 - 19 Oct 2010, Canberra, Australia
I will be speaking at this conference on "What Km practitioners can learn from Positive Deviance".

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
This event will be in Washington DC this year but I won't be attending.

KM Asia 2010
23 - 25 Nov 2010, Singapore City, Singapore
I will not be at KM Asia this year.

Online Information Conference 2010
30 Nov - 02 Dec 2010, London, United Kingdom

3rd Iranian Knowledge Management Conference
08 - 09 Feb 2011, Tehran, Iran
I will be speaking at this conference in Tehran

Henley Knowledge Mangement Forum Annual Conference
16 - 17 Feb 2011, Greenlands, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

Online Information Asia-Pacific 2011
23 - 24 Mar 2011, Hong Kong, China

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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