Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 134 - August 2011


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Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 134 - August 2011


  1 Introduction to the August 2011 Knowledge Letter
  2 Gurteen Knowledge Community Services
  3 Conversation down the pub with Theodore Zeldin
  4 There are only business strategies
  5 Your brain is where you hide secrets
  6 Politicians are not quite so stupid!
  7 The best prediction for children's choice of behaviour is the actions of other children around them
  8 Never assume
  9 We need to think about saving ourselves
10 Major upcoming Knowledge Events: August 2011
11 Knowledge tweets: August 2011
12 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
13 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

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

The big news this month is of course the resignation of Steve Jobs. I am a PC boy though I do love my iPhone and am increasingly tempted to convert and buy a MacBook Air. I am not too sure that what I have read about Steve Jobs that I would have liked to work for him. But I hugely admire what he has achieved and I think there is so much we can all learn from him. You may recall I blogged his hugely inspiring Stanford Commencement Speech a while back.

Now Euan Semple, in a recent blog post has pointed me to a quote of his that I love:
We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn't build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren't going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.

When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

Just take a look at the back of any PC laptop and compare it with a Mac laptop. I have never been able to figure out whey other manufacturers have not followed suit. My daughter has a Mac laptop and I often just pick it up to admire it and to feel it. Its a delight just to hold it in my hands.

If only all businesses took design so seriously. I am sure extra investment would pay off handsomely.

Gurteen Knowledge Community Services    (top | next | prev)

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Conversation down the pub with Theodore Zeldin    (top | next | prev)

I am great fan of Theodore Zeldin as many of you will know but there is precious little video of him and his website The Oxford Muse has been broken for some time or at best a bit of a mess which is a huge shame.

But I just came across a great little video interview with him where is questioned about the results of the Courage Beer Conversations Survey..

It resonates well with my thinking about my Knowledge Cafes where one of the key principles is to come as close to a pub conversation as possible (though of course without the beer).

There are only business strategies    (top | next | prev)

I recently tripped over this blog post Adapting to Life in Perpetual Beta from Harold Jarche.

In his seven point list, the first two points are as follows:
  1. There is no such thing as a social media strategy.
  2. There are only business strategies that understand networks.
This jumped out at me, as it is the same the advice I give about KM. I wrote the following a little while back:
There are NO KM initiatives. There is no such thing as a KM project. You don't do KM. There is no such thing as a KM strategy. There are only business problems, challenges and opportunities; business strategies and business projects.

The problem with KM initiatives and strategies is that they conceptualize the problem and make it far too easy to take your eye off the business. It is, to my mind, one of the key reasons why so many KM projects fail.

It is rare that a project is purely a KM one. You usually need more than just KM tools and techniques to fully address a business problem or opportunity.

You use KM tools and methodologies to respond to business problems.

If you must have a KM strategy it should be in response to a clear business objective and tie in to the top level business objectives of the organization or organizational unit. The business purpose and outcomes should come first!

Adapting Harold's words "There are only business strategies that understand the nature and value of knowledge."

Your brain is where you hide secrets    (top | next | prev)

I like this post Social is for sharing, not hiding from Jeff Jarvis about all the fuss on privacy and social media. I think his view is good one. He summarises by paraphrasing Eric Schmidt:
If you want to hide something, the worst place to do that is on a social network. That’s where you share. Your brain is where you hide secrets.

Credit: Jeff Jarvis
There is no absolute security or privacy on the web as whole, not just social media. Anything you really don't want people to know about then don't put it on the web.

Politicians are not quite so stupid!    (top | next | prev)

Why, when politicians say something that really makes no sense, do people automatically think they are stupid?

Politicians rarely say what they believe or know to be true.

They say what needs to be said to win favour with the public; to keep rival politicians off their back and to stay in office.

By the same logic, don't judge their intelligence or true beliefs by what they do! Though it is a better measure.

That's the nature of politics.

But don't take this argument too far ... some really are stupid :-)

This though, is a more general problem, we rarely stop to look behind the words that other people utter. We don't look for the underlying meaning. We take their words at face value. Now who is being stupid? :-)

The best prediction for children's choice of behaviour is the actions of other children around them    (top | next | prev)

I recently stumbled on this snippet on Peer Influence from John Tropea.
1928 Study by Hugh Hartshorne and Mark May

Experimental situation in which 10-13 year old had the choice to yield to the possibility of cheating and stealing, or to be honest and considerate of their peers. The study showed that children were not consistently honest or dishonest (the idea that honesty would be a fixed trait of character by this age). The best prediction for the children's choice of behaviour was the actions of the other children around them.

We are all children. We are all social creatures. This research reflects so much on all our behaviours. Some thoughts come to mind:
  1. To what extent do these research findings reflect on the behaviour of the people in the recent England riots?
  2. In a KM context, is it surprising that people are not more collaborative or sharing, if their peers are not?
  3. This research took place in 1928 and I believe has been replicated many times since. It even seems that children learn most from their peers and not their parents.
  4. To what extent is this research true? And what we learnt from it?

Never assume    (top | next | prev)

This is what Nick Rowney says in the "About Me" section of his blog.
I don't say things to be liked I say them because I BELIEVE them.

Reputation isn't about being liked, it comes from standing for something.

My whole life has been about interacting with people from all walks of life and it has taught me NEVER to assume.

Credit: Nick Rowney
This resonated with me as one thing that is high on my list of "lessons learnt in life" is never, ever, ever, assume things about anything or anyone. Its all too easy to jump to conclusions as to why someone has said something or done something. Most of the time we are wrong. Very wrong.

To me this is where conversation or dialogue plays its part in understanding issues and people. Rather than say - "that was a stupid move" or "that was a stupid thing to say". Its far more creative and revealing to say "that's interesting, so why did you do that?" or "that's interesting, why did you say that?" It also potentially saves a relationship.

But you need to do it out of genuine curiosity not as some cheap conversational technique.

We need to think about saving ourselves    (top | next | prev)

I would like to introduce you to two bloggers whom you may find interesting to follow. I started following their blog posts some years ago when they were more focused on KM. Today, many of their posts are seemingly of a different nature. I'll warn you now, you may not agree with what they have to say, they may even anger you. But they have some interesting perspectives on the state of the world and our future.

Rob, has got me thinking about food and diet and the effect on our health of the huge quantities of processed foods that we now eat and that we may be being advised wrongly. He has influenced me to try the Paleo Diet. I have lost 15 lbs (7kgs) in about 2 months (another 15 lbs to go) and I feel much better for it.

Dave, on the other hand, has prompted me to start to think more deeply about the sustainability of our way of life and the global economy. In the UK for example, we are possibly only Nine Meals from Anarchy. Some people see Dave's posts as being negative and defeatist as he believes that we cannot avoid the collapse of our global civilisation during this century and that we need to prepare and adapt for it.

No one is good at predicting the future, Dave may be right, he may be wrong. You don't have to like or agree with what Dave is saying but you should read his posts (they are long) and think about it for yourself.

The one thing is certain. We cannot go on as we are much longer. Even if things don't totally collapse, we are entering a period of great turmoil and change. We all need to start to think about it and plan for it as best we can.

I started off by saying both these gentleman started out blogging about KM. To my mind, they still are. We have so much information and knowledge about what is going on our world but the challenge is to make sense of it all and to make better decisions. This is the essence of KM. So Rob's and Dave's blog posts are not too surprising.

Major upcoming Knowledge Events: August 2011    (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 Singapore Conference 2011
31 Aug - 02 Sep 2011, Singapore City, Singapore
I will not be at KM Singapore this year.

12th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2011)
01 - 02 Sep 2011, Passau, Germany
I won't be attending this event this year.

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

The 8th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM2011)
12 - 14 Sep 2011, Amman, Jordan
Due to the current situation in the Middle East, this event has been cancelled this year.

Workshop: Implementing Knowledge Cafes
13 Sep 2011, London, United Kingdom
A good opportunity to learn how to apply and run Knowledge Cafes.

KMO 2011 (Sixth International KMO Conference)
27 - 28 Sep 2011, Tokyo, Japan

13th KnowTech 2011
28 - 29 Sep 2011, Bad Homburg, Germany

KM Brazil 2011
05 - 07 Oct 2011, Sao Paulo, Brasil

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

KM Asia 2011
08 - 10 Nov 2011, Singapore City, Singapore
I will not be at KM Asia this year.

Online Information Conference 2011
29 Nov - 01 Dec 2011, London, United Kingdom
I will be at Online Information this year where I will be running a Knowledge Cafe at the end of the first day.

Online Information Asia-Pacific 2012
20 - 21 Mar 2012, Hong Kong, China

Knowledge tweets: August 2011    (top | next | prev)

Here are some of my more interesting Tweets for July - August 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.
  • Book: Knowledge Management (01 Aug 2011) by Kevin C Desouza, Scott Paquette http://t.co/NddtKA2
    2011-08-23 10:36:21 UTC

  • The need for rational, reasonable drug laws has never been more pressing. http://t.co/uFfz07U #SocialGood
    2011-08-23 07:26:28 UTC

  • Book Review of Kate Pugh’s Sharing Hidden Know-How from @billives http://t.co/MPT6Uda #KM
    2011-08-22 11:34:33 UTC

  • A nice overview of my recent London Knowledge Cafe at PwC from @NicolaFranklin http://t.co/cwN4xiw #KCAFE #KM
    2011-08-22 09:51:50 UTC

  • Best prediction for children’s choice of behaviour was the actions of the other children around them http://t.co/6ZY4oy5
    2011-08-21 08:08:10 UTC

  • The Terrible Cost Of Patents http://t.co/08L3bsq
    2011-08-20 12:25:53 UTC

  • “Reclaim Blogging”: Why I’m giving up Twitter and Facebook. | @gapingvoid http://t.co/UtsOkm3
    2011-08-19 19:39:38 UTC

  • 12 Incredible Internet Activists Changing the World Through Social Media http://t.co/KZNGulb #SocialGood
    2011-08-19 19:30:13 UTC

  • Listening to some one’s story is a way of empowering them http://t.co/SyIUQOo #GoodToTalk
    2011-08-19 19:18:41 UTC

  • It's rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person. http://t.co/LLzIWDU
    2011-08-19 10:32:38 UTC

  • The time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up http://t.co/0gOLw7n
    2011-08-19 10:30:10 UTC

  • Books create semblance of knowledge but true knowledge can only be created through active discourse + dialogue.http://t.co/AcVECyE #KM
    2011-08-19 07:11:45 UTC

  • Ideas just aren’t what they used to be. http://t.co/9uzeXua #KM /interesting
    2011-08-17 09:04:53 UTC

  • RT @Yunus_Centre: #Socialbusiness is missing link between businessworld + fight against #poverty + social problems http://j.mp/bjewbJ
    2011-08-10 10:21:23 UTC

  • KM. When will we admit that we’re getting it wrong? http://linkd.in/o3Jt6q #KM
    2011-08-10 08:30:40 UTC

  • Responding to the apparent collapse of an old world under its own weight. http://bit.ly/nICl1D /by @euan
    2011-08-10 08:10:07 UTC

  • RT @RobinGood: Social Content Curation – A Shift from the Traditional | @scoopit http://bit.ly/nc3qnS #curation
    2011-08-08 07:20:57 UTC

  • RT @KMskunkworks: The problem with 'certified' KM training http://wp.me/pUfyy-6x #KCube #KMObservatory
    2011-08-07 12:29:36 UTC

  • Content Curation Is Listening and Engaging http://bit.ly/ocG6Xb #curation
    2011-08-04 16:26:16 UTC

  • Creating participatory conferences - challenging the assumptions http://bit.ly/pTR4um
    2011-08-04 09:56:51 UTC

  • De Bono's Six Hats Explained http://bit.ly/oU1Iyx #KM
    2011-08-04 08:55:40 UTC

Subscribing and Unsubscribing    (top | next | prev)

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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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