Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 153 - March 2013


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 153 - March 2013


  1. Introduction to the March 2013 Knowledge Letter
  2. Conversations are spontaneous and emergent, not planned and structured
  3. Goodbye Google Reader, hello Feedly
  4. We don't learn by listening, we learn by talking!
  5. What if 90% of the peer-reviewed clinical research is exaggerated, or worse, completely false?
  6. Looking for partners to help promote and run my Knowledge Cafes
  7. Are there any questions?
  8. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: March 2013
  9. Upcoming Events
  10. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  11. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the March 2013 Knowledge Letter

I am always looking to help promote activity in the KM field. To this end you can:

In each case, the submission is held in a queue until I have checked it out and categorised it. This normally only takes a day or two. If the item is off topic or I feel it is inappropriate for any other reason I reserve the right to delete it. The service is free.

I hope you have a very happy Easter.

Conversations are spontaneous and emergent, not planned and structured

I often ask during my Knowledge Cafe's if people think that it is possible to have online conversations or are they really just an exchange of messages. Is face to face conversation so different from online conversations that is warrants being given a different name?

Usually only a handful of people see any real difference and many get quite passionate about the fact that they can have great conversations with people online or by email and even texting.

I am not so sure. To me face to face conversation is so different to computer mediated conversation that I always say that "real conversation" can only take place face to face.

Yes, am aware I am playing with the definition and accepted use of words here. Conversation is always going to be the everyday term for conversation however mediated.

As part of the resources I am pulling together for a future book on conversation I have bookmarked this blog post from Chris Rodgers whether he says that Theres no such thing as on-line conversation that "Conversation is an ongoing, 'real-time' exchange" and that "Conversations are spontaneous and emergent, not planned and structured".

I could not agree more.

And, oh yes, when people ask me if you can run Knowledge Cafes online. I say "Yes, but it is so different you can no longer call it a Knowledge Cafe!"

Goodbye Google Reader, hello Feedly

I was at first pretty upset to hear the demise (or the "retiring" as Google put it) of Google Reader. Over the years I have come to depend on it.

I am subscribed to over 180 feeds and I keep up with most of my professional news through both the Windows and iPhone versions that nicely sync with each other so that an item marked as read on my iPhone syncs with Windows.

Its no exaggeration to say that Google Reader is was my information life blood. At first I could not imagine how I could live without it. Until, I discovered Feedly. It has almost identical functionality and it is beautifully implemented. So much so, I prefer it the old Goggle Reader. What's more it literally took me minutes to switch.

If you are in the same boat as me and have not found an alternative yet - then take a look at Feedly. It seems they have acquired more than 500,000 Google Reader users in recent days.

Seems Hitler did not take it too well either :-)

We don't learn by listening, we learn by talking!

A rather interesting blog post here by Nancy Dixon from a few years ago, entitled We Learn (When We Listen) When We Talk. If the research shows that we learn when we talk then according to Nancy
  • It implies that if I am stating an argument to convince someone else of the reasonableness of my position, I would be wise to pause periodically to give the other person an opportunity to articulate his or her thinking on what I've said. Even if the other's response is only to offer a counter argument, that person will learn something new about their own position by “the way they have organized information differently ... to present it.”

  • It implies that if I deliver a presentation or a lecture it would be helpful to make time for those listening to have a conversation with each other -- a way for them to make mental connections that otherwise might never be made.

  • It implies that if I want another team to learn from the lessons my team or project has garnered, the transfer would work better if I arrange a conversation between the two groups than as a document. The conversation would provide the opportunity for the recipient to think out loud about how the lessons relate to their own work.

  • It implies that I read an great article I will incorporate the ideas more fully into my own cognitive map, if I tell a colleague what I have just read (or write a blog about it).

  • It implies that in the debrief of that great project my team just accomplished, the team is more likely to be able to understand how they achieved that success, if I gather the group to talk to about what they learned. They will learn what they learned in the talking.

We need to encourage more conversation in our organisations. It's a simple idea but the benefits are enormous.

Knowledge Cafes and conversational talks are just two ways of doing this but there are many more.

Nancy Dixon tells the story about Xerox Copy Repair Technicians

Sharing Tacit Knowledge - Nancy Dixon tells the story about Xerox Copy Repair Technicians

Xerox thought it taught its copy repair technicians everything they needed to know. But they discovered that technicians still had a need to learn from each other through conversation.

What if 90% of the peer-reviewed clinical research is exaggerated, or worse, completely false?

What if 90% of the peer-reviewed clinical research, the holy grail of the conventional medical system, is exaggerated, or worse, completely false?

A scary thought! And what about other peer-reviewed material? See Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals and Problems with Peer-Review: A Brief Summary

Looking for partners to help promote and run my Knowledge Cafes

I am looking for business partners in various countries around the world who will work with me to deliver my public and in-house Knowledge Cafe masterclasses and other related Cafes and workshops.

Ideally, I am looking for organisations whose business is organising events though societies, networks and occasionally individuals who may have the capability to work with me.

If you are interested or can help then please get in touch and I will send you more information.

Here is one such workshop I am running in Denmark in June Knowledge Café: Facilitér effektiv videndeling i din organisation in partnership with VidenDanmark .

And I will be running a series of Cafes branded as Future Forums for the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group over the coming year.

Video: Knowledge Cafe Masterclass, Copenhagen 2011

Media Information: Image

Are there any questions?

Recently, I wrote about Conversational Conferences. I had two online responses that I am grateful for. First, Dave Snowden responded in a blog post Babies & bathwater again and then Johnnie Moore with Why I wont be rushing to attend KM conferences. In turn, I responded in a comment to Johnnie's post here.

The bottom line is that I am in almost total agreement with Dave and Johnnie. I would love to see richer, more engaging conferences with a variety of presentation and interactive sessions as they suggest.

The problem is that is that most commercial conference organisers are not ready for this. And its not just KM conferences :-) My idea is a simple one. It is to add a short conversational element to the traditional lecture style talk which form the majority of sessions at any conference.

To move FROM presentation + no time for q&A TO presentation + reflection + conversation + q&a

This is only meant to be a baby step in the direction of better learning events. My hope is that once conference organisers realise how effective this format can be it will give them the courage to go further. Time will tell.

Interestingly, in Googling for other people's views on conferences, I found this post by Nancy Dixon from 2009. A Rant on Are There Any Questions? This is how she starts

Every good speaker knows that at the end of a presentation, you have to leave time for questions.

Hogwash! Leaving time for questions is the worse learning process we could have invented.

We've all been brainwashed into the pseudo learning theory that asking for questions at the end of a presentation makes it a better learning experience for the audience. Wrong!

If you feel like me you will love this video Chicken chicken chicken but see it through to the "Any questions?" session at the end :-)

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: March 2013

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for February to March 2013. 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.

If you like the Tweets then subscribe to my Tweet stream.

Upcoming Events

Here are 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 Middle East 2013
25 - 27 Mar 2013, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

KM Europe 2013
24 - 25 Apr 2013, Amsterdam, Netherlands
I will be speaking at KM Europe.

2013 Knowledge Management Conference
29 Apr - 03 May 2013, Houston, United States

Collective Intelligence: Scotland's Future
14 May 2013, Dundee, United Kingdom
I am giving a keynote at this conference. I'm in good company with Dave Snowden, Euan Semple and John Seddon.

KM Legal 2013
15 - 16 May 2013, London, United Kingdom

eLearning Africa 2013
29 - 31 May 2013, Windhoek, Namibia

Knowledge Café: Facilitér effektiv videndeling i din organisation
04 Jun 2013, Copenhagen, Danmark

KM UK 2013
26 - 27 Jun 2013, London, United Kingdom
I will be speaking at KM UK again this year.

KM Australia Congress 2013
23 - 25 Jul 2013, Sydney, Australia
This will be a conversational event once again this year.

14th European Conference on Knowledge Management
05 - 06 Sep 2013, Kaunas, Lithuania

International Conference on Knowledge Economy icke2013
28 - 30 Oct 2013, Cape Town, South Africa

KMWorld 2013
06 - 08 Nov 2013, Washington DC, United States

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

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

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

Follow me on Twitter

How to contact me

My Blog

Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community is a global learning community of over 21,000 people in 160 countries across the world.

The community is for people who are committed to making a difference: people who wish to share and learn from each other and who strive to see the world differently, think differently and act differently.

Membership of the Gurteen Knowledge Community is free.
Knowledge Community


request help
visitor book
Tuesday 18 June 2024
11:52 PM GDT