Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 175 - January 2015


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 175 - January 2015


  1. Introduction to the January 2015 Knowledge Letter
  2. Conversation is more than communication
  3. What does research tell us about the effectiveness of lectures?
  4. An innovative way to document meeting minutes
  5. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: January 2015
  6. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  7. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  8. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the January 2015 Knowledge Letter

I have added another item to my Linkedin Pulse newsfeed dedicated to articles on conversation. There are now five short posts:
I plan to add one or two articles a month. I hope you enjoy.

And note the Gurteen Knowledge Community Group on LinkedIn has now grown to over 4,500 members and is still one more active of all the KM LinkedIn groups.

Conversation is more than communication

Face to face Conversation is far more than just communication. When we have a Conversation we don't just exchange information. That's what computers do. It's not what people do. People filter, interpret and elaborate on what they hear.

Everyone does this differently. Two people can hear the same thing and take away very different ideas. In fact, we actually have little idea what others really takeaway from a conversation or what they are thinking.

Conversation is spontaneous and dynamic. It is not planned or scheduled. We don't plan our response to something that someone says - it emerges spontaneously. The Conversation can be thought of as being in charge. Conversation takes us where it wants to go.

Conversation is shaped by our moods. A conversation held one day will take a very different path and have very different outcomes compared to the same conversation on another day.

The environment in which a conversation is held also has an impact on the actual conversation. Conversation held in a quiet room will take a very different form to one in a noisy cafe or one on the train on a boat or in a car or while walking.

And it's not just the words spoken that form the communication. The speed and volume of delivery, the tone and the emotion in the voice shapes the meaning of the words conveyed. And the eyes and the smile convey so much along with other body language.

We have evolved to be very sensitive to body language and can detect deceit, lies, stress and other underlying emotions. Someone said to me recently "I don't quite trust her, she smiles far too much when I talk with her."

Conversation can inspire and motivate us or it can depress and turn us off.

In conversation, we make new connections in our minds and our thinking can be triggered down entirely new paths. It's probably not an exaggeration to say that a good conversation can entirely change our lives though such conversations are rare and we hardly ever recognise the long-term impact of the conversation at the time.

A single conversation or a series of conversations over a period of time can have a huge impact on us. We start to make different decisions not realising the influence that earlier conversations have had on us. A conversation held today is heavily influenced by conversations held in the past.

Conversations shape and mould our minds and thus our thinking and the decisions that we make. Conversation shapes our lives.

What does research tell us about the effectiveness of lectures?

Most people who know me are aware of my views about the lecture - certainly, if you have attended one of my knowledge Cafes or workshops you will be. It was death-by-powerpoint lectures that provoked me to start to run my Knowledge Cafes back in 2002.

This document Conversational Talks and Conferences sums up some of my thinking. And Donald Clark in his talk Dont lecture me is highly critical of the lecture style of teaching also.

But this article by Dr Tony Bates: Why lectures are dead (or soon will be) is a comprehensive review of the lecture, its history and its future. It is well worth the read and looks at both the strengths and the weakness of the lecture especially in the light of modern day technology and the ability to flip teach

This is what Tony says the research shows about the lecture.
  1. The lecture is as effective as other methods for transmitting information (the corollary of course is that other methods – such as video, reading, independent study - are just as effective as lecturing for transmitting information)
  2. Most lectures are not as effective as discussion for promoting thought
  3. Lectures are generally ineffective for changing attitudes or values or for inspiring interest in a subject
  4. Lectures are relatively ineffective for teaching behavioural skills.

Oh and make sure you read the comments - they are not totally supportive and add some additional insight into what Tony has to say.

An innovative way to document meeting minutes

I was on the Expert Advisory Group for a large meeting being held in Bangkok recently by the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) We had a long discussion via Skype at one point and I almost fell off my chair when I saw the meeting minutes! What a great way to write up meeting outcomes with a YouTube video: Expert Advisory Group Minutes 2nd meeting.

Take a look - not only an innovative way to document the outcomes of a meeting but some interesting ideas for making meetings more participatory also.

Step 3 - the idea to consider the four questions from Peter Block came from me - I have used them at meetings and conferences in the past and I think they are a great way to get people to think about the degree to which they will participate in an event and help actually improve their engagement. Question four is the key.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: January 2015

Here are some of my more popular recent tweets. 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 Knowledge 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 Legal Europe 2015
28 - 29 Jan 2015, Amsterdam, Netherlands

7th Iranian Knowledge Management Conference
17 - 18 Feb 2015, Tehran, Iran

IntraTeam Event Copenhagen
24 - 26 Feb 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark
I will be speaking at this event on Conversational Leadership and running a Knowledge Cafe workshop.

Henley Forum 15th Annual Conference
25 - 26 Feb 2015, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

10th International Police Best Practice Symposium
01 - 05 Mar 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I will be speaking on Conversational Leadership at this conference.

KM Middle East 2015
16 - 17 Mar 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

3rd International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
19 - 20 Mar 2015, Durban, South Africa

Abu Dhabi Police First International Conference on Knowledge Management
April 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

7th European Conference on Intellectual Capital
09 - 10 Apr 2015, Cartagena, Spain

16th European Conference on Knowledge Management
03 - 04 Sep 2015, Udine, Italy

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 Henley 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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