Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 243 - September 2020


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 243 - September 2020


  1. Introduction to the September 2020 Knowledge Letter
  2. Why do we believe things that aren’t true?
  3. World Values Day Knowledge Cafe Oct 15th 2020
  4. Simple Ground Rules Can Help Polarized Groups Hold Civil Conversations With Each Other
  5. Dancing with change: Cultivating healthy organizations
  6. Explore your morals
  7. Please help support my work
  8. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: September 2020
  9. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  10. Unsubscribe
  11. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the September 2020 Knowledge Letter

In my recent Zoom Knowledge Café " We are not enemies, but friends" I had 30 participants from 12 countries from New Delhi to San Francisco. Like all my Knowledge Cafés over the last 18 years (face-to-face and online) the event went well with some amazing conversations and so I am holding a second Café on the same topic in October.

The timing of this event (Tuesday 27th October 2020, 16:00 - 19:00 London time (GMT)) is set to allow participants from the Americas and the West Coast of the United States to join the Café but wherever you are in the world you are welcome to participate.

We are polarized across political, religious, moral, and racial divides. At the root of this polarization lies our personal beliefs which rest on remarkably shaky ground. We argue and fight from ignorance. We need to cease seeing each other as enemies and start engaging in what at time might seem like "impossible conversations."

Like previous Zoom Cafés, it is in two parts. In the first half we will explore the nature of how we form our beliefs which I believe to be the root cause. In the second half we will explore how engaging in "impossible conversations' might lessen our divisions.

You can learn more about the Café and register here.

Why do we believe things that aren’t true?

I think Philip Fernback makes an important point aboout what it means to be human in this talk.:

"Consider how common it is for groups of people to believe things that just aren't true.

Right now, in this moment, it feels like we're in the midst of an epidemic.

The explosion of fake news shows how easy it is to dupe people on the left and the right, and science denial has gone mainstream.

Simplistic explanations ... aren't getting us anywhere.

If we really want to improve the way we grapple with these challenges, we have to go deeper, we have to understand what it is about the way we think that makes us so susceptible to believing things that aren't true.

And that explanation actually begins with a kind of shocking observation.

As individuals, we do not know enough to justify almost anything we believe."

You can watch Philip's full TEDx talk here

World Values Day Knowledge Cafe Oct 15th 2020

World Values Day is an annual campaign to increase the awareness and practice of values around the world.

For the last four years, in partnership with Charles Fowler, I have held a free Knowledge Café as part of the event, so this year's Café will be the fifth since our first one in 2016.

It is being held online on Zoom on 15th October 2020, 17:00 - 19:00 BST London time.

Whenever we engage in conversation, whether one-to-one or in a group, face-to-face or online, we have the opportunity to put our values into action.

There are many values that can be expressed in conversation, such as honesty, respect, trust, integrity, listening, constructive disagreement, speaking the truth, and the search for truth.

Most of us hold these values or similar ones but do we regularly live them in our everyday conversations? And could it be that we lose track of these values when we are talking to others, and that's why our conversations don't go so well?

This is the theme of this year's Café. You can learn more and register here.

Simple Ground Rules Can Help Polarized Groups Hold Civil Conversations With Each Other

Nancy Dixon recently published a blog post How A Few Simple Ground Rules Can Help Polarized Groups Hold Civil Conversations With Each Other.

Interestingly, this has a much in common with what I have written about the need for conversation covenants when engaging on conversations across divides and forms the basis of my upcoming Knowledge Café We are not enemies but friends.

It is imperative that we reflect more on our beliefs and one of the best ways of doing this is through conversation.

Dancing with change: Cultivating healthy organizations

Eric Lynn of cultureQs has written a new book Dancing with change: Cultivating healthy organizations. This is what Eric says about the book:

"The focus of this book is Change. It is also Organisation and Society Health. These two notions are so intricately intertwined that they are inseparable in the context of living communities.

Change is possibly the most broadly misunderstood concept in society at large, and particularly in organisational life.

Misunderstandings about the nature of change frequently lead to corporate and organisational initiatives that not only fail to meet their intentions, they may well actually cause more harm than good.

If you are a leader in any kind of organisation, I imagine this is something you would like to change. … You can.

The book will be available from 30th September and can be ordered here"

Explore your morals

I am exploring and writing about how we form our beliefs in my blook on Conversational Leadership and one aspect I am now delving into is our "moral beliefs.

This fascinating site YourMorals.org popped up in a Google search.

Go take a look and explore your own morality, ethics, and/or values, while also contributing to scientific research.

Please help support my work

I have been writing and publishing this Knowledge Letter every month for over 20 years and most of you have been receiving it for 5 years or more. My Knowledge Café also had its 17th birthday last September.

If you enjoy my work and find it valuable, please consider giving me a little support by donating $1 (or more) a month to Become a Patron or making small one off contribution.

I am not going to get rich on this but it will help cover some of my website hosting expenses.

I have over 50 patrons so far. A big thanks to you all.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: September 2020

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.

  • Facing each other, looking into the eyes, confiding—all those behaviors reflect and build trust. “There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction to build up this trust.” https://buff.ly/35gMKjX #ConversationalLeadership #trust

  • Ten Big Ideas of Knowledge Management | Nancy Dixon https://buff.ly/3m3X7NL #KM #KMers #KnowledgeManagement #ConversationalLeadership /as much about Conversational Leadership as it is KM :-)

  • You can adapt the Knowledge Café process in a variety of ways and put the Café to a multiplicity of different purposes. This series of Knowledge Cafés ran by NASA was used to identify risk issues and how to mitigate those risks. https://buff.ly/3jUwSrl #ConversationalLeadership

  • We've built an economy focused on inspiring/motivating the self-interest of individuals, rather than one where we co-create one another in deeper conversations. https://buff.ly/2PkDWOI #ConversationalLeadership

  • How social media filter bubbles work https://buff.ly/3gPw7Ob

  • Trust is an essential ingredient of belief formation | Conversational Leadership https://buff.ly/3lqtwxX #ConversationalLeadership

  • This World #History Timeline shows the main superpowers and dynasties over the last 5000 years. Gorgeous piece of work. These type of charts really help to understand who ruled at the same time on the other side of the globe. Love it! Source: https://buff.ly/2qiP1Wo

  • How Our Minds Mislead Us: The Marvels and Flaws of Our Intuition https://buff.ly/32jjINu

  • “Critical thinking begins with the assumption that our beliefs could be in error, and if they are, that we will revise them accordingly. This is what it means to be humble.” @peterboghossian https://buff.ly/2MligjF

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.

I'm not so sure if some of these events will still take place and several may go online but I have listed them anyway.

World Values Day 2020 Virtual Knowledge Café
Thu 15 Oct 2020, Online

17th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning
15 - 16 Oct 2020, Toronto, Canada

16th European Conference on Management Leadership and Governance
26 - 27 Oct 2020, Oxford, United Kingdom

We are not enemies, but friends
Tue 27 Oct 2020, United Kingdom

19th European Conference on e-Learning
29 - 30 Oct 2020, Berlin, Germany

21st European Conference on Knowledge Management
02 - 04 Dec 2020, Coventry, United Kingdom

The 10th International Conference on Innovation and Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific
03 - 04 Dec 2020, Sydney, Australia

Twenty-first International Conference on Knowledge, Culture, and Change in Organizations
15 - 16 Jan 2021, Auckland, New Zealand


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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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