Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 181 - July 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 181 - July 2015


  1. Introduction to the July 2015 Knowledge Letter
  2. Are you in any doubt about the perverse outcomes targets can cause?
  3. The Seven Ages of Information & Knowledge Management
  4. It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes
  5. The Pulse of Conversation: Is there such a thing as a real conversation?
  6. Is your organization a listening organization?
  7. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: July 2015
  8. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  9. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  10. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the July 2015 Knowledge Letter

About 22,000 of you receive this Knowledge Letter each month. Not all of you see it, many emails bounce, it goes into spam folders, or it gets ignored. I feel though that if everyone who does see it, reads only one item in every third newsletter and gets something from it then the exercise is worthwhile :-)

Many of you I know or have met and I am always looking to meet and communicate with more of you.

These are my upcomig trips before the end of the year but you can always find my current travel schedule on the home page of my website courtesy of Tripit
I hope to me a few more of you before the end of the year :-)

Are you in any doubt about the perverse outcomes targets can cause?

I have never been a big fan of key performance indicators (KPIs) for a variety of reasons including they are too easily gamed, they often have unforeseen negative consequences and they can too easily become explicit targets in their own right removing the need for people to think and do the right thing in an increasingly complex world.

So I was delighted to see this news-item recently. Maybe the UK Government is at last waking up to the "perverse outcomes targets can cause" as the Home Secretary Theresa May puts it. Though frankly I doubt it.

I can't help being impressed but at the same time sceptical (for the reasons above) by the ambitious key national performance indicators for the UAE.

What would be really interesting to know, is why these particular indicators were set and not others and how the values attached to them were determined. The strategy adopted to meet them would also be of interest.

The Seven Ages of Information & Knowledge Management

David Skyrme retired some years ago and does not do any formal KM nowadays.

However, he has written up an interesting retrospective of two decades of IKM (Information and Knowledge Management) based on a presentation that he gave on the 21st anniversary of the UK networking group NetIKX.

You may be interested http://www.skyrme.com/kmarticles/7ikm.pdf

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes

I often get criticized when I talk about the power of conversation.

People conclude that I think conversation will solve all our problems and nothing else is needed. Or that I am ruling out debate or other powerful forms of human interaction.

I am not.

Conversation is not a panacea for everything. It can too easily descend into chit-chat and people being too nice to each other and not confronting the real issues. It can be dull and boring or a conversation can turn quickly to an intellectual scrap where relationships are destroyed.

There are also the problems of Groupthink and Group polarization

We should not throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to recognise these problems and limitations and learn to engage more positively in conversation and to architect more powerful conversations. This is what Conversational Leadership is all about.

Douglas Adams got it right when he said: "It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

The world is far too complex to think that there is a single solution to anything but conversation is one tool that we too often overlook.

The Pulse of Conversation: Is there such a thing as a real conversation?

I have added two more items to my Linkedin Pulse newsfeed since last month. These are the older ones.

Is your organization a listening organization?

I talk about Organizational Conversation so it intersting to find someone talking about Organizational Listening - albeit in a different context.
While listening receives extensive attention in relation to interpersonal communication, there is little focus on organizational listening in academic and professional literature, with books and articles focussed predominantly on disseminating organizations' messages (i.e. speaking) – a transmissional or broadcast approach to public communication

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: July 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 Australia 2015
04 - 06 Aug 2015, Melbourne, Australia

The First International Conference on Dialogic Organization Development
Thu 06 Aug 2015, Vancouver, Canada

KM Singapore 2015
02 - 04 Sep 2015, Singapore City, Singapore

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

CoachingOurselves: Reflections 2015
10 - 11 Sep 2015, Montreal, Canada

Knowledge Sciences Symposium Western NY 2015
08 - 09 Oct 2015, St. Bonaventure, NY, United States
I will be giving the keynote talk at this conference.

20th Knowledge Management Tracks
28 - 29 Oct 2015, Milano, Italy
I will be running a Knowledge Cafe worskhop at this conference.

KM World 2015
02 - 05 Nov 2015, Washington DC, United States

Knowledge and Information Systems for Knowledge Management (ICKM2015)
04 - 06 Nov 2015, Osaka, Japan

12th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning
05 - 06 Nov 2015, Bangkok, Thailand

KM Asia 2015
18 - 19 Nov 2015, Hong Kong, China
I will be giving talk on Conversational Leadership at this conference.

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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