Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 28 - 8th October 2002


First Published

October 2002

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.

I received a suggestion last month to start a Knowledge-Café in Boston. If
you are based in or around Boston and would be interested in meeting with
other people interested in KM once a month for interesting conversations
about KM then please drop me an e-mail so I can gauge the level of
interest and as things develop I will keep you informed.

It would be great to set up a K-Café in Boston - I used to work in
Cambridge Mass., and grew to love the area - so it would be great to find
more excuses to visit.

Also if there is interest elsewhere in the world - please let me know.

The next Knowledge Café meeting in the UK will be held in London on 16th
October. For more details see the link below.

Knowledge Café:

*************************** CONTENTS ***************************

1 - The Gurteen Lottery
2 - Petri dishes for knowledge
3 - Fast forward to the future
4 - KM Klog-Community
5 - The Innovation SuperHighway
6 - The World Future Society
7 - Rewarding Knowledge Sharing
8 - KM in the public sector
9 - Discussion Forums
10 - Curricula Vitaes and speaking in your own voice
11 - The lessons of Vimy
12 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar

********************** THE GURTEEN LOTTERY **********************

At times, various conference organizers, book publishers and other product
or service vendors offer me a free place at a conference or a free copy of
a book etc. Sometimes I use these, other times I give them to colleagues
or readers of my knowledge-letter.

But I have now added a lottery feature to my website that allows me to
make these items more broadly available.

Click through to the Lottery page on my website below. And then click on
one of the lottery links - a form will pop up that will ask for your name
and e-mail address and may ask a simple question that you should be able
to answer once you have visited the vendor's site. Fill in the form and
click submit!

Once the lottery is closed, one or more winners who have answered the
question correctly will be selected at random for the item on offer.

Its that easy - give it a whirl!

The Gurteen Lottery:

****************** PETRI DISHES FOR KNOWLEDGE ******************

I've agreed to review the book We Blog by Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey and
Meg Hourihan for Knowledge Management Magazine (Bizmedia) which is proving
quite useful as it forces me to read a book on blogging in far more detail
than I might otherwise have done. I've just started to browse through it
and came across this little description of weblogs:

"Weblogs spread memes like no other medium. More ideas are being pushed
around the network of minds connected by blogs than any other set of
communications. It is like a petri dish for knowledge."

I love metaphor and the mental image of sprinkling little knowledge seeds
on a petri dish and watching them grow is a beautiful one.

We Blog:

Knowledge Management Magazine:


****************** FAST FORWARD TO THE FUTURE ******************

By Sheila Moorcroft, Business Futures

July 19th was a busy day for time travelling.

On behalf of the National Consumer Council, Business Futures helped 50+
senior people from the financial services sector examine the world in 2012
and the implications for future consumer financial needs. We generated a
lot of important and challenging issues and ideas which will be taken
forward by the NCC in their new Financial Futures Programme. The focus
was very much on the needs of less well off people and consumer NOT
industry driven. So in the morning we created four different worlds and
in the afternoon we populated them with 16 different 'families' - 4 in
each world.

Inevitably, what you can achieve in a day with 50 people who do not know
each other is not as comprehensive as what emerges after months of hard
work. BUT, with imagination, energy and a willingness to work together in
different ways - more intuitively and less analytically - our minds will
do the rest. A taste of what we achieved is included below, but the full
report is readable and downloadable from the NCC website at:


And of course, if time-travelling is something you would like some help
with, please let me know.

In the meantime, the 4 different worlds:

+ Octopia, dominated by diversity and fragmented markets where the
priorities of an ageing population took precedence and where prevention
and explicit assessment were embedded in service development.

+ The Great Divide where money talks, and the need to get on and get ahead
is putting a premium on education, training and skill development: but
also increasing divides along any number of 'fault lines'.

+ The 52nd State where rejection of the Euro led to the UK becoming very,
very market oriented but with consumers rejecting the growing facelessness
of large conglomerates and seeking new local providers.

+ Consumerama where consumers had far greater control over personal
information - especially genetic information, but also felt more
confused. Religions and ethics were emerging to reassure and inform

Sheila Moorcroft:

*********************** KM KLOG-COMMUNITY ***********************

There are eighteen active members at present in my KM K-Log community -
Shawn Callahan of IBM in Australia being the latest addition.

What is surprising is that as far as I can tell this community represents
maybe 80% of the active KM k-loggers out there. We could do with more!

So again I'd urge you take a look - there are some really interesting
thoughts, ideas and insights being blogged and I hope you might be tempted
to start a weblog for yourselves.

Profiles of people in my k-log and k-café communities are available on my
website - see the link below.

Gurteen Knowledge-Log:

Gurteen Knowledge Community:

****************** THE INNOVATION SUPERHIGHWAY ******************

Debra Amidon's new book "The Innovation SuperHighway: Harnessing
Intellectual Capital for Collaborative Advantage" is published later this
month. There is a sample chapter on the web see:


This is how it starts:

The world is experiencing unprecedented change in applications of
knowledge in every dimension of development, growth, revitalization and
organization. The demands and opportunities of an interdependent global
economy have implications for private and public decision making by
enterprises and communities, whether local, national, regional or global.
Most nations have launched major initiatives to harness their inherent
capability within a transnational context. All has been done in the name
of international competitiveness. Economies have been transformed,
communities revitalized, emerging territories supported and industrialized
nations repositioned. We have much to learn from one another.

The foundation for a new economic world order has been laid - one based
upon knowledge, innovation and international collaboration. This is a new
landscape where managerial rules have significantly changed - but how,
when and to what end?

The Innovation SuperHighway:

Debra Amidon:

******************* THE WORLD FUTURE SOCIETY *******************

The World Future Society is an association of people interested in how
social and technological developments are shaping the future. This is what
they say about the future on their website:

"The world changes so quickly it's hard to keep up. New inventions and
innovations alter the way we live. People's values, attitudes, and beliefs
are changing. And the pace of change keeps accelerating, making it
difficult to prepare for tomorrow. By studying the future, people can
better anticipate what lies ahead. More importantly, they can actively
decide how they will live in the future, by making choices today and
realizing the consequences of their decisions.

The future doesn't just happen: People create it through their action --
or inaction -- today."

The World Future Society:

More resources on the future:

****************** REWARDING KNOWLEDGE SHARING ******************

One of the perennial hot debates in KM - is how do you reward

From my own reading there seems to be a leaning of opinion that in order
to encourage knowledge sharing you need to explicitly reward people to do
it. To me this has always felt wrong - even intangible rewards such as
praise and recognition don't sit comfortably with me - it all smacks of
manipulation and in my experience when you try to manipulate people you
usually get the opposite of what you are trying to achieve!

It is my view that people will naturally share their knowledge when they
see and understand the personal benefit to be gained.

Now this is a big issue and I am not going to try to tackle it here but if
you want to read some very good reasons for not trying to manipulate
people then see the work of Alfie Kohn below. Here is one little quote as
a taster:

"Many of the familiar principles of Quality management amount to an
elaboration of this simple truth: an innovative, healthy organization
requires that we work with people rather than do things to them."

So lets not ask the question "How do we make people share?" but "How do we
better leverage our collective knowledge?". Yes, the difference is subtle
but making knowledge productive to my mind hinges on subtlety!

Alfie Kohn also has an interesting book called "Punished by Rewards" that
takes a broader look at the negative impact of reward systems especially
in schools.

Alfie Kohn on human behavior, education, and society

Article: Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture

Punished by Rewards:

******************** KM IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR ********************

Despite government agencies around the world recognising the importance of
knowledge management, there is still only a modicum written that records
the many knowledge initiatives that have been implemented in these
agencies. Dave Snowden and I wish to address this oversight and to that
end we have commitment from a publisher to produce a book on Knowledge
Management in the Public Sector.

To ensure this book has the best possible case studies I would like to
invite proposals for the book from knowledge-letter readers. We are
looking for examples that represent a wide variety of public sector KM
initiatives ranging from those that require little to no technology, such
as recruitment approaches to select effective knowledge workers, to
initiatives that rely on technology, this may include innovative uses of
collaborative tools or portal infrastructure. The intended audience for
the book are other public sector KM practitioners.

Please send me your proposal by no later than 30 November 2002. We will
notify successful authors by December 14.

Shawn Callahan
mailto:[email protected]
IBM Australia

*********************** DISCUSSION FORUMS ***********************

If you have not visited my discussion forums lately or simply did not know
they existed - can I suggest you take a look.

Discussion forums are notoriously difficult to get going and to maintain
momentum and mine are no exception. But each month there is a small amount
of activity and some interesting issues raised even if the discussion is a
little limited :-)



Ten years ago when I was made redundant I received the benefits of an
out-placement agency. One of the first things they 'made' me do was to
rewrite my curricula vitae (resumé). I was told it had to be written in
the third person and each sentence had to be stripped of redundant words -
short and sharp and to the point.

I hated my CV! I felt it was impersonal and did not represent me! But I
accepted what I was told by the supposed 'experts'.

So I was intrigued when I asked a friend recently to send me their CV and
they were reluctant - they clearly were not happy with their CV and when I
asked why - it was primarily for the same reason that I had hated mine ten
years previously.

And then I made the connection with one of the lessons I have learnt in
the intervening years in writing this newsletter, my weblog and my reading
of the Cluetrain Manifesto :

"We need to find and express ourselves in our own voice!"

David Weinberger in the Cluetrain Manifesto puts it a little more
colorfully :

"We have been trained throughout our business careers to suppress our
individual voice and to sound like a 'professional', that is, to sound
like everyone else. This professional voice is distinctive. And weird.
Taken out of context, it is as mannered as the ritualistic dialogue of the
17th-century French court."

I would encourage you all to find your own voice!

Cluetrain Manifesto:

David Weinberger:

********************** THE LESSONS OF VIMY **********************

Robert Patterson is part of my KM Klog-community and while browsing his
weblog I found a fascinating collection of articles by him - including one
on the "Lessons of Vimy" - I'd urge you to take a look and see what you
can learn from a battle fought by the Canadian Army over 80 years ago in
the 1914-18 War.

The Lessons of Vimy:

Canadian KM Resources

Robert Patterson:

Copyright 2002, David Gurteen, All rights reserved.

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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