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Gurteen Knowledge-Log

The Gurteen Knowledge Log - a weblog on knowledge, learning, creativity, innovation, personal development and more.

Last Build Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:54:03 +0100


Blog Post: Do you believe or do you want to know?David Gurteen

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:24:01 +0100

By David Gurteen

Could this be the root cause of so much of the trouble in the world?
There are two different types of people in the world: Those who want to know, and those who want to believe.

Blog Post: Peter Block on small group workingDavid Gurteen

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:11:08 +0100

By David Gurteen

In reseaching for my blook on Conversational Leadership, I came across these words of wisdom in this short 90 second video clip from Peter Block about small group working.
  • How do I get every voice in the room?
  • How do I get people in the room who cross social distance levels?
  • How do I get people in the room who aren't like-minded?
  • How do we structure our time together?

As he concludes, all the methodologies he mentions are moronically simple. To which I might add, so why are they so often ignored?

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Blog Post: To turn on a dime for a dimeDavid Gurteen

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:29:15 +0100

By David Gurteen

I gave a talk and ran a Knowledge Café at a recent Large-Scale Scrum Conference in London and had the pleasure of meeting Craig Larman, the co-creator of LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) with his colleague Bas Vodde.

A few things Craig said stuck in my mind. First:
What gets measured gets gamed.

Credit: Craig Larman

I have long been critical of measures because they are too easily gamed and I only wish I had come up with this catchy way of expressing it myself as an alternative to "What gets measured gets done."

A second quote from Craig was:
To turn on a dime for a dime.

Credit: Craig Larman

This was said in the context of adaptive capacity - a key goal of Agile software development. So in other words "to quickly change direction at a low cost".

It reminded me of this quote that is so often miss-attributed to Darwin:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

Though this statement is more accurate:
It is not the most intellectual or the strongest of species that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.

In our rapidly changing, unpredictable world, the ability "to turn on a dime for a dime" is fundamental to personal, organizational or societal survival.

In order to adapt, we need to better understand the changes taking place and to act accordingly. We can only do this through open conversation and collective sensemaking. Hence our "conversational capacity" - our ability to hold strategic conversations is key.

Blog Post: Are vague Ideas sometimes better than firm ones?David Gurteen

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:26:41 +0100

By David Gurteen

I rather like this thought about ideas from Pablo Picasso.

We don't necessarily need a clear, crisp, sharp idea or vision. A hazy one, a sense of vague direction may sometimes be better as we are then more likely to explore along the journey and make serendipitous discoveries.

Maybe vague ideas are at the heart of being creative.

You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea.

Blog Post: Upcoming Knowledge EventsDavid Gurteen

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:09:32 +0100

By David Gurteen


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.

G-LINK Summit 2017
04 - 06 Oct 2017, Bangkok, Thailand

World Values Virtual Knowledge Café
Tue 10 Oct 2017, Online

13th International Conference On Knowledge Management
25 - 27 Oct 2017, Dallas, United States

KM Asia 2017
15 - 16 Nov 2017, Hong Kong, China

Advancing your OD practice
23 - 24 Jan 2018, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

6th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2018
05 - 06 Mar 2018, Washington DC, United States

Henley Forum Conference 2018
07 - 08 Mar 2018, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

10th European Conference on Intangibles and Intellectual Capital
19 - 20 Apr 2018, Mechelen, Belgium

Blog Post: Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: September 2017David Gurteen

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:04:47 +0100

By David Gurteen

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.

Blog Post: The RSA has plans for a 21st century enlightenment coffeehouseDavid Gurteen

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 18:57:16 +0100

By David Gurteen

Given the metaphor that underpins my Knowledge Cafés I have long been interested in and written about the Enlightenment Coffeehouses of 17th and 18th Century London.

Out of the coffeehouses came a number of institutions that exist to this day such as the London Stock Exchange, Lloyds of London. The auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's also have their origins in coffeehouses.

Another was the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) which was established in a coffeehouse in 1754 by a group of people who came together with a shared vision for a better tomorrow.

I am a member of the RSA have long thought and even suggested that they should turn part of their London premises into a coffeehouse in the tradition of those long lost coffeehouses.

I doubt that I had anything to do with it but that is just what they have decided to do - to create a 21st century enlightenment coffeehouse. I am so looking forward to it.

Blog Post: Was James Damore acting in good faith and does it matter?David Gurteen

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 17:48:25 +0100

By David Gurteen

I am sure many of you are by now familiar with the Google memo controversy where a Google software engineer James Damore was fired for a memo that questioned Google's diversity policies. If you have not read the memo you will find it here.

The memo has caused a heated online debate with people fiercely arguing in support of James Damore or against him.

To me, the issue is not who is right or wrong, it is "Was James Damore acting in good faith, was he genuinely trying to open up a conversation or was he expressing misogynist views?"

I have read the memo and watched several interviews with him and I believe he was sincere in his motives.

If you are not familiar with the controversy and wish to form your own opinion here is some interesting reading.

Two arguments against James Damore:
Two supporting him:
and a short video interview (many more on YouTube): Fired Engineer James Damore: I Feel Google Betrayed Me

There is a lot of argument going on but very little constructive discussion - this is the best I could find: Ask A Female Engineer: Thoughts on the Google Memo.

So what do you make of it? Was he acting in good faith? If he was expressing misogynist views, should he have been fired? And even if he was acting in good faith, should he still have been fired?

Want to know what others think? Take a look at this poll: Poll: Google was wrong to fire engineer over diversity memo

A final thought, what is the real question we should be asking here?