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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: Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:10:12 +0100


Blog Post: The Myth of Thamus and TheuthDavid Gurteen

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 16:18:21 +0100

By David Gurteen

Have you ever considered the invention of writing to have been a bad thing?
But Thamus replied that, as the “father of writing,” Theuth's affection for writing had kept him from acknowledging the truth about writing.

In fact, Thamus asserted, writing increases forgetfulness rather than memory.

Instead of internalizing and understanding things, students will rely on writing as a potion for reminding.

Moreover, students will be exposed to many ideas without properly thinking about them.

Thus, they will have an “appearance of wisdom” while “for the most part they will know nothing” (Phaedrus, 275a-b).


Socrates used the illustration to point out that writing alone has no understanding of itself and “continues to signify just the same thing forever” (Phaedrus, 275d-e).

Nor does it discern its audience nor offer self explanation. Socrates instead favoured conversation, “the living, breathing discourse of a man who knows, of which the written one can be fairly called an image” (Phaedrus, 276a)

Think again - what a fascinating view point of Socrates :-)

Blog Post: Why we need to talkDavid Gurteen

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:46:02 +0100

By David Gurteen

Problems in organizations tend to get labelled as lack of information.

It feels more professional to try to solve a knowledge management problem that is called lack of information than a problem that is called confusion.

The same event means different things to different people and just getting more information will not help them.

Credit: Esko Kilpi

In this article by Esko Kilpi he explains why we need to talk - not because we lack information but to resolve ambiguity and confusion.

Blog Post: What is the meaning of Shared Meaning?David Gurteen

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:36:50 +0100

By David Gurteen

As I write my blook and research and reflect on various topics, I frequently need to think through and define what things mean to me:
  • What is leadership?

  • What is meant by "shared meaning"?

  • What is the difference between responsibility and accountability and how do they relate to commitment?

  • What is a complex adaptive problem?

  • What is meant by serendipity?
Some of these are not easy questions and I find myself drafting something and then leaving if for weeks, if not months and continually returning to iteratively refine my definition and thinking and tinkering with it over a period of time until I am happy. Well at least, happy-ish - my blook will always be in perpetual beta :-)

Here are my current thoughts on shared meaning - a phrase bandied about a lot but rarely defined.

Let me know what you think, is this what it means to you or have I missed something?

Blog Post: There is Something Different in LondonDavid Gurteen

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:56:21 +0100

By David Gurteen

If you live in London or visit occasionally, I think you may love this website: Something Different in London.

The aim of the site is to provide a platform for you to discover new and exciting things to do in London, geared towards alternative and unusual experiences, which as a general rule, don't cost a fortune.

It's an amazing website put together by two of my children - my twins Jonathan and Sally Gurteen (they are in their 30s now - so no longer children) who live and work in the Capital.

Even if you never get to London, take a look - its amazing the quirky things you can find to do in a large metropolis.

I have not visited it yet but this is one of my favourite places Board game cafe.


Blog Post: Legal KM Mini-Interviews with Ginevra SaylorDavid Gurteen

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:00:56 +0100

By David Gurteen

eClerx Services in India have been conducting mini-interviews with KM experts from across the world for the last few years. Take a look at their YouTube Channel.

They have recently added a number of interviews to their video library focusing on KM in law firms, in a series of short Q&A clips with Ginevra Saylor, head of KM at Denton's.

If you delve back 6 years ago you will even find a few interviews with me :-)

Blog Post: Seth Godin thinks compliance is quite different from contributionDavid Gurteen

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:45:22 +0100

By David Gurteen

I think I have said it before, I love Seth Godins blog. His posts are frequent, short and insightful.
Organized bureaucracies thrive on compliance. It makes it easier to tell people what to do .

But contribution is the only way that tribes thrive, the best way to make change happen and the essence of being part of a community.

It's a shame that we spend so much time teaching our children (and our employees) to comply. Far better to seek out contribution instead.

Credit: Seth Godin

This recent post resonates so strongly with me that I have included it in my blook in a post Create ownership - not buy-in.

Blog Post: Upcoming Knowledge EventsDavid Gurteen

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:11:12 +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.

17th European Conference on Knowledge Management
01 - 02 Sep 2016, Belfast, Ireland

13th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning
14 - 15 Oct 2016, New York, United States

8th International Conference on Innovation and Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific (IKMAP 2016)
23 - 24 Oct 2016, Kobe, Japan

KM World 2016
14 - 17 Nov 2016, Washington DC, United States

KM Asia 2016
30 Nov - 01 Dec 2016, Hong Kong, China
I'll be speaking again at this event this year. NOTE THE DATE CHANGE.

KM Legal Europe 2017
18 - 19 Jan 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands

9th European Conference on Intellectual Capital
06 - 07 Apr 2017, Lisbon, Portugal

5th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2017
26 - 27 Apr 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Blog Post: Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2016David Gurteen

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:09:23 +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.