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Tham, David. (2005, Mar) "The need for Knowledge Leaders". In David Gurteen (ed.), Global Knowledge Review. London: BizMedia; p. 12.

Tham, David. (2005, Mar) "The need for Knowledge Leaders". In David Gurteen (ed.), Global Knowledge Review. London: BizMedia; p. 12.

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Published by David Tham
The Global Knowledge Review offered subscribers "unrivalled access to thought leaders in the fields of knowledge, learning, creativity, innovation and personal development". Each issue was designed to bring "leading edge thinking from top knowledge professionals around the world together with the latest news from the knowledge industry".

Subscription to Global Knowledge Review cost £135/€140/US $170 for 10 issues per year. The Global Knowledge Review is no longer being published and this item is an archived version.
The Global Knowledge Review offered subscribers "unrivalled access to thought leaders in the fields of knowledge, learning, creativity, innovation and personal development". Each issue was designed to bring "leading edge thinking from top knowledge professionals around the world together with the latest news from the knowledge industry".

Subscription to Global Knowledge Review cost £135/€140/US $170 for 10 issues per year. The Global Knowledge Review is no longer being published and this item is an archived version.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: David Tham on Mar 27, 2013
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Have you ever read any of the self-help books that tell youthat if you wish to succeed or get something done – to juststart doing it? My favourite quote in this matter is fromthe book
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity 
by Julie Cameron where she says, "leap, and the net willappear".For a year or more before I started my k-cafés, I had hadthe idea but could not figure out how I might find suitablevenues in central London. I also wanted suitable rooms.Ones ideally with round tables and I also wanted to providefree coffee. But there was a catch. I did not want to chargefor the events nor be out of pocket myself!So I hesitated, I kept putting it off. Then one day I justdecided to "do it".I phoned a central London hotel and to cut a long storyshort got a room for free. It was a small business loungethat was ideal. I had to pay and charge for coffee but aslong as we drank in the hotel bar afterwards the room wasfree.Brilliant! I ran the first k-café and it was a great success.So a month later I phoned to arrange the room again. Whatrotten luck – the person I had the agreement with had leftand I had to speak to the new manager. She wanted £400for the room for the evening. I was shattered. How was Igoing to find another room quickly?Well I had committed myself – there was no going back– I had to find one. Surprisingly it was not difficult - assoon as I explained what I was doing and asked people –suggestions and offers came forth.I have now been running the k-cafés for well over twoyears. I never have a problem finding a room. I even usuallyget the coffee and biscuits for free, even sometimes wineand sandwiches. Better still, this summer I will be runningthe third "Knowledge Barbeque" courtesy of the LondonKnowledge Network and Greenwich Business School.Recently Deian Hopkin, Vice Chancellor of the LondonSouth Bank University, not only provided great facilities anda tremendous spread of refreshments but also facilitatedone of the most dynamic k-cafés to date. I could never haveexpected all of this before I started!The k-cafés have gone so well that I am now starting torun them in different regions and ultimately othercountries.I think W.H Murray sums up the power of the commitmentto an idea in his book
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition1951.
"This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence.Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance todraw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth theignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:that the moment one definitely commits oneself, thenprovidence moves too. A whole stream of events issuesfrom the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance,which no man could have dreamt would have come hisway."So what have you been hesitating over? Why not just"do it"! And see if providence moves for you too.
David Gurteen
 V I   W
 G  O  O  W G 
 Leap, and the net will appear
 Leap, and the net will appear1Answers on the back of apostcard please...2 Participation and choice3Observe people and then learn4 Diversity, a complicated debate7 Knowledge sharing anddistribution8The need for Knowledge Leaders12 Break-through innovationsand big corporations-a contradiction?13The foundation of effective KM and Strategy 15 Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management17 Making knowledge work18
Global Knowledge review is supported bythe London Knowledge Network
A strange andforeign land
For this issue of GKR David and I had some help.Kyle Worrall,14, joined the staff on a temporarybasis as part of a work experience scheme. Kylewas great: enthusiastic and resourceful. One of his first tasks was to look at this issue of GKR.He read the articles, corrected the fewtypographical errors the authors had made andproduced the headlines and introductorywords. He was a big help. We then asked whathe thought about the subject of KM.This is what he wrote; "I have read all the articlesin this month’s GKR magazine. To be honest Iam not sure that I really understand any of thearticles in great detail. I found them quite hardto grasp because I have never studied thisbefore. If I were to go into this field I wouldunderstand this topic more and would be ableto go into this subject in more depth. "His answer quite took me back. Kyle was literateand had good IT skills. I did not expect him tohave a perfect grasp of KM, but it worried methat he felt the topic was so alien to him. Andall this made me wonder: is KM so alien andforeign to the vast majority of our co-workers.Because if it is, it is no wonder we strugglesometimes to explain what seems so obvious tous and share our enthusiasm.
Peter Williams
Global Knowledge Review March 2005www.globalknowledgereview.com
A few months ago, I was given a golden opportunity toengage Centrica’s executives in the topic of knowledgemanagement. I had a two-hour slot at one of their twiceyearly top management events, to educate, inspire andgain the support of 60 of their top directors. How couldI maximise my chance to engage this diverse group?In the ‘80s, psychologist and author Howard Gardnerpioneered the idea of multiple intelligences. Gardneridentified seven different kinds of intelligence, each onelending itself to a different learning style, and hence apotential executive hot-button.Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Musical, Visual-spatial,Kinaesthetic, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal.We each possess all seven of the above intelligences toa greater or lesser degree. In principle, a well-designedlearning event will address several of these intelligencesto maximise the overall levels of engagement in a group.It seemed like a good theory – now to put in into practice– although achieving all seven would be a bridge too far!
 Designing a multi-faceted executive event
For those with linguistic orientation, I provided an “exhibitionof KM-related quotes” drawn from business leaders,philosophers and writers, and asked them to walk around,reflect on and discuss which ones were most meaningfulfor them.For the logical and mathematically-minded, I providedthe statistical outputs from a survey of Centrica’s top1,000 senior managers, including their assessment of thepotential value available to the company if we shared andapplied knowledge more effectively.The visual-spatial thinkers were in their element withthe wax-crayon exercise “draw a large (A2) picture whichillustrates the state of knowledge-sharing in the companytoday”. This activity yielded pictures of silos, barriers,mazes, walls, hot air balloons and even flying pigs!For those with well developed interpersonal and intrapersonalintelligence, I had prepared some video recordings of youngchildren describing how they feel when asked to share toys– with their friends, and with people they don’t know. Thefact that the video included some of their own childrenheightened the interest! Hannah, my three-year old providedthe cute-factor with the line “I don’t like sharing with Lillybecause she be’s bossy with me!”Having stimulated the multiple intelligences of the groupfor 90 minutes, they used the remaining time to agreesome actions. I have to confess, I was feeling prettypleased with myself at this point, Howard Gardner wasright! However, I’d forgotten the “power of the practical”
“Tell me what I need to do differentlytomorrow morning.”
As he was leaving the room, a finance director turned tome and said – “You know Chris, this is good stuff, butwhat I really need is something simple to challenge andremind me tomorrow morning what I need to do differently.Something which fits on the back of a postcard.”With the help of my team, I proposed a set of personalchallenges below for that director to stand on his deskthe next day – they have since been shared with the entiresenior community.
When encountering a business problem, I reinforce theimportance of learning from others - rather thansimply providing an answer.
I personally demonstrate that “asking for help” is a signof strength rather than weakness
When reviewing a project proposal, I challenge to ensurethat it brings to bear knowledge from other projects.
Does my team see failure as something to learn from,or something to hide?
How much time this week will I spend thinking andlearning, rather than just reacting?Creating these simple, practical challenges for leadersproved to be a highly effective way of describing a visionfor knowledge management in Centrica, and engagingthe senior team in a more sustainable way.So if you could send a postcard to your board of directors, what challenges would you identify?
Answers on the back of a postcardplease…
Chris Collison
& K
, C
, U
Chris is Director of Change andKnowledge Management at Centricaplc, responsible for building capabilityin the areas of change management,knowledge management and e-learning across the company. Prior to joining Centrica, Chris was at theheart of BP's knowledge managementand operational excellence activities.He is co-author of the best-sellingKM fieldbook Learning to Fly. Duringrecent years, he has advised a rangeof business leaders, government andnon-government organisationsranging from the DTI to the UnitedNations. Chris is based at Centrica'shead office in Windsor.
 We need something quick and simple to remind us what todo differently
 United Kingdom
 www.globalknowledgereview.com Global Knowledge Review March 2005
I am frequently surprised by how creative thinking becomesa strong facet of some people’s personality. In some of them, such creative attitude is a constant behavior ratherthan an eventual circumstance or mood. After workingwith diverse kinds of people, I have noticed that creativityknows no boundaries. Neither age or sex, nor educationallevel or cultural background limits or obstructs its way. Its just diverse creative “styles” that becomes apparent.It has become evident to me, and certainly to manyothers, that this creative spirit, in its whole range of styles,has the power to drive new and exciting visions to makeindividuals, organizations and communities as successfulas they could be.
The need for new working environments.
That means organizations, which encourage and supportindividual’s development and self-esteem, and “sets thestage” where every collaborator can contribute. Spaceswhere people would feel not only impelled to think creativelyand share their ideas, but also stimulated to undertakethe responsibility to put them into practice. Whereworkers become part of the decision making process.Sensible structures that rather than forcing people to fitpatterns and meet deadlines, trust them to decide andmeet the obligations upon their own decisions andimprovement plans. Places which foster and disseminateits culture and values.There is no doubt that the decision to transformbusiness structures from products and services providerstowards effective “cultural workspaces” represents a challengethat stirs excitement and dread.We are watching new forms of organizations emerge,whose common ground is that they are built upon astrong sense of identity, usually small, flexible, interactive,participative, innovative, technologically oriented and theyshare, as one of its core values, the sense that commonwealth is as important as the individual’s.It is not enough for the will of an organization tochange. For active participation in such organizationsdemands the development of strong individual competenciesand skills to efficiently communicate, learn, adapt anddexterity in the deliberate use of its creative potential intofocused innovation. Both internal and externalA successful industrial manufacturer of banking furnitureand equipment, sponsored creativity workshops for all itsemployees, including senior management levels, lookingforward to develop teamwork practices where leadershipskills and creativity tools and techniques would stimulatea cross-fertilization environment.For every workshop participants were selected fromvarious cultural backgrounds, heterogeneous lifestyles, anddiverse competencies and skills. Plastic artists, psychologists,musicians, historians, writers and other members of thecommunity were invited, to bring diversity and enlargethe scope.
 Useful lessons and practices.
As a natural consequence, the influence of people’sparticipation and choice replaced most organizationalstructural and operational practices for decentralized,dynamic, multi-task oriented practices. Hierarchical structuresgave place to organic ones. Interactive “creative cells”started operating at different levels within the organizationand finally, new dynamic participative practices substitutedexisting work patterns, inappropriate for teamwork.
 Expect initial resistance to change.
Changes in attitudes and behavior do not happen overnight.However, when you finally implement them, results areoutstanding.As there is a strong emphasis to evaluate success frommeasurable outcomes, the company raised its market shareto 60% becoming a reference in its market. However, itsmajor asset is a critical factor that goes beyondtechnology, products and sales. That is values and identity.Creative and inclusive organizations build strong values.In addition, values have the power to modify behavior inmany different and unexpected ways.
 Participation and choice
A creative spirit helps you to see things in a differentperspective. This makes us all original able to perceivedifferently.
 Federico Hess
, B
Federico is a native of México and afounder and principal of HOKInovação, a Rio de Janeiro-basedDesign consultancy. With a bachelordegree in Industrial Design from theUNAM-México and a Master inDesign from the Royal College of Art- London. In addition to hisdesign work, he is a consultant inDesign, Creativity and innovationmanagement. Before founding HOK,Federico has collaborated as aconsultant for the Design Centre of Bilbao-Spain and was founder andExecutive director of the Designpromotion Institute of Curitiba-Brazil. Has lectured in Designmanagement and Creativity forseveral universities in México, Spain,Colombia, Cuba, and Brasil.
South America

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