posted 25 Jul 2006 in Volume 9 Issue 10
The Gurteen perspective : On perspective
By David Gurteen
I am delighted that Graeme has asked me to write a regular column for Inside Knowledge. We have agreed to call it ‘The Gurteen Perspective’ at my suggestion because the word ‘perspective’ has a lot of meaning for me. Let me explain why.
We all see things in different ways. This is determined by our culture, education, life experiences and much more. No one sees the world through the same lens. And no one sees the world through the same lens day to day. Depending on the context we see things differently. We see the world relative to whom we are and where we stand.
And so what I want to write about – here and in the coming issues – represents my perspective. It is not meant to be the truth, but on the other hand, I do not expect to write too much that is wrong. It will be about how I see the KM world – my personal perspective!
I hope in doing this that many of you will read what I write and think, ‘I had not quite seen it that way before, but I agree with David – it’s a useful perspective’. On the other hand, I will be equally happy if you think, ‘That’s an interesting way of seeing things – I am not so sure I agree – I am going to need to think about this’. or even, ‘I really do not agree with David’s view on this – I wonder why he thinks that way?’
Whatever your reaction, if it provokes a reaction, persuades you to think about the topic for yourself I will be happy and feel I have done my job.
It’s similar to my knowledge cafés. In my knowledge cafés I bring people together to have interesting conversations. Not to argue or to debate, but to start to see other people’s points of view and to hone and refine their own perspectives.
I sum it up in this way. When I disagree with someone – I am not so much interested in convincing them that I am right and they are wrong. I am much more interested in learning why they see the world differently. I am more interested in understanding them and their view point.
It may be that in doing this we discover that our view points are not so different and that we are simply using language differently. Or we may discover that what we value is fundamentally quite different. Or on discussion we may both change our views and realise that we don’t significantly differ in our opinion after all.
But even when we do differ, we have taken the time to find out why. We don’t have to agree with each other – that is not the point – but if we understand each other better then we should be able to work together better despite our differences.
It is this ability to work together that is IMPORTANT not who is right and who is wrong!
David Gurteen is the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community and can be contacted at email@example.com