The Story of The Red Knowggets


To the traditional business mind the philosophy of sharing and giving is foreign. For it conceives of giving as giving something away and thus becoming poorer. Yet, instead we can think of giving as a source from which we can take and by that gaining something new, creating, co-creating something.

Increasingly, leaders recognize the relevance of collaborating across cultural and organizational boundaries for creating more innovative and meaningful workplaces (Ibarra & Hansen, 2011 - Manuscript as pdfBene Trend Report: "New Work Spaces", 2009).

During my whole professional life, I have always learned tremendously from colleagues and clients. And more recently, I have learned a great deal from people often only loosely connected or even only digitally connected. I cherish their work, their thoughts, their blogs or other publications.

It is impossible to name them all. But I would like to refer to at least three of my twitter companions who recently wrote blog posts on topics related to diversity and leadership being the wider topic of the first volume of The Red Knowggets. &

One way for me to “pay” to back some of these rewards is to share some of my thoughts and experiences from work I have done. Twitter and this blog are one way of doing this. Although twitter has received much more attention from my side as it is faster, more immediate and more interactive. Writing a blog has been a new experience to me. Having been trained in academic writing I put too much time in research and finishing, so sufficient frequency of publishing was a big challenge. Last year, I decided to change the blogging style to shorter posts, as you can see in my last post. This gives hope for more blogposts in 2012.

Anything more elaborated or dense will be published elsewhere. This is how the idea of a new digital paper series came about:

The story of The Red Knowggets

Now, you may think, what a strange word that is. It does not exist. I made it up. Or, I was hit by it. Seriously. Multilinguals are often accredited to be more creative. Being quasi-bi-lingual in English, I observed myself several times last year using this word that does not actually exist. I seemed to have lacked an appropriate expression, which in German could have been "Wissensschätze". But "stores of knowledge" or "stocks of knowledge" are not really part of my active vocabularly. So I made something up: : knowggets... like in knowledge and nuggets.

New words can make new ideas come through. Once I had decided for a new digital paper series, I started looking for a name... and one evening at a bar... I was hit again and saw the knowggets lying in the trunk... the rest is a story of co-creation with my much appreciated graphic designer Christoph Betzler at MAGENTA Mannheim:

Sharing is the new currency in a connected world!

The first volume of The Red Knowggets has the title: "German Leadership Dates Diversity".

This topic has been at the heart of my research and consulting: The relationship of diversity and leadership. I have been observing both fields very closely since my studies in the USA 1989/90. At that time they had not even met in the German corporate world. Now, more than twenty years later, they are finally dating. In the paper, I share my reflections on this journey and what primary challenges I identify.

Enjoy The Red Knowggets! I am looking forward to your feedback and our exchange.

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