welcome to AcKnowledge Consulting

This is the blog site of AcKnowledge Consulting and Keith De La Rue.

Main focus: Optimising Sales Force efficiency by effectively managing and delivering the knowledge required to meet customer demands.
How this is done: By building a managed knowledge transfer toolkit.

I choose you

Keith November 21st, 2017

(A wedding poem)

I chose you.
You filled a void in my life
You gave me your love
You gave me yourself
You gave me your light -you shone on the dark sea of my doubt
Whatever I am, I gave to you
You took my loss – you made me whole.

I choose you.
Today, I make you a promise – just as you promise yourself to me
Let me hold you up
Let me join with you today to make two into a single being
Here before all – our promises entwine.

I will choose you.
In the storms of tomorrow, let me shelter you
Let us join our strengths – and heal our weaknesses
Whatever life may bring, may we face it

Now – in this place – I choose you.

The Innovation Conversation – Workshop

Keith April 30th, 2016

I am delivering a workshop on conversation at Ark Group’s KM Australia on 2 August this year. Here’s what it’s about:

The Innovation Conversation: All of us are smarter than any of us


Research has shown that conversation is important for improving innovation and collaboration. It has also been found that conversation improves group and individual performance, intelligence and knowledge sharing. This practical workshop will address some of the principles of innovation and how conversational techniques can be harnessed to improve business outcomes. You will also practice effective conversational techniques.

Come to this interactive workshop to learn about:

  • The five rules for more innovative conversations
  • How conversations increase collective intelligence
  • Improving innovation and group performance
  • Techniques for creating meaningful conversations
  • The importance of social media and online conversations

You can read more of the background in this chapter from the Ark Group report Innovation and Transformation Through Knowledge Management.

The Innovation Conversation

Keith May 26th, 2014

We all like to have a chat with friends from time to time. Recent research has shown that this is not only a good thing to do, but that conversation – particular types of conversation – can actually make us smarter. It has been shown that conversations can improve the performance of groups and help us to be more innovative, as well as make us individually more capable at problem-solving. This article describes how meaningful conversations can be used to improve knowledge sharing and business outcomes, and summarises five rules for more innovative meetings.

iKnow Cover

As posted here before, I wrote a version of The Innovation Conversation a while ago for the Ark Group report Innovation and Transformation Through Knowledge Management, edited by Evie Serventi. This article is now available for download from this site.

Since then, a slightly condensed version of the article has also been published in the May 2014 issue of iKnow – The Magazine for Innovative Knowledge Workers.  This magazine is issued twice a year by the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation – South-East Asia (IKI-SEA).

This time, my piece is presented as part of Conversation – An Overlooked Technology,  a collection of articles on organisational conversation, guest-edited by David Gurteen for this issue of iKNOW. David explains the background of this work on his site.

The AcKnowledge Urban Challenge

Keith January 7th, 2014

Are you leading an organisation in Melbourne? Looking for a good, fun team-building event? How well do you know Melbourne? Try the AcKnowledge Urban Challenge!


What is it?

The AcKnowledge Urban Challenge is part race, part scavenger hunt and part puzzle. Armed with a clue sheet, map and a list of questions, your people will attempt to find locations and solve challenges across the Melbourne CBD, in teams of four to six, over two hours.

This event is a game of strategy that involves walking, teamwork and using collective brainpower to plan a route around the city. At the locations, they will solve puzzles – including trivia, history, mathematics, geography and observation – and perform a few light physical endeavours.

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Personal branding – it’s about you

Keith October 19th, 2013

Personal branding is about you. It’s about you presenting yourself to an audience. It’s about you standing out.

But there are two sides to this coin. On one side, you need to understand your audience, and you need to know what will speak to them – what it is you need to present that will connect with them. The other side of the coin is you. It’s who you are. You are the sum total of your experiences and what you represent to your audience.

But who are you?

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The Persuasion Paradox

Keith June 24th, 2013

“One way of talking that inhibits the exchange of knowledge is speaking with conviction.  That may seem contrary to what we’ve all learned in communication and leadership workshops, where one of the lessons often taught is to speak with confidence – “sound like you mean it”. Yet, as I examine conversations in the work setting, stating an idea with conviction tends to send a signal to others that the speaker is closed to new ideas.  When speaking with conviction people sound as though no other idea is possible, as though the answer is, or should be, obvious. “


This quote is from Nancy Dixon’s recent blog post Bringing the Flow of Knowledge to a Standstill by Speaking with Conviction, cited by David Gurteen in his post To improve learning – don’t speak or write with conviction.

David also ties this concept in with a related concept about learning by Ellen Langer, from her book The Power of Mindful Learning. Her point is that if we are taught to do something by repetitive practice to the point that we can do it without thinking then we are unable to discovery or deal with situations that may require a different approach.

I would also like to introduce a third concept here – the idea that listening to inspirational teachers may be more enjoyable than listening to boring speakers, but that we actually don’t retain learning any better  from the inspirational speaker. This idea comes from recent research by Shana Carpenter, discussed by Annie Murphy Paul in the post Do We Actually Learn Anything From TED Talks?.

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The conversation continues

Keith February 5th, 2013

“Recent research has shown that conversation is important for improving innovation. It has also been found that conversation improves group and individual performance and knowledge sharing. This article will address some of the principles of innovation and how conversational techniques can be harnessed to improve business outcomes.”

My previous article on The Art of Conversation has now been updated and published as a chapter in the Ark Group report Innovation and Transformation Through Knowledge Management, edited by Evie Serventi. This version is repitched as The innovation conversation. This came along just after I presented on the topic at KM-UK in London in June last year.


Update Aug 2020: It appears that copies of the report are no longer available from Ark Group. Use the link above to download a copy from this site.

Other chapter authors in this report included Dave Snowden, Stephanie Barnes, Debra Amidon and Nick Milton.

The politics of fear

Keith January 21st, 2013

I am going over my notes for a university workshop on language that I am running tomorrow, and am once again reminded why I find both the government and opposition rhetoric on asylum seekers so abhorrent.

In 2011, 4,565 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat – less than 3 per cent of our total permanent intake in that year (ASRC). Why should this be considered as sufficient for us to require better ”border protection”? This policy does have a precedent:

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

“… Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

- Hermann Göring, 18 April 1946 (Gilbert, GW 1947, Nuremberg Diary).

Twitter confessional

Keith April 30th, 2012

I am talking about Twitter at the First Tuesday Blog Club tomorrow night.  This may be an odd format for a blog post, but here are some of the ideas I may or may not talk about, depending on how the session goes, with links to the places some of the ideas are derived from:


  • Why do you use Twitter?
  • Do you want to use Twitter for business or pleasure?
  • What to you want to achieve with Twitter?
  • Does it matter?

 I won’t be telling you how to get 300,000 followers; but I can tell you how I have got to 1,400!

Why I use Twitter

  • Working on joint project – questions and answers.
  • Offering tech help – stuck volume control on iPad.
  • Retweeting observations: “If only they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
  • Reading thoughts: “Closed networks are ignorance amplifiers”.
  • News: The world’s lightest material has been created – a nanotechnology metal grid 100 times lighter than polystyrene foam.
  • Sharing domestic activities: Making Christmas pudding.


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Comms, KM and Conversation

Keith April 25th, 2012

Seems I’ve been featured in IABC Victoria online properties three times recently.

I was interviewed in March on The link between comms and knowledge management for the chapter blog, and I was profiled in the February Connect newsletter.

Now I am the subject of an article published on the main web site – Tweak your business conversations to achieve more, highlighting the topic that has been discussed on this blog before, and mentioning my upcoming appearance at KM-UK in London in June.

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