Posts Categorized: Learning

soft skills are permanent skills

Are soft skills the new hard skills? I asked this question six years ago. I would now suggest that hard skills are really temporary skills. They come and go according to the economy and the state of technology. Today, we need very few people who know how to shoe a horse. Soft skills are permanent… Read more »

network learning cities

TIMN “According to my review of history and theory, four forms of organization — and evidently only four — lie behind the governance and evolution of all societies across the ages: The tribal form was the first to emerge and mature, beginning thousands of years ago. Its main dynamic is kinship, which gives people a… Read more »

simplifying the complexity

Complex Problems I like complex problem-solving. Perhaps my most interesting project was when a client gave me a statement of work to ‘simplify the complexity’. I did not have a solution but felt that with my extended networked I would be able to solve their problem. I have explained this project in detail (video) and… Read more »

leave the hierarchies to the algorithms

What happens when you connect unthinking computer programs with a culture of obedience and compliance? Algorithms run much of society and business today, from applying for a mortgage to determining which passengers to eject from an overbooked aircraft. Coupled with authoritarianism, algorithms can produce devastating results, says John Robb at Global Guerillas. “If a corporate… Read more »

gaining insight through social and informal learning

Organizational performance improvement is comprised of reducing errors and increasing insights, according to Gary Klein. For the past century, management practice has focused very much on error reduction, with practices such as Six Sigma, especially in manufacturing. “Fifty-eight of the top Fortune 200 companies bought into Six Sigma, attesting to the appeal of eliminating errors…. Read more »

gamers, artists, and citizens

Gamers Learning is the new literacy. Personal computers are just one example. We buy new ones every few years. Operating systems change. Programs change, get replaced, or become obsolete. But we often continue with the same habits until something goes wrong. Few of us do the equivalent of ‘looking under the hood’. We learn enough… Read more »

populism is the first refuge of a scoundrel

Why is populism so darned popular in many parts of the world today? In stark terms, Cas Mudde, a Dutch political scientist, has defined populism as “an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, ‘the pure people’ versus ‘the corrupt elite.’” … “Populism presents a Manichean outlook, in… Read more »

the learning loop

John Boyd’s OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) was developed as a framework to help pilots make better decisions in battle. Since its inception in the 1970’s it has been adapted for other areas of operations, including business. “Decision makers gather information (observe), form hypotheses about customer activity and the intentions of competitors (orient), make… Read more »

understanding our tools

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” —Father John Culkin (1967) in  ‘A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan’. If every medium influences communication, then what effect does that have on our own learning as well as how we help others to learn? We choose our tools, and… Read more »

working to learn

This is an extract from Learning to work and working to learn by Ronald Barnett, published in 1999. It is even more relevant seventeen years later. “In this chapter, I shall suggest that, in understanding their relationships in the contemporary era, work and learning can profitably be placed against the background of wider societal and… Read more »