licensed to connect

In the last half of the 20th century in Canada it was mostly assumed that as an adult you had a driver’s license and that you most likely owned or had access to a car. I know, I didn’t get my license until I was 26 and that made me a very rare specimen indeed. Our cities, and especially our rural areas, are still primarily designed for motor vehicles. Malls continue to be built without designated pedestrian paths or bicycle lanes. Meanwhile, many older malls are abandoned and crumbling. Around here, it’s still assumed that everyone moves around by automobile. (more…)

enough training

In a recent CBC News story, a railway conductor lost her job following a derailment. She claimed she was not adequately trained. Here is a comment from the Railway Association representative:

“In your job, you are qualified and do your job, but you feel you should know more. It doesn’t mean you are not qualified for your job. You might have a personal perception, that you would need additional training, but the minimum standards for your position are determined by the railways.”

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leadership is a continuous duty

I had a conversation with a flight attendant on a long overnight trip last year. Most of the passengers were sleeping and we had time for a nice chat. We swapped a few stories. I’m always interested in how organizations are viewed by the people nearer the bottom than the top of the hierarchical pyramid. You can learn a lot about the culture. (more…)

the machines and us

Every fortnight I collate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@EskoKilpi - “Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution were about sharing new ideas within networks of people

@RDBinns – “The RSS reader is an antidote to the algorithmic feed of facebook, the impossible tide of twitter, and news site editorial filters.

@IndyJohar – “We are busy maintaining 17th C enlightenment notions of freedom in world where we have become slaves to the asymmetric power of networks(more…)

work is personal

I think I have always been averse to hierarchies, yet I joined the Army and entered the most hierarchical organization in the country. I graduated from military college and began my career as an infantry officer. Career progression was through promotion, based on yearly performance reviews. It was supposed to be a meritocracy but was much more tribal. Having a senior officer looking after your career was a great help. I did not have that. I also bored easily and it was the Cold War with us fighting fictional Soviet troops on the Canadian prairies. So I decided to leave the infantry and transfer to the medical services, where I thought I would do more practical work. (more…)

L&D outside the box

ILTS0115This article appeared in Inside Learning Technologies & Skills Magazine, January 2015

Harold Jarche issues a challenge to L&D professionals in an environment where getting the work done is more important than learning anything new.

In the mid 1990s I became involved with my most expensive learning project. I was then serving as a Training Development Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, working in tactical aviation (helicopters that support the Army). We had just purchased 100 helicopters. A $25 m full-motion combat simulator had been thrown in with the $1 bn budget. I was able to watch as the new simulator was installed at our training unit, as my office was next to it. As it was tested, discussions began on how best it could be used. As the ‘training guy’ I started researching best practices in flight simulation, and was able to see what our NATO allies were doing. (more…)