Small thoughts, loosely joined

With a hyper-connected society, enabled by over 2 billion connected people and an expected 50 billion devices in the near future, the environment any organization is facing is much more complex than it was a couple of decades ago. But this was when most executives were learning how to do their jobs. Many are ill-equipped for the cognitive overload they face, as traditional jobs –  from typing, to customer service, to legal research –  are constantly automated by software. Software enabled teams like AirBNB, Netflix, and Uber, are able to directly compete with industry incumbents, and can do so with significantly fewer employees. (more…)

Reflecting on reflection

Missing from most workplaces today is any time for reflection. Even events that are designed to promote learning, like the ubiquitous professional conference, ignore time for reflection. In these discrete time-based events, there is little time for reflection. Presenters hold back their knowledge in order to “deliver” it just before the big official presentation. This presentation is followed by some immediate questions, discussions, and a quick break. Then it’s off to see the next presentation. Reflection, if it occurs, comes much later, and usually after the participants have gone home. It’s the same at work.

It seems that most of us are in a hurry today, and I meet few people who have read even a few good books lately and have had the time to reflect upon them. Fewer still have taken the time to digest new ideas and discuss their learning with others. There is always a need to balance action and reflection, but the latter seems to be losing out in many of our workplaces. (more…)

Strawberry Jam Finds

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

I am spending my weeks in Toronto on a consulting assignment (which also explains my infrequent blogging), returning home on weekends, but I thought the last find at the bottom of this post rather appropriate.

“Any plan conceived in moderation must fail when circumstances are set in extremes.” – Prince Metternich – via @k1v1n

@leadingincontxtDealing With Complexity in Leadership – with various links (more…)

Error reduction interferes with gaining insights

Is your organization  focused on merely reducing errors or is it also promoting ways to improve insight?

Fifty-eight of the top Fortune 200 companies bought into Six Sigma, attesting to the appeal of eliminating errors. The results of this “experiment” were striking: 91 per cent of the Six Sigma companies failed to keep up with the S&P 500 because Six Sigma got in the way of innovation. It interfered with insights. – Gary Klein


Sense-making Skills

The most difficult part of personal knowledge mastery is developing a sense-making routine. A recent academic paper from the Association for Psychological Science examined various methods to improve learning.

In this monograph, we discuss 10 learning techniques in detail and offer recommendations about their relative utility. We selected techniques that were expected to be relatively easy to use and hence could be adopted by many students. Also, some techniques (e.g., highlighting and rereading) were selected because students report relying heavily on them, which makes it especially important to examine how well they work. The techniques include elaborative interrogation, self-explanation, summarization, highlighting (or underlining), the keyword mnemonic, imagery use for text learning, rereading, practice testing, distributed practice, and interleaved practice. – Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques

This paper was summarized at in an article entitled The lesson you never got taught in school: How to learn! which is how I came across it. (more…)

Networks and Power

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@contepomi90 – “Power isn’t power if you need to wait for someone else to give it to you, who can also take it away at any time. That’s self-explanatory.”

@decasteve – “Don’t try to change human nature. Instead, go after the tools. New tools make new practices. Better tools make better practices.”

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” – Michelangelo – via @UpSearchRetain (more…)

What does the Internet of Everything mean to you?

“Cisco believes that many organizations are already experiencing the Internet of Things (IoT)—the networked connection of physical objects. The Internet of Everything is the next step in the evolution of smart objects—interconnected things in which the line between the physical object and digital information about that object is blurred. – Cisco on Slideshare

Here is how the Internet of Everything is viewed from multiple perspectives. What do you think? (more…)

A Swiss Army Knife for the Network Era

PKM: A Swiss Army knife for the Network Era

PKM: A Swiss Army knife for the Network Era

I am amazed at how personal knowledge mastery [PKM] is adapted to so many different situations, which attests to the usefulness of a simple framework to deal with complex problems. It’s beginning to look like the Swiss Army knife of the network era. When it comes to workplace transformation, the key is getting people to accept change and more importantly change behaviours, especially those day-to-day routines that reflect the organization’s culture. Part of PKM is critical thinking, or questioning assumptions, which is why it may be threatening to certain management systems. But I am seeing a sea change, or perhaps at least a small tide of change. (more…)

Sense-making and sharing

The Seek > Sense > Share framework is a very simple model with many layers, which you discover as you develop personal knowledge mastery.

A simple explanation is to look at PKM as four quadrants of sharing and sense-making, based on a foundation of continuous seeking of new knowledge and diverse people.

seek sense share


Knowledge and Wisdom

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@flowchainsensei - “If you ‘don’t have time’ to look outside your own little bubble – what then in times of change?”

“How do we evaluate teachers? We never speak of this. It is irrelevant in our country. Instead, we discuss, ‘How can we help them?'”Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish Educator, via @PascalVenier

“Students are widgets. They move through the factory (school) and we add value to them.” – Jose Ferreira, via @opencontent

@gsiemens“Instead of focusing on engagement, we should focus on developing disciplines of thought. Work the person, not the content.” (more…)