Play, Learn, Work

In my last post I mentioned Nollind Whachel’s sense-making process:

Connect = producing content
Empower = making sense of content patterns
Inspire = leap of logic, the patterns form a story, you see the bigger picture

Steve Scott combined Nollind’s suggestions and suggested this:

Seek + Connect = Play
Sense + Empower = Learn
Share + Inspire = Work

Both of these align with, and add to, the PKM framework of Seek> Sense > Share. Seeking works best with a playful attitude, exploring new possibilities in diverse networks with many connections in order to enhance serendipity. Sense-making, the most difficult aspect, requires a willingness to try new things, empowering through learning. Sharing is necessary in almost all work contexts today and it is through sharing that we can inspire and be inspired.


Here are some suggestions for doing this on your own.

Seek playfully to connect:

  • Stray outside your comfort zone (not your usual networks)
  • Try new activities
  • Test out new tools from time to time
  • Don’t worry about doing it “correctly”
  • Note: one PKM workshop participant cautioned, “There is a risk of getting stuck in seeking and not going further into sensing and acting on information.

Make sense and be empowered through learning:

  • Test out an expression medium, then try another
  • Find out what others have done, some practices are quite old
  • Make time for reflection
  • Put yourself out there
  • It’s fine to fail
  • Keep trying
  • Think of sense-making as a craft that has to be mastered over time

Share to inspire through your work:

  • Model behaviours of those who have shared and helped you
  • Narrate your work
  • Try to add value to what you share

PKM playfully learning

5 Responses to “Play, Learn, Work”

  1. Nollind Whachell

    Playing, learning, and working are actually one of many different perspectives of my Connect, Empower, and Inspire methodology. Here’s a Google+ post on this from about a month back which shows these varying perspectives. You’ll see “play, learn, and work” in the middle.

    BTW I had a three hour conversation with David Pinto last week where I talked about my methodology in a little bit more detail (as well as many other things). I think it might provide a larger context of what I’m trying to achieve with it. The video should be up later today.

  2. Nollind Whachell

    BTW you’ll probably note that in my chart, I’ve got “Caring, Sharing, Open” as one of the patterns. Note that this is actually one of the patterns that I wasn’t quite sure about its order, thus I was continually shifting it around in different ways. I was trying to “force” it in though because all of the communities I built online had these characteristics.

    For example, being Open could definitely relate to being playful and open to connecting to the possibilities around you. Caring seemed to equate to an emotional capacity which is why I put it first and yet caring usually comes after the initial connection in a relationship. I guess I put Sharing in the middle because to me it meant knowledge sharing, thus after people connect, they share info about themselves, thus eventually making them Care about each other (the union of the two).

    Again, as you can tell above, it’s one of the patterns I still haven’t figured out. And possibly due to the words themselves, maybe they can’t form a narrative, no matter how much I wish they could. 🙂

  3. Harold

    Thanks, Nollind. While I too try to find structure & patterns, sometimes they’re just not there.

  4. Steve Scott

    The “Seek / Play / Connect” idea reminds me of the Richard Feynman story about spinning plates in the cafeteria:

    This playful activity inspired him to connect ideas that eventually lead to his Nobel prize. Part of message of this story was to find ways have fun with what you are seeking to discover.

    The ideas you are putting together provide enough of an abstraction that the process of concretizing it can be individual or “Personal”. Linking these “qualifiers” to Seek-Sense-Share, without sounding too meta, does provide a nice inspiration for PKM itself.


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