no shortcuts to mastery

“Teaching and coaching are fundamentally about helping making other people better. Learning to do this can’t be done via shortcuts. It requires a willingness to be patient, to take your time and have a deep desire to develop your craft.” —@IamSporticus

This has been my challenge with personal knowledge mastery. I learned about PKM on my own and through practice, reflection, and connecting with others. I have developed and modified the Seek > Sense > Share model over twelve years. Through this process I have achieved some level of mastery, but I have more to learn.

When I ran my first PKM workshop it was a day-long event through the University of Toronto’s iSchool. But I soon realized that one day was not enough time. Without time to follow-up and reflect, I was merely exposing people to some ideas, and few were able to take any action on them. Later, I developed the online 40 day program and this was well received but many people asked to do it again as they had not been able to do all of the activities. This year I extended the 40 day program to 60 days. Some people excelled with this format. Others still did not have enough time.

There are few direct competitors to my PKM online workshop. I think it is because it’s hard to sell a difficult journey in an age of instant gratification. The workshop also requires a guide to help people on their journey. It does not work as a self-paced program without a lot more effort. Each cohort is provided several route options, and some people work together, others alone, and some hang out with the guide.  Working as a cohort is essential for peer-to-peer learning, and many professional relationships have developed between participants over the years. The other hard-sell, especially to compliance-obsessed organizations, is that I do not provide a certificate. If I did, it would be short: This person has started a journey toward personal knowledge mastery.

Mastery of any discipline takes time and effort. I can only get you started. My PKM workshop was described to me as a guided trip up a mountain, taking you to the base camp. But there are no short cuts. The rest of the journey is for each person to take.

The 60 day journey is sufficient to get started on the road to mastery. Many people who have taken the workshop have shared their continuing journeys to mastery. See what Tom Spiglanin, Michelle Ockers, Helen Blunden, and François Lavallée, are up to. I could name many others. All these journeys began with one step. I walk with people for several more if they so desire, but I do not direct their steps. PKM is personal.

“The more I am out there chatting to clients, the more I realise that your PKM approach is the number one critical skill set.  Any way I look at it, all roads seem to end there.  It is the foundation.  That’s why I thought this is where they need to start – and not just the employees – everyone including the managers.” –Helen Blunden (2016 Internet Time Alliance Jay Cross Memorial Award recipient)

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