learning from failure

In 2019 I noted in hybrid sailors that the US Navy was piloting a new way of manning its Littoral Combat class ships, which are modular by design. The crew are all multi-purpose, with several roles onboard and always learning new tasks. They operate with one-fifth the crew size of a regular ship. Specialization is a thing of the past for these crews. One reason for this is that specialized knowledge has an increasingly shorter lifespan, so generalists who are good learners can make for a more flexible, or agile, crew. This approach also has its downsides, such as fewer redundant positions onboard to mitigate combat losses, and lack of deep knowledge for some complex problems.

I concluded that organizations should start testing out new models now. Learn from the Navy and others who are trying new ways of organizing work. For individuals, the ability to ‘flexibly shift’ may become a critical work skill.

Read more

The future of work?

There is lots of talk and writing about the future of work. I follow the #FutureOfWork hashtag on Mastodon. A recent report produced for Unilever — The Future of Work is Flexible — featured three ideas:

  • Embrace the ‘pixelated’ workforce.
  • The rise of the internal talent marketplace
  • Is the ‘skills passport’ the future of recruitment?

The report features several drivers of change, such as how AI can decompose [pixelate] jobs into smaller pieces for employees and contractors to compete for work. Fractional hiring then blurs the lines between full-time and contract work, which leads to an internal marketplace for work. This can lead to more precarious work but as the report notes, it can also result in ex-employees getting called back for contract work at their convenience. Re-skilling is a major theme of the report stating that many skills degrade after 2.5 years.

Read more

Top Tools 2023

I almost missed Jane Hart’s Top Tools for Learning survey which closed today. Since I’m in a later time zone, I am going to assume that this submission will be accepted. A few things have changed since last year, as I am migrating away from Twitter due to its new owner, and using Mastodon. I also stopped using Feedly and have switched back to Inoreader. The last two tools (Merlin & Seek) I continue to use for learning about the natural world.

Read more

Meet me on Mastodon

Last November, I started shifting my online networking from Twitter to MastodonWhither Twitter? Mastodon has now become my social network of choice. I’m starting to have better conversations though it’s not as active as my Twitter feed used to be, but that’s to be expected with 20 times fewer followers and I only follow about one fifth as many people as I did on Twitter. I will continue to invest in better conversations and knowledge sharing on Mastodon because it’s a platform I can trust.

For 15 years Twitter had been my go-to professional social network. The hell-scape that is now Twitter should be a wake-up call to take better control of our social networks. I have not deleted my account there because I do not want someone else to take my identity @hjarche. It’s now just a place I check every few days and post notices like my upcoming PKM workshop.

Read more

no unpleasant aftertaste

On the last Friday of each month I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“At this rate ‘Luddite’ is going to become a term that means, ‘Person that knows when something is a scam’”@Amy Dentata

Overheard: “If the cloud is someone else’s computer, AI is just someone else’s labour.”@jk

“Journalistic organisations in Canada with official accounts on the #Fediverse [e.g. Mastodon]”@M. Gregoire

“So, we’re obviously using these rare earths for vital purposes, right? Absolutely! Seven rare earths are used to make your screen more shiny and brilliant. Three rare earths are absolutely needed to make your phone vibrate. Now, what could be more important to the future of life on Earth than a vibrating phone?”@Gerry McGovern

Read more

real simple syndication

RSS (real simple syndication) is faster and less time consuming than using a search engine, surfing the web, and then creating a huge list of favourites or bookmarks. It’s been around for a long time and many websites support it. Several of the large platforms, like Facebook, do not, because RSS is an open standard and it is difficult to track users with it. If you listen to podcasts on a ‘podcatcher’ then you are likely using RSS.

Big tech have ignored RSS and are not keen on helping people use it, but many news sites still have RSS feeds to which anyone can subscribe. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC ) has a multitude of RSS feeds but does not advertise these or help readers use a feed reader [see image below]. Instead, for the past decade CBC has relied on the platform monopolists at Meta, Alphabet, and X, and these are now biting them in their media butts as a result of Canada’s Bill C18 which big media supported.

Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, has written many posts on Bill C18. Basically it requires large platforms, like Meta and Google, to pay for Canadian news feeds. But Meta has decided that it will no longer allow Canadian news links, including The Beaverton satirical news site.

Read more

connect the dots

Many businesses are focused on whatever the latest technology [e.g. LLM, GPT] is going to bring. But too many workplaces don’t even have the basics in place. There are large organizations with no knowledge management function. How do they share knowledge across a global enterprise? They don’t. Many companies have not mastered the basics of conducting meetings, something for which there are many good practices. There are ‘learning’ departments that only focus on courses and formal instruction, ignoring performance improvement, collaboration, and social learning.

Read more

nothing to see here

On the last Friday of each month I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds. Last month’s post was called Welcome to Hell, with a photo of the smoke-filled sky over New York City. Last Friday night we were in the middle of a torrential rainstorm that dumped 250 mm of water on us. It’s one Hell of a climate catastrophe.

“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” —Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale, via @c.justc

“hiding from Threads. can we stop finding new capitalist billionaire toys to be enthralled by? we are boiling ourselves like frogs, literally & figuratively”@BonStewart

“We have the science to stop the climate crisis and end pandemics. Why are we failing? —‘Science is embraced when it serves the interests of capital, and is often ignored when it does not.’ —Jason Hickel.” —@LuckyTran

Read more

new governance capabilities

This is a follow-up from my post — diversity > learning > trust — where I said that these become the key elements in building better organizational structures that can help us differentiate between stark reality and blatant lies. These elements are how we should connect because it’s in the connections that we can make sense. The lack of diversity, the unwillingness to learn, and the lack of trust are what is dumbing so many people down.

I used the following model to show where we are in terms dominant organizational societal forms — based on Tribes, Institutions, Markets, or Networks — showing that we are currently in a phase-shift between a triform (T+I+M) and a quadriform (T+I+M+N) society, which accounts for much of the current political turmoil in our post-modern world.

Read more

ITA Jay Cross Award 2023

The Internet Time Alliance Award — in memory of Jay Cross — is presented to a workplace learning professional who has contributed in positive ways to the field of Informal Learning and is reflective of Jay’s lifetime of work.

Recipients champion workplace and social learning practices inside their organization and/or on the wider stage. They share their work in public and often challenge conventional wisdom. The Award is given to professionals who continuously welcome challenges at the cutting edge of their expertise and are convincing and effective advocates of a humanistic approach to workplace learning and performance.

We announce the award on 5 July, Jay’s birthday

Following his death in November 2015, the partners of the Internet Time Alliance — Jane Hart, Charles Jennings, Clark Quinn, and myself — resolved to continue Jay’s work. Jay Cross was a deep thinker and a man of many talents, never resting on his past accomplishments, and this award is one way to keep pushing our professional fields and industries to find new and better ways to learn and work.

Read more