permanent value

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

“No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written. He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing.”T.S. Eliot

“The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing.”
—Pablo Picasso (more…)

What is the Zollman effect?

In a series of three posts, Jonathan Weisberg explains the Zollman effect. Here are some highlights.

What is the Zollman effect?

“More information generally means a better chance at discovering the truth, at least from an individual perspective. But not as a community, Zollman finds, at least not always. Sharing all our information with one another can make us less likely to reach the correct answer to a question we’re all investigating.” (more…)

schooling unbound

“I know not what answer to give you, but this, that Power always Sincerely, conscientiously, de très bon Foi, believes itself Right. Power always thinks it has a great Soul, and vast Views, beyond the Comprehension of the Weak; and that it is doing God Service, when it is violating all his Laws.” —John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

In a 2007 presentation — covered by ICTologyGraham Attwell discussed the future of schooling in view of online personal learning environments, concluding that, “The role for teachers will be mediating, engaging, monitoring, helping, motivating …” He further commented, “Not that assessment is a thing to avoid, but it should be taken outside the learning process. On the other hand, self-assessment is reflection and thus becomes part of the learning process”. Given that many students are learning online these days, these are good ideas to be reconsidered for education, and for training. (more…)

blocking the trackers

It’s hard to stay clean in a dirty world. I have been trying to keep my site clean and not help the surveillance capitalists (e.g. Google, Facebook, etc.) to extract data about visitors to this site. I started by getting rid of Google Analytics. It was actually liberating to no longer focus on vanity metrics. Recently I have made changes like adding plugins to my WordPress site, such as Disable Google Fonts & Disable User Gravatar. But I was still helping the silicon valley ad-tracking business.

So I used a real-time website privacy inspector, Blacklight, to show me what I was missing. (more…)

the weights on human resources

I will be speaking at the annual conference (online of course) of the CRHA [association of certified human resources professionals of Québec] on Wednesday 4 November this week. I will be explaining the personal knowledge mastery framework and how it can inform HR professionals for their own development as well as for their organizations.

My presentation will be in French. Jennifer Garvey Berger will be presenting in English. Non-members may attend the full day conference for $(CA)130 — CRHA 2020 program.

As usual, I have gone through many iterations of my presentations over the past several weeks. I removed a section with a perspective on the history that informs the HR profession and will share it here instead. I had originally presented a version of this at the HR Innovation Day for the Hochschule fuer Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur in Leipzig, Germany last year.

What is the modern HR system today? It encompasses many areas, sometimes including training, usually pay and benefits, and often diversity and talent development. It’s a very large field, and the CRHA has about 10,000 members in a province with a population of about 8 million. (more…)

a variety of finds

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

Top Influencers in knowledge management by @cronycle [Long list to curate your own feed on KM]

@DougBoneparth“Learning how to sell provides more job security than most college educations.”

I used to tell people at Wired, “Don’t come into Wired to work; work at home. Come into Wired to be interrupted and have chance meetings.” —Kevin Kelly. HT @StewartBrand

If yer keeping track of pending job reductions announced over the past month or so:

Royal Dutch Shell: 9,000
Chevron: 6,750
Exxon Mobil: 14,000
Cenovus/Husky: 2,000
Suncor: 2,000
Marathon Petroleum: 2,050
Boeing: 31,000
HSBC: 35,000
Daimler: 30,000
Disney: 28,000
Cisco: 7,100

@DrFrankLipman“There are a number of commonalities of long lived elders around the world, and these few stand out — 1) they live with a sense of purpose; 2) they give to others; 3) they have strong social networks that enable them to engage frequently with their communities, families and friends.”

@JPCastlin — “The importance of ensuring diversity of thought is far, far, far too often underestimated in strategy. This goes for teams, but also individuals. Strategists who only have one angle with which they view the world will inevitably end up believing it is flat.” (more…)

still standing and learning

I spent the first 21 years of my working life with a regular pay cheque, lots of formal training, and a fairly regular schedule. Leaving the Army I worked at a university and a few years later for an e-learning startup. In 2003 I found myself without an office or a pay cheque and few prospects for local work. It was a similar situation to what many people faced this Spring with lock downs and job losses due to the pandemic.

After 17 years of distributed work, remote informal learning, and connecting with clients via video conferencing I think I have learned a bit about the ‘new normal’ many people are now facing. One early experience was running the Informal Learning Unworkshop online with Jay Cross, which cemented the idea of perpetual beta in my work.

Harold Jarche is a true pioneer. Nine years ago [2005], long before online activities were commonplace, we conducted a series of Unworkshops on the topic of web-based learning. We relied on free software. Our students came from Australia, Lebanon, Canada, Austria, the Azores, and points in between. Lessons were both synchronous and offline. To give people exposure, we used a different platform each week. I can’t imagine anyone (aside from Harold) crazy (and innovative) enough to sign up for something like this.” —Jay Cross (1944-2015), founder Internet Time Alliance


cynefin and pkm

I am following up from thoughts on the cynefin framework and how it has informed my own work since 2007. We are almost at the end of our exploratory looking at ways in which personal knowledge mastery and cynefin may be connected, and I hope this will lead to better ways of sensemaking in uncertainty.

The first concept that I would like to use is — levels of abstraction. Low levels of abstraction mean that information and knowledge are understandable to few people. The lowest level would be me understanding something only to myself. Higher levels of abstraction would make this more understandable to more people, but losing nuance and context in the process. High levels of abstraction are good for things that everyone should understand, such as the symbols and markings on a map. (more…)

dwindling jobs

In Only Humans Need Apply, the authors note that one phenomenon of machine automation and augmentation is a decrease in entry-level jobs.

“We seem to have automated away the first few rungs of the traditional career ladder. In automating the routinized work that people used to cut their teeth on, they have also eliminated the means to pick up ‘soft skills’ to be effective with customers and within a large organization … In order to enter step-in jobs at early levels in their careers, students will need to acquire as much knowledge as they possibly can while in school, and as much on-the-job training while in internships.”

Tom Graves, in — Where have all the good jobs gone? — digs deeper into this phenomenon in a recent blog post.

“But as machines and IT-systems take on more and more of the routine rule-based and analytic decisions – the ‘easily repeatable processes’, the ‘automatable’ aspects of business – a key side-effect is, almost by definition, that the skill-levels needed to resolve the ‘non-automatable’ decisions will increase … To put it the other way round, the machines do all of the easy work, and (usually) do it well: but that means that all the hard work is left to the humans.”


engaging with reality

Every fortnight, since 2009, I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@EmilyHaber [German Ambassador to USA] — “Hannah Arendt, a German Jew, political theorist and philosopher, was born on this day in 1906. One of her many legacies: Totalitarianism can flourish where people systematically refuse to engage with reality, and are ready to replace reason with ideology and outright fiction.”

@NeinQuarterly“Our discontent. It can’t wait til winter.”

@JasonHickel“Capitalism produces ecological crisis for the same reason it produces inequality: because the fundamental mechanism of capitalist growth is that capital must extract (from nature and from labour) more than it gives in return.”

@DavidOBowles “I’ll let you in on a secret. I have a doctorate in education, but the field’s basically just a 100 years old. We don’t really know what we’re doing. Our scholarly understanding of how learning happens is like astronomy 2000 years ago.
Most classroom practice is astrology.”

@edmorrison“Teams are the smallest unit of systems change. And within teams, the smallest unit of change is the conversation.”