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F3.12 Friday’s Favourite Finds

The serendipitous value of networked learning continues to astound me.  The very first link that I found on Working Smarter Daily today led me to a SlideShare by Harold Jarche on tools and competencies for the social enterprise.  His presentation was immediately relevant to a desk aid that I am producing to compare communication tools against business requirements…I’ll share that when I’m done.

This one article  was so useful, it deserves to stand alone as my single find this week, admittedly because I haven’t looked at much else!  😉

Happy New Year!

“Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke


F3.11 Friday’s Favourite Finds

After a year and a half of dabbling with various platforms for networked knowledge sharing, I have concluded that LinkedIn and Working Smarter Daily are my two favourite sources of social learning and inspiration.  Through these channels, I am linked to a network of intelligent learning professionals, fellow public servants and world-class authors with relevant and thought-provoking insights, which they share at a pace that is manageable for me to browse regularly and pursue more deeply as I wish.

Here are this week’s gems:

  1. Google Analytics in real life is a series of short, funny videos about poor web design.  Hat tip to Mike Kujawski for sharing such a relatable link.
  2. Did you know that mothers incarcerated in Argentina are allowed to have their children live with them behind bars until the age of four?  Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for sharing something so far out of my usual realm.
  3. I work really hard at not being a compulsive social media checker so this infographic about our brains on social media feels very validating (thanks again, Guy).  I wonder if this explains why I still see so many idiot drivers whose addiction to checking their smartphones is more important to them than my safety?
  4. Facebook can be clogged with political and personal opinions that I don’t ‘like’ but this cartoon had me laughing out loud.
  5. I wish hospitals, bus terminals, train stations and stores would offer emotionally intelligent bubble wrap.  Maybe I should just carry some around in my bag?

Though I have learned how to decode the shorthand we use in tweets, I find Twitter too much of a waterfall when I just want a drinking fountain from the limited number of folks I follow.  I only use it to share my blog posts more widely and for the occasional #lrnchat.  I also don’t subscribe to updates from blogs.  I’d rather look them up periodically or discover them serendipitously in LI or WSD. 

As the year draws to a close, these are my big takeaways from integrated learning and working, thanks to your contributions and the many books I’ve enjoyed:

  1. Make the effort to keep things as simple as possible.  It’s much easier and lazier to drone on, which is more confusing and boring to others.
  2. Keep an eye on the design…of everything.
  3. “if we all share, then we’re all teachers” – @hjarche #slcwebinar

To all who celebrate the Christmas season and other holidays at this time of year, I wish you a wonderful, festive time with your loved ones, two-legged and four.  Thanks for making time for reading and sharing.

I will not be publishing F3 again until January.  See you online in the new year!

“Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke

F3.10 Friday’s Favourite Finds

I was having a hard time coming up with content and a theme this time , which seems to go hand in hand with not having read much outside my corporate walls this week.  That alone is worth pondering, n’est-ce pas?

Here are three goodies:

  1. Though infographics are quite popular and eye-catching, motion graphics are even more intriguing and probably much harder to design and deploy.  I enjoyed #6 on pizza delivery in New York City, was drinking a Coke while watching #8, got a smile out of #10 and was silenced by the tragedy of #15.  Hat tip to Dan Pontefract for sharing this.
  2. Dan kicked off his employer’s new blog with a definition of corporate culture.
  3. I am grateful to Harold Jarche for sharing this piece on cooperative competencies.

This is week 10 of my Friday’s Favourite Finds practice.  I’m pleased to have kept it up this long.  There’s a discipline to this, a sense of commitment and tangible results, particularly since this is also my 60th blog post. 🙂

What has inspired you this week?

“Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke

F3.9 Friday’s Favourite Finds

This week’s theme is simplicity.

I just finished reading Isaacson’s lengthy biography of Steve Jobs as I’m working on a project proposal about networked learning.  Jobs wanted the iPad and iPhone to focus on the multi-touch screen so he only allowed a minimal frame to be designed around each.  That makes me wonder:

What is the focus in our organizations and how much can we pare down the frame to let that area of focus shine through?

Now that my appetite for simplicity is growing, I’ve just started Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple by marketing leader Ken Segall:

“As those who have worked with Apple will attest, the simpler way isn’t always the easiest.  Often it requires more time, more money, and more energy.  It might require you to step on a few toes.  But more times than not, it will lead to measurably better results… It needs a champion – someone who’s willing to stand up for its principles and strong enough to resist the overtures of Simplicity’s evil twin, Complexity.

I actively battle complexity whenever I prepare an un-deck presentation for senior management.  It takes much longer to create the ‘wow’ factor with one simple, plain-language statement per slide and a corresponding visual from MorgueFile.  It’s much easier  – and less risky – to populate a lifeless corporate template with pages of bullets that no one will bother to review because you’re going to read it to them during the meeting anyway.

Through Segall’s work and others, I’m discovering that simplicity = elegance and enchantment.  Guy Kawasaki is an enchantment champion from the Applesphere as well.  Guy recently shared 50 theme songs in under 5 minutes: two guys, a capella, one take, impressive!  Some songs were so familiar that they gave me goosebumps.  Gretchen Rubin knows what I mean (see her recent post about a Christmas carol) and she describes herself in simple terms when treating herself like a cranky toddler .

Simplicity is found in web rules like “Don’t be a jerk” and communication approaches like “default to share” rather than strategies, frameworks or reams of corporate legalese on the responsible use of social media.  I’ll be keeping that in mind as I continue this project proposal…

What simple things do you find enchanting?

“Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke

F3.8 Friday’s Favourite Finds

This week, I (re)discovered enchantment with the little things.

On Monday, I noticed that I feel a sense of recognition and relief every time I read Jane Hart’s work.  It’s as though a burden is being been lifted from my professional shoulders, one blog post at a time.  The best way for me to describe my evolving role is to trade in hand-holding and controlling for encouraging people to explore, risk and fail.   The next day, I read about Jane’s participation in the development of a capability map for learning professionals.  One of her Tweets read:  C4LPT: #chat2lrn q4) Biggest new skill is letting go – not trying to organize and manage everything for everyone – and become an advisor, enabler.”  Thanks, Jane, that’s just what I was trying to articulate!

On Monday evening, I took the dog for her last outing of the night and discovered that large snowflake clusters were falling from the sky at just the right angle to inspire a decades-old practice of catching them on my tongue as I was walking.  It was delightful and has made me smile all week.

On Wednesday morning, I met my neighbour’s billets: two young girls and their chaperone who are visiting from Uganda.  When I let them know that it was going to snow that day, their faces lit up brighter than the pink winter jackets they were wearing.  Whatever they’ve been told about snow so far must make it seem magical to them. That was my second reminder this week that the white stuff doesn’t have to be seen as a hassle.

Later that day, I coached a self-proclaimed luddite to modify the titles of two documents that she had already posted on SharePoint and forwarded to the team.  The modification that I recommended cut the hyperlinks in half (an important technical consideration), which required her to go back to the team and share the new links*, along with an explanation for the change.  More importantly, this action gave her a chance to risk and fail slightly, learn from it and then share her learning with others.  That’s not luddite behaviour; that’s openly narrating work.  With more models and examples like this, we have hope for becoming a more coherent organization.

This afternoon, I enjoyed Jarche’s post on Working in the dark, which described how transparency is at the heart of better knowledge management.  Though I could have found his post directly on his website, through a newsfeed or an aggregate newsletter, I discovered it through a colleague’s update on LinkedIn.  I am realizing that the effort of sharing seems minimal to those of us who practice networked learning and monumental to those who have resisted “the duty of being transparent in our work”.

What’s enchanted you this week?

* I know, I know, SharePoint updates can be shared through automatic alerts.  My organization is not ‘there’ yet.

 “Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke

F3.7 Friday’s Favourite Finds

A fruitful week for my seventh F3!  Enjoy and feel free to share widely.

  1. Clark Quinn modeling the ability to ‘think out loud’ as he refines the model of a coherent organization
  2. Speed of Trust™ Video –  2.5 minutes from Stephen M. R. Covey on trust as a key variable in ‘white water’ times.  This was a good reminder of his webinars I’ve seen over the past couple of years so I was happy to work the trust element into a presentation to senior management next month on becoming a networked learning organization.
  3. An employee from another part of the building waltzes into my unit the other day and says “You should have some Christmas carols going in here or something.  It’s so quiet!”  She seems to think that quiet is a bad thing that needs to be corrected when, actually, it’s quite the opposite.  We’re all introverts in this section and we don’t need or appreciate background noise or disruptions.  Please fulfill your need for interaction and stimulation elsewhere.  Forced socialization does not make me happier!   
  4. Digital photography is one of my hobbies and I admittedly have a hard time managing all of the photos, even after I’ve culled and edited them.  What a neat idea to make them more accessible and inviting to others.  
  5. So many good bits here from Harold Jarche, stitching together workscapes and transformation.
  6. A new role for designers: push back on SMEs to explain how they make decisions.  Thanks, Clark Quinn!
 “Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke

F3.6 Friday’s Favourite Finds

This week, I am reflecting on what it takes to become a real learning organization, with foundations that include knowledge and information management, communications, competency development and well-designed, well-maintained platforms for sharing.  Among my messy notes are these gems from Harold Jarche:
“In my experience, these three indicators would suggest a true learning organization:
  1. People at all levels are narrating their work in a transparent environment
  2. The daily routine supports social learning
  3. Time is made available for reflection and sharing stories”
Do I work in a learning organization?  Do you?

“Work for change or change your work” – Stephen Clarke