Archive for category What I Learned

What I Learned This Month – August 2018

Using Personas in My Work

I’ve noticed that I’m using personas, especially the empathy mapping component, more frequently and fluidly in my work.  I posted a daily dispatch about this in late August.  I often share this introduction to empathy mapping with others if they are curious or I want to use the tool with them.

Use of an Online Collaboration Tool

I recently project managed the refresh of the Learning and Performance Institute’s Learning and Development Capability Map (yeah – it’s a mouthful – #LPICapMap rolls off the tongue easier).  The updated Map will be live in October 2018.  Our process evolved during the project and we realised that we needed to engage experts and leading practitioners around the globe to write or update skill descriptions.  We had a limited timeframe for our 40+ volunteers to produce their deliverable.  I set up a Slack group and added a channel for each working group.  I’m convinced that using this tool was critical to enabling the working groups to effectively work together under tight deadlines, and we would never have me the deadline if we had used email alone.

A Quiz a Day

This is a non-work example of learning as a by-product of an activity that has many other purposes – amongst them a bit of family fun.  I recently stayed with my parents overnight.  My 92 year old grandmother lives with them.  After dinner every evening my mum gets the daily quiz from the newspaper and whoever is there joins in answering the questions.  It’s great with social bonding, helps keep my grandmother’s brain active, and we all get to learn a little something and feel closer in the process.  Thank you Mum!

Your Turn

What about you?  What is something you’ve learned recently?  How have you been learning?  What group activities do you build learning into or see it as an incidental outcome?

What could you share with others?  (Nudge for all the leaders reading this – sharing your learning with your team is a great way to role model and encourage continuous learning.)

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What I Learned This Month – July 2018

To encourage others to learn continuously a leader can role model what this looks like.  A simple way to do this is to follow in the footsteps of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadell – create and share a monthly ‘What I Learned’ video.  I’ve added this practice to my ongoing learning routines, and have created my first monthly video.

My three lessons for July 2018 and associated resources are summarised below.

Strategic Procrastination

I’ve been reading Originals by organisational psychologist, Adam Grant. In chapter 4 of this book and his TED Talk titled ‘The surprising habits of original thinkers,’ he outlines research undertaken by one of his students into the link between procrastination and original thinking.  This research helped me to recognise and improve a pattern in my own creative work where I work on something for a short period, then put it aside and pick it up again closer to the deadline.  I find that in the interim I’ve gained new insights and am able to generate and synthesis ideas into a better quality output.  I can now deliberately use this insight in my creative process.

Working with Experts to Define Skills

I’ve been working on a project to refresh a Capability Map to define the skills required by a Learning and Development professional or function.  I’ve noticed that it can be challenging for people with deep expertise to clearly identify and describe the skills required in their domain.  In the video I describe a questioning technique I used to guide an expert to achieve this.

Impact of Tracking My Time

I’ve started tracking my time using an app called Toggl.  Tracking my time has improved my focus and reduced distractions.  I’ve found Toggl easy and relatively unobtrusive to use.

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