Fire up your development with two more great approaches

Welcome to the second Learning Uncut episode for 2021.  I’m not sure if the experience of the start of a new year is the same in the northern hemisphere as it is here Down Under where it’s summer and we have our longer school holiday break.  I find it a time of tremendous renewal and fresh energy.  It’s the perfect time to take stock of our growth and professional development practices.  With that in mind this is the second (and final) episode in the Learning Uncut new year Professional Development series where I speak with guests about approaches that I’ve found powerful for my own development in recent years.

In Episode 69 I spoke with Jane Hart about modern workplace learning, Nicole Lam about Working Out Loud and Harold Jarche about Personal Knowledge Mastery (or PKM for short).

My first guest today, Mike Taylor, is a great follow up to Harold Jarche.  Mike uses a very slick PKM practice to find, curate and share high quality resources about learning, technology and design in a weekly newsletter.  He discusses why and how he started his newsletter, how he has developed his practices over the past 15 years and his use of technology to make his process more efficient.

I’ve been inspired to do two things as a result of speaking with Harold and Mike.  The first is to enrol in Harold’s PKM workshop again to refresh my own practices.  It started on 18 January, so there may still be time for you to join the program alongside me – or find the next available program via Harold’s website in the show notes.  The second thing I’m doing is to resume producing my What I Learned this Month videos.  I was publishing these from mid 2018 to late 2019, but they fell by the wayside.  Now I feel like I missed tracking and sharing a lot of my own learning in what has been a high growth period, and I’m ready to start again.  These will be on my blog and LinkedIn feed if you are curious about them.

The final approach I share is the use of mental models.  I’m joined by Arun Pradhan and Shai Desai who recently launched the website Model Thinkers.  Mental models are simplified representations of how our complex world works.  They help you to understand that world and to take action in it.  I first started collecting and consciously using mental models after Arun showed me how he was doing this using Evernote in early 2018.  He has been talking about their role in developing learning agility for a number of years and identified that people were interested but needed help in creating what he calls their own ‘latticework of mental models.’

I recorded this conversation with Arun and Shai a week before Model Thinkers launched. It’s now been live for almost two months and I’ve found it really useful to be able to access some of the world’s best ideas in one place, condensed and summarised in a way that helps me to use them.  Many of the case studies shared by Learning Uncut guests draw on ideas and practices from domains outside of L&D such as marketing, design thinking or behavioural economics.  Mental models help us tap into cross-domain knowledge, improve our decision-making, problem solving and planning.

I’d love to hear what you are finding useful for your professional development and what your goals or plans are for your development in 2021.  Please share on Twitter or LinkedIn using the hashtag #LearningUncut.  Finally, if you are interested in Professional Development mentoring you can reach out to me via LinkedIn or my website.

Special Offer from Model Thinkers

Arun and Shai have set up a discount code especially for Learning Uncut listeners to use if they join Model Thinkers before the end of February 2021.  The code is one word, all in capitals – it’s LEARNINGUNCUT.  Go take a look at the website to get a feel for what Model Thinkers offers and how it could be of value for you.

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Full Episode

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Have you checked out the Emerging Stronger Masterclasses?

If you are an L&D professional who is in a place to make or influence change in your organisation take a look at the Emerging Stronger Masterclasses which are running in March 2021.  I’m hosting these alongside my Emergent Series co-hosts, Laura Overton and Shannon Tipton.  We’ll be joined by experts from the podcast series to guide you through a hands-on experience with peers from other organisations to identify breakthrough actions to address the biggest challenges that you are working on in your organisation.  Get more information at this link.

Join the Conversation about Professional Development

Do you use any of the approaches discussed in this episode for your professional development?  Is there something in the episode or show notes that you are curious about and would like to try?

Join in the conversation about Professional Development on LinkedIn and Twitter using the hashtag #LearningUncut. Share your 2021 goals, development approaches and tips.

Follow Michelle Ockers on LinkedIn to have posts about the podcast and other contemporary organisational learning topics appear in your feed.  Have a question for a guest?  Post it in the comments below the episode post and tag them.

Learning Uncut has accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Find and follow them at @learninguncut.


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