misassessing excellence

A proposal of a dynamic systems view of leadership, talent, and intelligence.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN COMMENTS BELOW

Do you think these regulations will change anything? Will they drive greater support for data collection in learning? Motivate more collaboration between the business units and L&D?

tinker, teacher, learner, why?

christopher sessums links to this very interesting video on you tube in which john seeley brown discussed the idea of learners as tinkers and drawing concepts from the old one-room schoolhouse paradigm as a means for “kids learning from kids.”  the video is wonderfully provocative, as brown always is so I’ve linked to it in case you’d find it interesting.

John Seely Brown on the concept of tinkering as a learning tool.

my interest though has to do with sessums’ commentary that if you change “kids” to “teachers” in brown’s video we’ll be closer to the real solution.  while i totally agree that teachers also need to be tinkerers, i am troubled by the demarcation between teachers and learners that is inherent in both brown’s comments and sessums’ reaction.  i firmly believe that as long as we continue to believe that there are those who teach and those who learn from those who teach, we’ll never achieve networked learning that is driven by learner desire.

brown even makes the mistake of tying teaching and learning roles to age.  he argues that he can learn from someone a year older than him and they in turn can learn from someone older than them.  knowledge and learning are not subject to social stratifications of age, race, wealth, gender, etc.  if you know something i’d like to know, i can ask you to share it with me and learn from you whether you have a ph.d. from harvard, an mba from university of phoenix, or are in the 6th grade in thibodaux, louisiana.

in the workplace, this becomes more and more evident.  the key is finding who knows what you need to know, learning it to the degree that you need to achieve your goals and then moving on.  how do we get beyond the hierarchies and organizations which may have helped move learning forward 100 years ago but seem more and more a restraint in the 21st century?

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN COMMENTS BELOW

Do you think these regulations will change anything? Will they drive greater support for data collection in learning? Motivate more collaboration between the business units and L&D?

omg! it’s snowing!

i guess i’m going to have to revisit a few of my posts on taking risk and dealing with change (see learning is risky business and my love-hate relationship with change.)  because it’s snowing outside my window!  i guess i’m not in palm springs anymore.

i recently heard someone make the comment that nothing changes until you change.  well after frustrating the heck out of myself trying to find work as a learning professional in the desert, my partner and i decided that it was time to change the equation.  so we packed up a rental truck, loaded the car onto a tow dolly, piled diva the dog into the cab and drove 3800 miles to move to the boston area.  as jay cross put it to me, “good move, dave. beantown thrives; palm springs is great for retirement.”  having lived here for 16 years, i’m hoping my connections will make finding a job in learning a bit easier.

Snow capped Mt San Jacinto above Palm Springs, CA

so, it may be a bit colder here. ok, alot colder! and it might be snowing. although check out the picture i took from the park near our apartment in palm springs two days before we left! and yes, we’ve both come down with winter colds due to the change in climate.  but hey, we’re making the changes we need to make change work for us.

isn’t that the big challenge in dealing with change afterall?

so here’s to risk taking and a new year that some young dude from Illinois promised all of us in the united states would be filled with change.  now excuse me, i need to go shovel my car out of a snow bank!!!!

Cammy Bean on 1/8/09

Welcome back to Beantown, Dave! I’ve been here for almost 20 years and I’m still not used to the weather.

Dave Lee on 1/8/09

thanks, cammy. we’ll have to point our dog sleds in the same direction and meet up in person sometime!

what you’ve been reading

what you’ve been reading

another interesting bit of data is a listing of the most popular posts on eelearning since i moved over to wordpress.  i’m pleased to see that my posts regarding exemplars in elearning are numbers 1 and 2.  What astounds me is that in 4th is my my post on learning theory resources, my very first post to eelearning. in 5th is my 3rd post which was links to evaluation resources. 

As I said in my last post, it would seem to show, at least among my readership, that people are at least as much interested in content as they are currency.  It also suggests to me that perhaps i should update those posts – because I have added to my personal list of learning theory resources and evaluation resources.  Most can be found in my delicious account.  But some are trapped in my browsers bookmark lists.

post nameviews
what is a “good example”565
exemplary elearning solutions483
buggy whip makers245
learning theory resource links241
evaluation resource links123
where i’d work122
Top Ten learning tools116
are motivation and drive innate or learned?112
there they go with the powerpoint thing, again!102
as if i needed proof96

if a blog falls on the web, but no one hears it…..

This blog was first posted on eelearning.com on 4/17/08.

my little hiatus from blogging over the past six months provided me with a number of interesting issues to contemplate, but the one that caught me most off guard was this question:

do readers really care if i post or not?

why would i ask this question? a quick look at some of my blog statistics for eelearning will clue you in. 

eelearning stats May 2007 – April 2008

Here’s a chart of the activity on eelearning here on wordpress. I my last post before my sabbatical was the middle of September. But readership of eelearning continued to grow through November. hmmmm. Makes you begin to wonder.

Add to this that my stats counter on my typepad account is still counting away and has shown steady readership there, even though I haven’t posted a new post on that verson of eelearning in almost a year now!

What I take from all of this feedback is two fold. One, many blog readers aren’t obsessed with what is being written every day. Blogs for many web users are resource sites and it doesn’t really matter whether the content they are seeking and finding was published yesterday or last year. Two, moving a blog and getting your readers to change their blogrolls and bookmarks is a very difficult task as well. if you obsessed about reader statistics, then make sure you have a comprehensive plan to migrate your readership before you move.

Karl Kapp on 10/15/09:

Dave,
Interesting statistics. I like the insight they provide in terms of readers treating the blog as a resourse. I think it also speaks to the valuable postings you have on your blog or the readership would have not returned for “reference” material.

driving real value in b2b customer education

This blog was first posted on eelearning.com on 4/20/08.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and talking about business-to-business (b2b) customer education recently.  My comments here are particularly focused on software/webware, but the principles are just as relevant to other tech sectors as well as service-based industries and equipment suppliers.

i find a johari-square analysis to be particularly helpful to understanding where real value in generated via customer education.  in this post i will focus my comments on the training component of the customer education ecosystem.

along the horizontal axis is a continuum of the level of knowledge a customer has about an application – from basic/introductory usage to a full understanding of all features of the application.

along the vertical axis is the nature of the application to the organization’s particular practices – from generic, non-specific usage to very company specific usage.

The lower left quadrant then represents basic usage being applied in very generic, non-differentiated fashion. This might include data entry, simple reports, basic search functionality, etc.

the upper left quadrant represents the efficient transfer of current company knowledge and practice into the application. Examples would include self-help resources, document repositories, FAQ’s, etc.

the lowr right quadrant represents the application of new processes which are enabled by the advanced functionality of the application and/or templates and add-ons which expand the applications capabilities.

the upper right quadrant represents innovation and creation of new business capabilities and insights which are very specific to the success of the particular customer’s organization’s needs and goals.

The yellow arrow represents what can be considered the desired customer learning path.  The goal is to get the customer to use the application in a way that drives the success of their business.  Unfortunately, in the past, training has had limited means to deliver the necessary learning experiences to the customer. Instructor-led training in a brick and mortar setting with ink on paper content is very expensive. By the time the learning needed to get the customer through the lower left quadrant was successfully completed, the training group had run through its budget. the most innovating training groups might have been able to sneak in a bit of the upper left or lower right content, but that was limited.

the emergence of elearning tools and techniques along with systems that enable an organization-wide customer education ecosystem has created new opportunities to spread training resources further along the customer education learning path.  online tutorials, document repositories, online forums, wikis, instant messaging, and web conferences can be deployed at a fraction of the cost of ILT and ink-on-paper content. This leaves face-to-face contacts available to help customize and innovate new solutions to particular customer needs. Strategic deployment of resources across the customer education ecosystem can drive value in the customer’s organizations.

managerial axioms

This blog was first posted on eelearning.com on 3/21/07

i couldn’t resist. the other day when i was writing my big question post, various axioms kept popping into my head. you know those annoying phrases that people put on posters, plaques, post-its, pens, and other promotion prizes? so here’s a whole list of axioms to clutter up your next powerpoint presentation.

(some of these are original to me – i think.  some come from the leaders i mentioned in my previous post – and may or may not be original to them.  others i’ve heard somewhere, bit don’t remember the source.  if you own the rights to any of these slogans, please be kind and don’t sue me!)

  • you’ll always have too much on your plate, so learn to delegate.
  • micro-manage at your own peril. your employees will hate you and you’ll be exhausted.
  • never punish honesty.
  • the company grapevine is for listening. make sure you can hear it.
  • learn. in every moment. in every crisis. in every victory. learn.
  • everyone learns from failure.
  • learning when to let someone fail is one of the hardest lessons you’ll learn.
  • remember everyone’s birthday.
  • be consistent in what you say, make sure your actions follow your words and your employees will go to the ends of the earth for you.
  • be inconsistent in word and deed and you’ll learn how quickly employees have survival instincts that don’t include you.
  • praise others when they succeed.
  • always take the time to find out what your employees are laughing about.
  • the grass on your side of the fence doesn’t get greener by pointing out your neighbor’s lawn care deficiencies.
  • if you already know the answer, don’t ask the question.
  • keep your eyes on the horizon. looking down at the mess at your feet will paralyze you.
  • are you having fun?

Comments from eelearning

If you’d like to comment in real time in 2021, do so below.

michele eby on 3/26/07

Forget the next presentation. You may have a winning mug slogan or t-shirt axiom here. Good stuff.

bill williams on 5/8/07

Knowledge Sharing: the more you share the more you get

I think I first came across this in an SDC paper (http://www.sdc.admin.ch/en/Home ) but Google throws up lots of examples and variants.