2016 Goals – How Did I Do?

I know I have not blogged in some time, so no better time than the present (i.e., the New Year)!

So, how did I do with my goals for 2016? Last year, I hoped to:

Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance

To do that, I decided to try / do FOUR things. So I would not forget them, I had them linked on the top of my blog AND I kept them next to my daily / next day / week to-do list, so they would never be far away.

  1. Delete-Do-File (of email, mail, communication, and expectations) — Pretty well, overall. I achieved #InboxZero several times during the year, and ended 2016 with a grand total of 11 emails in my Inbox. Alas, there were about Click Here to Continue Reading

Workplace (Professional) Learning: Factors & Considerations (Decision Support Tool)

** This image file was slightly revised and updated on 8/4/16. It is now titled: Professional Learning: Factors & Considerations Before  Selecting a Learning Strategy.

I wanted to share my revised version of the Workplace Learning: Factors & Considerations Before Selecting a Learning Strategy Decision Support Tool I developed to help frame questions and organizational considerations before selecting a learning strategy. It is easy to determine we need eLearning or a MOOC or video-based training before conducting an organizational environmental scan (related to a learner gap analysis, but different in that it considers and focuses on organizational strategies and other factors that will ultimately determine the direction learning in the workplace will take. This was created to start conversations early in the process, and while Continue reading “Workplace (Professional) Learning: Factors & Considerations (Decision Support Tool)”

Workplace Learning Factors & Considerations

DRAFT Workplace Learning Factors 071016v4I have a task request in my professional work (I work in Training and Knowledge Management), and have been wracking my mind as to how to approach this, that I am at the point I need to get some feedback. Would love some thoughts on this if anybody is so inclined.

There was a request to provide an overview of learning options we can select related to a potential need to develop a learning community. Rather straight-forward, though each time I looked at the breadth of options for this, other options and considerations arose. For example, the notion of build it and they will come is only a nice notion, though those of us who work in workplace learning know it is not quite that simple. In fact, there are so many considerations related to this that thinking about the end result (threaded discussion like a Discourse install, an open, collaborative, knowledge-building learning and sharing experience like CLMOOC, or even through the structured Canvas elements for something like the #HumanMOOC) is premature without considering. Why even daydream about a large system if there is little budget, or consider a mooc if there is not staffing to support it?

Thus, my dilemma. How can I speak Continue reading “Workplace Learning Factors & Considerations”

Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance

future_visionTime for the New Year, and while I think setting goals is important at this time of the year (starting anew is a good thing, especially when we consider our changing needs, where we have been, and where we envision ourselves going next).

Last year I had a couple goals for 2015:

1. Engage in Timely Communication Continue reading “Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance”

Co-Creating Curriculum in Higher Education: A Brief Paper Summary

towers-9245_1920Following what I started considering with my article summary yesterday and my intentions to read more in the upcoming year, I decided to read and briefly summarize another article today. Getting some feedback from  and Frances Bell in what this process can be like, here is my second version of this article-a-day. Again, thanks to the folks at #SixtyBooks for the challenge to read more.

What is Continue reading “Co-Creating Curriculum in Higher Education: A Brief Paper Summary”

Want to See An Organization’s Mission? Check out the Checkout.

cashregisteroldThis posting is more about the sort of work I do professionally, which is in the area of organizational learning. You know . . . the stuff we are sometimes told we have to learn for this or that reason, often following some learning objectives we were given and at times without a clear understand for how we can make use of it once it is learned?

I may exaggerate a bit here, but bear with me for a moment.


Invert Learning

This is the area that I think about . . . a lot. How can we try to invert learning, if you will, from something we think we need for only this or that work reason or to put out some fire, and reframe it as learning for a higher purpose.

No, I don’t quite mean THAT higher purpose, but rather as something linked to the organization’s mission and vision? Come to think of it, do you know your organization’s mission or vision? If so, is just knowing it enough?


Case in Point . . .

Earlier this week I visited a new supermarket in the neighborhood, one that I did not know was a specialty chain until I looked it up online, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I went into this market at 10:30 on a weeknight. It was brightly lit, cool with air conditioning, spotlessly clean, inviting, and filled with employees stocking shelves and helping customers.

Yes, you heard that right . . . there were literally dozens of customers and the many employees were actually HELPING them. Not just pointing or motioning, but actually stopping their work, standing, making eye contact, bringing people to what was requested, smiling, and being professional, polite, and cheerful. 

This happened throughout the store.

Being my first time there, and given how some stores do not follow the cookie-cutter mold of store design, I actually spoke with 4 members of the staff about 4 different things I wanted, and was treated in the same way by all of them, across the store, on both levels (Manhattan has its own ways of handling space). Even when I got to the checkout I was greeted with a smile, complimented on my glasses, chatted up about the yogurt I bought (everybody seems to love Greek yogurt), invited to join their loyalty program (that does not force me to carry a silly card with me), and left the store laughing due in part to the friendly banter with the person who left the final impression on me, one of positive energy that capped a great overall customer experience.

Wondering at this, I went home and looked on their website to try to understand what just happened, and it was there that I saw it, the Mission. The company had it on their About Us page. Let me clarify . . . their visually represented Mission was their page.


Organizational Mission

Lots of organizations have mission statements and vision statements, but what many of them seem to lack is an authentic experience of their employees actually living it or doing it.

What does this all have to do with education, which is how I started this off?

I believe this is what good organizational learning is—it infuses everything it does to support, connect, and engage the work tasks with furthering the mission and vision.

After all, what is the point of professional learning if it does not help to move toward the mission and vision?

Look at your own checkouts; do you see staff who live the mission, just know what the mission is, or just work . . . to get it done? I am not sure about you, but I do not often leave supermarkets with a smile and want to know more about them. Do people do that when they finish interacting with your company?

Now, don’t limit this to supermarkets. I believe this perspective is applicable to all our work. Do your client efforts, contact, and customer experience—the very places where the mission and vision face reality—exemplify why your organization exists? Let me state it in a different way; do you and your staff live the Mission, allowing it to influence and guide your actions and interactions, or is it just a page of words that sound nice but do not really make a difference in practice? Can we see traces of the Mission in how people act and interact, or do we need to ask about what the Mission is?

Pretty scary if not, as that is where the revenue stream begins, or perhaps ends. This is what organizational learning and development should be all about–teaching people how to do their work in ways that support reaching and realizing the mission and vision. Training or learning within organizations is not a nice to have or regulatory check box, it should be a fundamental onboarding to the Mission and Vision, namely linked in to every reason why an organization exists, and how it can be supported by all members within an organization.


This is an adaption of a post that first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.

Personal Goals for 2015

While I had mixed results with my 2014 Goals and Intentions, I want to focus on moving forward rather than looking back. After all, measuring my previous personal success won’t get me very far now that we are into the new year. Onward and upward!

Having thought about these for some time now, these are my Personal 2015 Goals:

1. Engage in Timely Communication

I want to maintain Inbox ZERO (delete, delegate, respond, defer, or do) for Email and Social Media (Twitter replies, Facebook replies, etc.). Remaining current enables a discipline that I have long struggled to maintain, with the side effect of more strongly connecting me with my networks.

2. Communicate the Connections between my Learning and Teaching

I am always learning something or another, yet I do not always share this with my networks at the time. I want to more intentionally do this through social media, my blog, and other channels.

3. Attain Financial Balance

A fool and his (her) money is soon parted, and I am tired of playing the fool.

Some progress is better than none at all!

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