Who's In Charge of Learning?

A few days ago, I posted about my personal learning environment and how I'm using a variety of web-based tools to manage my own learning. Since then, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the whole concept of personal learning and how that relates to "staff training and development," what I consider to be more institutionally-driven training. In addition, thanks to a mention in Stephen Downe's excellent OLDaily, a... Read more →

The Power (and Pain) of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Fast Company has an interesting article in their May 2007 issue (sorry--not available online at this point) by Chip and Dan Heath of Made to Stick fame on the power of self-fulfilling prophesies. Entitled "Success Can Make You Stupid," the Heath brothers write about how Hollywood pumps out bad films because they get into a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies. What caught my eye, though, was this gem of a quote:... Read more →

My Personal Learning Environment

Lately I've been fascinated by the concept of personal learning environments. As an instructional designer and trainer, I've spent a lot of time trying to develop learning experiences for other people. But through my own personal experiences with Web 2.0 tools, as well as my ongoing belief in constructivist theories of learning, I've come to believe that the future of staff development lies in our ability to go beyond structured... Read more →

Why I'm Leaving My Laptop At Home

I'm getting ready to leave for an overnight trip to a conference. I'll have free high speed Internet in my room, so my first thought was "Oh good, I'll bring my laptop." But then I started to wonder if this was such a good idea. Could I maybe gain more by cutting off my reliance on easy Internet access? So here are a few reasons why I'm NOT taking my... Read more →

Can Limitations Actually Free Your Organization?

Lately I've been writing about the issue of scarcity thinking in nonprofits and how a focus on limitations and barriers seems to hold back many organizations. Now I see that Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen has written an excellent post on the value of limitations that I think is very applicable to nonprofits. In it, Garr argues that the rest of us have a thing or two to learn about... Read more →

This is How We Need to Be Thinking About Using Technology

Emily Turner at World Grows Wide has had two great posts recently on the thinking processes she's used in helping nonprofits select technology tools. They're both great examples of the ways that nonprofits should be thinking and I encourage you to read them to get a peek inside the brain of someone who's thoughtfully considering how technology should fit into and enhance organizational culture, work processes, etc. In the first... Read more →

Is Your Focus on the Shortcuts or on The Journey?

Seth Godin has a great post on shortcuts: Hey. It's not so hard. If you make great stuff, people will find you. If you are transparent and accurate and doing what's good for the surfer, people will find you. If you regularly demonstrate knowledge of content that's worth seeking out, people (being selfish) will come, and people (being generous) will tell other people. It turns out that it's easier and... Read more →

More on Scarcity vs. Abundance Thinking

In between a grant proposal and a website I'm working on for a client, I've been continuing to think about the issue of scarcity thinking in nonprofits that I started on yesterday as I read what others have to say on the subject. Allen points out that scarcity thinking is the enemy of change management everywhere, not just in relation to IT projects or nonprofits and I completely agree. He... Read more →

Evaluating Impact: Who Would Miss Us If We Were Gone?

John Moore of Brand Autopsy is running a periodic blog series he calls "Would You Care?" He features a particular company (today it's about Chili's) and asks readers if they would miss the company if it went out of business. What does this have to do with nonprofits? A lot of organizations spend a lot of hours trying to demonstrate impact. Often this becomes a list of activities in which... Read more →

Two Other Strategies for Creating a Climate of Learning

The other day I was musing on strategies for encouraging an organizational climate of learning. Here are two more: Help staff create learning plans. Use ePortfolios Creating Learning Plans Steven Forth has a great article on learning plans, which he defines as: . . . a set of learning objectives (that) identifies the resources needed to achieve these objectives, indicates what constitutes evidence that the learning objective has actually been... Read more →