Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Experimenting with theming my days

I like to experiment with new ideas, often even before I think through the pros and cons. It may be spontaneous, impulsive, even compulsive. I prefer to think of it as staying fresh and remaining open to new ideas. Sometimes even when my first reaction to an idea is negative, I will give it a try.

Recently I put together an idea from two difference sources and began an experiment in which I theme my days and only work on certain things (mostly) on certain days. Pete Carroll, when he coached a USC, had themes for practices. For example:
Tell the Truth Monday, Competition Tuesday, and Turnover Wednesday.
    The second source came from Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, who also themes his days. Dorsey's themes: 
    • Monday: Management meetings and "running the company" work 
    • Tuesday: Product development
    • Wednesday: Marketing, communications, and growth
    • Thursday: Developers and partnerships
    • Friday: The company and its culture
    I like the idea of theming my days, so I started experimenting with it at the beginning of December. Here are my days:
    • Mortgage Mondays 
    • Performance Support Tuesdays
    • Leadership Wednesdays
    • Social Learning Thursdays
    • Innovation Fridays 
    Sure, there are times when I work on projects not related to the theme for the day, life happens. I am flexible. But for the most part in the past four weeks, when I schedule meetings and allot time to work on certain things, I place those time slots on my calendar on the days that match the theme. It helps me focus. I also have a print out of my themes at my desk and advertise my themes at the office, so that everyone knows my themes. My belief is that if I do this right, people will say to me, "Bill, I want to talk about social learning project, can we meet on Thursday?"

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Instructional Designers: Create Workbooks, not Manuals

    How many binders do you have on your bookshelf? A lot, right? Just about everyone has taken a training class and been given a training binder, taken it back to their desk, and never opened it again. It’s crazy. So many people have have all these training binders on their desks just collecting dust.

    [Read More]

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    On-Demand is the future of online learning

    TIVO and DVRs completely changed the way we watch television. People no longer have to watch a program at the exact time it’s aired, since it’s so easy to record it and watch whenever you have the time. So what can workplace learning professionals learn from the TIVO generation about the future of learning?

    [Read More]

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Eliminate the performance review: Part 2

    For many years, I have wanted to improve my fitness and lose a few pounds. Many times I said, "I will start my diet on Monday" only to NOT start my diet on Monday. It was all talk. It was not until Thanksgiving 2010 that I said nothing and started a diet that enabled me to lose 25 pounds, all of which I have kept off over a year later. It was not until I took action and stopped talking about taking action, that I really made it happen and got the results I wanted. And so it is with my last blog post on eliminating the performance review. You may have read it and thought, "Yeah, sure, it's all talk. A business needs performance reviews."

    We disagree.

    And in the spirit of Henry Ford, "You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do," let me tell you what we are doing about it.

    [Read More]

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Improve performance: Eliminate the performance review

    Excerpt....Originally published on the Allonhill Blog - November 30, 2011

    It is difficult to find someone who will say they have had a good experience during an annual performance review process. Go ahead, ask one of your colleagues right now. Whether it is a manager or a front-line professional, most people will say the process is painful, an interruption, and not a valuable use of time. Samuel Culbert and Lawrence Rout, authors of the book Get Rid of the Performance Review, call performance reviews "a pretentious, bogus practice that produces absolutely nothing that any thinking executive should call a corporate plus." I was going to say that.

    [ Read More ]

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    The GREAT Evernote Experiment - Part 2

    This week, I am attending the Enterprise Learning! Conference & EXPO in Anaheim. I will continue with my Evernote experiment by sharing my notes here. So this is what I am doing. I will use Evernote to take notes during the conference breakouts and keynotes. I may also take pictures and include them in my notes. If you click on this link, you will be able to follow along with my notes, as I take them. So if you don't mind misspellings and incomplete thoughts, then feel free to follow my notes. I welcome your feedback on this experiment, as I think there could be potential for using it to deliver learning experiences.

    You may also access my notes in the upper right-hand column of this page.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    The GREAT Evernote Experiment - Part 1

    On Friday, I will be DEMO'ing one of my social learning projects, called the Self-Made Leaders, seeking feedback from a collection of e-learning professionals. During the ASTD Sacramento DEMOFest, as I have time, I will look at other DEMOs to see what cool projects people are working on. This is a great idea for a conference, and one I would like to use as an internal learning experience in one of my next projects.

    But I digress.

    On Friday, September 23, I will take notes on things I learn at the conference using Evernote. And so that you can share in the experience and learn what I learn, I will share my Evernote, so you can see all of my notes as they occur, in free-form, unedited, jarbled format. So if you don't mind mispellings and incomplete thoughts, click on this link and view my notes, as I take them.

    The conference is being held in Sacramento from 12pm to 4pm pacific time.

    I will also post a link in the upper right-hand corner of this page for easy access to my Evernote.

    Happy note taking (reading).

    I would love to know what you think about this type of learning. Do you think note sharing could be an effective method of learning in your organization? Do you use Evernote for this purpose? Let me know your thoughts here or at @billcush.

    Book Review: Designing mLearning by Clark N. Quinn

    What I wanted to learn when I read Designing mLearning: Tapping into the Mobile Revolution for Organizational Performance by Clark N. Quinn was specific tools and technologies that I could pick up and start designing mobile learning – or mLearning – right away. However, Quinn would not let me fall into that trap, as he reminds the reader that it’s not about the technology. In fact, he tells the reader that even if it was about the technology, the technology will have likely changed between the time he wrote the book and it was published. Quinn does a nice job getting the reader to think at a higher level about the what, how, and ultimately why of mobile learning.... [Read More]

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Social Learning and Leadership Developement

    I have just uploaded my presentation slides for the Enterprise Learning Conference & Expo which will be held on September 27 - 29 in Anaheim, CA. My presentation will describe how I designed an emerging leader program using a blended approach of live classroom, self-paced learning, and social media activities using Yammer as the discussion and collaboration environment. I will share our design principles, the goods and bads, and some of the successes that the program had. Attendees will also leave the session having spent time starting on their own design of a program using my "In the Class" versus "In the Cloud" decision method.

    If you want to attend my session, register for the conference here

    If you want to view my slides, you can view those below.

    Implementing Social Learning: Start Small and Start Now

    Arnold Palmer, one of the original kings of golf, had a saying, “Your worst putt is better than your best chip.” In other words, if you are off the green, you are better off putting from the fringe or light rough than chipping. So it is with any new initiative or project......Read More at the Daily Mindflash

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Still Blogging, Just in a Different Place

    Hello All,

    As you may have noticed, the Luminary Learning Blog has been idle for quite some time. I have a lot of projects going on and limited time just like you. So I will not be blogging on Luminary Learning for the foreseeable future. However, I am still blogging, just in a different location. You can read my blogs on the subject of learning and performance improvement on the Mindflash Blog.

    Thanks for reading!


    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Top 10 #lrnchat Tweets from Feb 10 Early Session

    OK, all. Here it is. The Top 10 Tweets from the morning #lrnchat session on February 10. The only criteria I used were losely based on my whimsical namture and love of dogeral and quick, dry wit. I ranked the tweets based on the order of the discussion questions and not based on worst to best or best to worst.

    Bill Cushard

    Q0) We begin w/ a  welcome: What have you learned today? If nothing fabulous, what have you learned this week?

    04:44:30 pm jmass: RT @b_heady: Q0) Learned a little more about the film business in my quest to make a Documentary #lrnchat

    Q2) If we could wipe the slate clean, what would online learning look like?

    05:04:45 pm billcush: Tweet of the day! RT @kathchapman: Q2) Don’t make online learning simply formal learning without the classroom #lrnchat

    05:07:21 pm billcush: OK…this might be the tweet of the day. RT @learninganorak: @hamtra Why do you need to track training? #lrnchat

    05:13:59 pm billcush: And we have another Tweet of the day. RT @landddave: Q2) Online Learning would look a lot like Zappos customer service. #lrnchat

    Q3) If we could wipe the slate clean, what sorts of tools would be necessary in corporate learning?

    05:24:30 pm britz: Q3) The best tool is the 1 u already have on you. HT T. Bingham. Do u use/know all its capabilities or only abt 1/5 like the brain? #lrnchat

    05:09:42 pm learninganorak: Q3 BEANBAGS!!! Lots of beanbags. #lrnchat

    Q4) How would people need to be different in your dream corp learning world? 

    05:25:05 pm stevenbrent: Q4) I’m a bit saddened by the passivity and lack of curiosity in most people I encounter. We need fearlessness and engagement. #lrnchat

    05:26:16 pm lress: @c4lpt Wouldn’t it be boring? q4) Ideally, people would all be motivated, self-directed, autonomous workers/learners. #lrnchat

    Q5) What are some things you can do to work toward that dream state?

    05:34:38 pm dtssmithers: PRAY? RT @dtssmithers: RT @lrnchat: Q5) What are some things you can do to work toward that dream state? #lrnchat

    05:35:46 pm gjcannon: Q5) remove ‘mandatory’ from the dictionary. Let ‘learners’ decide what’s important to their performance. #lrnchat