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.

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    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?

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    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.

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