What did you learn today?

I just got back from the annual ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) conference. If you’re interested, go to http://www.astd.org and sign up now for the virtual conference which begins next week. Why? Some interesting insights from the conference:
– social learning is big, covers a lot of e-media, but no one is quite sure what it does. The best I think was Charlene Li, who gave one of the keynotes and has a new book out, Open Leadership. Check out her blog at http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/. She ties a lot of concepts – business, learning, social media – together very well. Did you know that on average we spend 10 minutes a day on social learning? What have you learned lately from social learning? Me – being careful about identity theft – still protect your information and privacy. How quickly tweets get followers. And so much more.
Second City ended the conference and talked about how we all must become more agile. I’ve been working on some agility with pilates, but I think they mean much more than that. How flexible and agile are you, able to turn corners or even do a u-turn if you had to? As the flow of information and knowledge speeds up, we need to be agile in learning, agile in applying, and agile in changing our ways or mindset. One good resource for that: Switch, by Dan and Chip Heath. I just read it and it makes change relatively easy with tons of examples. So there are 3 ways I’ve just learned: attending a conference, reading a blog, and reading a book. And it’s not just attending or reading, it’s acting on what you’ve learned. So think about what you learned today, and then decide how you will use your agility to act differently. Let me know what you find out!


About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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3 Responses to What did you learn today?

  1. Paul Safyan says:

    Howard: I was only able to attend part of ICE, but I thought there was a lot there to attract anyone willing to learn. Like you, I am still trying to define the place of social media in planned or unplanned learning, and, if most of the learning is unplanned, how can I DO anything about it! I also recommend Dan Pink’s keynote in which he revived a somewhat aging notion that there is a lot more to motivating learners than just there paycheck.


    • hprager says:

      I agree Paul that it hasn’t been defined clearly what we as learning professionals can do. In a sense it gives us a whole slate to be able to play with to determine how we can “formalize” and encourage informal learning opportunities. And I too thought Dan Pink was excellent and had some very good ideas. Here’s a question for you – if as Daniel Pink said management is an 1850s concept geared towards the needs of the factory, what comes next? Self-management? Can we do away with management all together? And as Dan said, am I a little better today than yesterday?

  2. Paul Safyan says:

    Howard: I heard the “I am a little better today…” as an excellent challenge to each of us. I have written it on a small note pad in order to see it daily. I don’t think I am acting on it, but it gives me pause.

    No, I don’t think that we need to do away with management, but management needs to do a better job of balancing the bottom line needs of the company for which they are partially responsible with developing their staffs to the fullest extent possible. I don’t think the latter focus is present in my company at all. I hope other companies look at employee development more seriously. Pink’s three internal sources of motivation can be encouraged by good managers whose hands are tied when it comes to giving decent raises.

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