Wednesday, December 06, 2006

When did I first know I needed an iPod?

How many of you have an iPod? Asks Kevin Wheeler, Global Learning Resources Inc. Many hands in the room go up. When did you first know you needed one?

I do have an iPod. My husband bought his iPod home a couple of years ago. He (we) started buying tracks from iTunes instead of albums on CD, and I suddenly found that where he goes, our favourite music goes. What about me and my music? I'd dabbled in the world of Ipod and, like any good marketer, he'd sold me on customized playlists, podcasts and pocket-sized. A few months later, I knew I now needed my own iPod.

Kevin's point? Executive buy-in to the use of technology-enhanced learning for professional development is all a question of marketing. How do we help our executives know they, and their organization, need technology enhanced learning? Is it really as simple as enticing them to have a quick dabble with technologies they never knew they needed? Perhaps we should be providing our CEO with a choice of links to our end of year report: podcast or a wiki?

Me and My Multiple Intelligences. We and Ours.

Eight kinds of "intelligence" exist in us as humans and we all possess varying levels of the different intelligences, determining our unique cognitive profile. This is at the heart of Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences theory – explains Ann Shortridge.

Ann and Benay Dara-Adams have been looking at the theory of Multiple Intelligences and posed the following questions during one of the Online Educa Berlin pre-conference workshops:

* How aware of we of the intelligences making up our cognitive profile?
* How do our intelligences affect our learning style?
* How do our intelligences and learning styles affect the way we interact with others, including trying to help one another learn?

I think I'm pretty aware of my own 'intelligences' and learning style. I hadn't given much thought before to how it affects my interactions with others.

Following the 'Exploring Deep Change' meetings that we organized a couple of weeks ago, we asked people to send us their 'learning stories': short, personal reflections on what they took away from the sessions. Collecting these has been fascinating. For any one session, the diversity of stories has been great (ranging from appreciating one-to-one interpersonal story-telling exercises to recommending greater use of bold and colourful visualizations to trigger the imagination). Is this indicative of the diversity of intelligences and learning styles present? I can only think so.

My question now is - in our organizations, what are we doing to make sure we interact in ways that address diversity of intelligences and learning styles? And how can we engage the multiple intelligences of our colleagues to best answer this question?

Fish!ing for a compliment?

Arriving at my desk this morning, I was greeted by a delightful surprise. In fact, it was a surprise that made my day. Stood proud on my desk was a bottle of wine, wrapped in a paper bag sealed with a staple, with a small, silver, star-shaped sticker attaching a little note. On the front of the note – a friendly graphic, carefully chosen from our photo bank, and my name in hand-written calligraphy. Inside – a simple, personal sentence of thanks. Following a few 'delicate' weeks at work, this touched me greatly. I went to my colleague to thank them for the gift – more for the words than the wine. What I didn't tell them was that they made my day.

I recently read a wonderful little book called Fish! in which it is suggested that organizations introduce a 'box' which isn't for complaints or suggestions, but rather for people to acknowledge others in an organization who make their day. We don't have such a box in our organization – yet. If we did, I know who would have got my vote today, and in the absence of a box I am just going to have to tell them myself! A little, genuine appreciation can go a long way.

Whose day did you make today? And who made yours?