Welcome to March!
What have you got in store for this month? Hope you're working on some wonderful projects that educate and inspire you.
What have I been doing this month?
You may be aware that I've started to look for contract work back in organisations for the last three months. The consulting business has its peaks and troughs and I've been finding it difficult to get social learning or workplace collaboration proposals over the line especially when they require budget and stakeholder approvals from my clients business.
In discussions with many people in my field of corporate Learning and Development, they are asked to do more with less - and in many cases - use what they have or even nothing at all! This makes it extraordinarily difficult for me to run my business so I've been exploring some temporary job options in the meantime. I'm drawing upon my personal network here to refer potential leads for which I am indebted.
However, all is not lost!
I still love what I do and all this time, I've been going back to basics. I've been reading a lot of books and articles, making more time to sense-make, blog and vlog as well as some wonderful discussions with people involved Digital Transformation, Change Management, Leadership and Future of Work around the world.
I feel that there is a change in the air and the value that I help organisations through showing people how to work out loud, create authentic content, using social media and networks, community building, personal learning and social learning, well, their time will arrive - maybe not just yet - but they will.
When they do, I'll be here ready to go as I have all the courses, coaching packages, content and communities already set up.
In the meantime, I've also started writing an e-book on Snapchat for Learning (name TBA). I started it last year but procrastinated in finishing it because I focussed on too many irrelevant questions. How am I going to publish it? Should it be an e-book or an actual book? How do I format it? Why bother when people don't "get" Snapchat?
In the end, I let all that go and went back to having it finished. I could find out the answers to all these questions in due course.
This month there has been a plethora of great content and support materials so I've listed these down for you. If you have any others, please don't hesitate to share them and use #activatemylearning when you share.
(1) Directory of Learning & Performance Tools
Jane Hart is a well-known leader in modern workplace learning. Recently she has created a new newsletter (some of my articles were published here too) that promotes weekly articles on the topics of social and collaborative learning.
She also surveys the market with the top 100 learning tools every year and collates the responses into a directory.
This year, she shared the massive Director of Learning & Performance tools. I have been going through this list with a fine tooth comb this month - some tools are free, others are paid and it's a great curated collection of a myriad of resources that you can use.
However, bear in mind that like everything - some of these tools do have a shelf life! My approach is to stick to one to three of the main products (Free & Paid) versions and learn these but like anything, never put your eggs in one basket when it comes to tools because they come and go.
(2) The Guide to Curating Content
There's been a lot of discussion with various clients over the last year about how to enable employees to curate their own content. Some Learning and Development teams are implementing social learning platforms that enable their employees to tag, highlight, save and share content or build repositories for accessible content.
However, it's one thing to implement a platform. The bigger question is how do you enable and support employees to curate and share their finds?
Anders Pink has created a useful e-book called Content Curation for Learning: The Complete Guide which steps you through the process. I believe this is a great resource for Learning teams to use for their organisation.
(3) What Have I Been Reading?
I spend a lot of time reading - in a normal day, that could be up 3 to 4 uninterrupted hours. On weekends, it's more. It's not uncommon for me to read well into the night. I always make time for reading.
The best book I read this month was Kenneth Mikkelson's and Richard Martin's The Neo-Generalist.
A neo-generalist have both deep and broad foundations of knowledge across different disciplines and the authors argue that we need people like this in today's organisations to tackle the complex problems they face. The book resonated with me so deeply that I had to share a review about it on Snapchat. You can watch my review here.
It hasn't been all good reading this month though.
I decided to buy Tim Ferriss (the author of The 4 Hour Work Week) new 700-page book called Tools of Titans: Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World Class Performers and methodically read it all over four days. I was disappointed and didn't understand the rave reviews so I decided to write my own. You can find out why by reading my review on Goodreads or watch my book review on Snapchat.
Seriously, don't waste your money on this book. Buy the Neo-Generalist instead.
(4) Jamie Good's Working Out Loud at Sortable
If you don't follow Jamie Good on Twitter or LinkedIn, you should. Jamie is a Training Manager currently working at a start-up and he shares the different ideas of how he is incorporating modern workplace learning into his workplace.
Although his workplace is smaller than other corporate Learning and Development teams (so the scale isn't there because he's embedded within the business), he does provide some creative and wonderful ideas of how you can make work into a learning experience. I highly recommend you read the three-part article series he has written on LinkedIn.
What strikes me about Jamie's approach is how close he is to his business and the teams. He actively looks at ways that enable people to show and share their work and learn from each other. There is immediate engagement and feedback and it goes to show that the workplace IS a learning experience - and it is inclusive and fun too.
The best thing? There's absolutely no course development anywhere and he uses the tools and platforms that the business is already using to encourage knowledge sharing.
(5) Snapchat for Learning
This month I've been having many online conversations on how to use Snapchat for learning. Some people in Learning and Development are now exploring this tool and it was an opportunity to share my research and findings. If this is something that you would like to know more about, then check out my collated articles on the topic. Or simply watch how and why I'm writing this book.
I also have an infographic on 15 Different Ways to Use Snapchat in business. For this month only, I will give away a copy of this resource for free (usually $2.99) if you send me an email to request it.
Activate Learning Resources
There are a variety of free and paid resources online for you. Find them at DIY Resources to Integrate into Your Work.
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Please note that I don't have any affiliation with the developers of these apps nor am I endorsing one app over another (unless otherwise stated).