Mental Models, Design, Working Together, & Social Media

Silver Dollar Plant Blossoms

Mental models (what a thought) - Dave's Whiteboard

A mental model is a description of how the world of some domain is organized. You often hear "mental map" as a synonym, because a map shows layout and relationships.

You can find mental models in documents; you can also develop them by talking with expert performers who can describe the models they use as they work.

Ten Things to Demand From Design Thinkers - Fastcompany

  • Get Clarity about Equity
  • Designers are the Storytellers
  • The Ergonomics of Understanding
  • Good Design is Good Business
  • Design Thinking Starts at the Very Beginning
  • Designers Need to Be Orchestra Conductors
  • Keep Design Assassins in the Crosshairs
  • Use Your Head Before Your Hands
  • Be a Good Shepherd
  • Obsessive Compulsives Welcome Here

Working Together - Harold Jarche

Even though all levels of complexity exist in our world, more of our work (especially knowledge-intensive work) deals with complex problems, whether they be social, environmental or technological. ...complex environments & problems are best addressed when we organize as networks; our work evolves around developing emergent practices; and we collaborate to achieve our goals.

Beware Social Media Marketing Myths - Business Week

For many business owners, social networking is as valuable as a Hot Pocket is nutritious, consider the following myths:

  • Social media sites are free
  • Social media sites are a great place to find new customers
  • You need to be on all the big sites
  • Social networking sites are for marketing
  • Social networking is the future


Information, Hands, Presentations, Gurus, & Internet

U.S. Marine Jeep - Cruisin Colby

On the information alarmageddon - Mind Hacks

New York Magazine has an article arguing that the concerns about digital technology drastically affecting our minds is just hype. I really wanted to like it but it's just another poorly researched piece on the psychology of digital technology.

The Case for Working With Your Hands - New York Times

Matthew Crawford's story of working with your hands, to middle managers to being a knowledge worker:

The gap between theory and practice stretches out in front of you, and this is where it gets interesting. What you need now is the kind of judgment that arises only from experience; hunches rather than rules. For me, at least, there is more real thinking going on in the bike shop than there was in the think tank.

In the article the author writes that when he wrote abstarcts for reseach reports he could write any nonsense whatever as there was no consequence for him, the only standard was for the grammar to be correct. This is probably one of the main reasons why we have so much bad research in the learning and development field, such as the 10% transfer of training myth — the people writing such crap rely on abstacts that were written by other people who do not even understand the reports they creating abstracts for, which takes us back to the first news item above, "On the information alarmageddon" &mash; we want information in sound bites.

10 Powerpoint Tips for Preparing a Professional Presentation - makeuseof.com

Presentations - whether they are made with Powerpoint or other applications, are a great way to support a speech, visualize complicated concepts or focus attention on a subject. However, a bad presentation can achieve the opposite. Badly designed slides with too much text or bad graphics can distract or worse, irritate the audience. For more on presentations, see Presentation Skills.

For This Guru, No Question Is Too Big - New York Times

Should the author of "Good to Great" have called it "Good to Average?"

The Internet in 1969 - YouTube

Are we there yet?


Generations, Learning Space, eLearning, Energy, & Talent Management

Rippling Water

I don't know what title to give this post... UNCLE maybe? by Janet Clarey in Brandon Hall Analyst Blog

T+D publishes an article, "One for the Ages" and Janet writes that it gives the, "wrong type of advice for dealing with multiple generations in the classroom." And I strongly agree... how about you?

Mapping the learning space Clark Quinn in Learnlets

Clark maps the performance ecosystem space:


You might also like the Performance Typology Map and the Learning Concept Map.

E-Lessons Learned - Patti Shank in Training Magazine

Six lessons learned:
  • Online and classroom learning are not interchangeable
  • Traditional instructional design methods need to be rethought, especially for e-learning
  • Learners must be given what they need to be successful
  • We need to work better with Information Technology folks...
  • Buying e-learning infrastructure (such as a learning management system or LMS) before you know what you need is a great way to throw out money and time
  • Worry about where your advice is coming from

55 Ways to Get More Energy - Zen Habits

You won't be able to do everything on this list all the time - you'd tire yourself out trying to get more energy - but do try them all to see which ones work for you and your schedule. Add a few of these tips to your regular routine. Or mix them up to keep things interesting.

Talent Management Defined: - ASTD

A holistic approach to optimizing human capital, which enables an organization to drive short- and long-term results by building culture, engagement, capability, and capacity through integrated talent acquisition, development, and deployment processes that are aligned to business goals.


Gestures, Andragogy, 25 Tools, Transfer of Training, Performance, & Why

Garlic & Beets on the Cutting Board

With a wave of the hand - Scientific American

Many scientists now think that gestures can help the person making them -- that moving your hands can help you think. Researchers have become increasingly interested in the connection between the body and thought -- in the ways that our physical body shapes abstract mental processes. Gesture is at the center of this discussion. Now the debate is moving into learning, with new research on how students learn to solve math problems in the classroom.
Students who also gestured attempted to make sense of both the speech and gesture in a way that brought the two meanings together. This process, they suggest, could crystallize the new concept of "grouping" in the student's mind.

Andragogy Revisited: Theory for the 21st Century? - Robert Bacal in The Happy Curmudgeon

Malcolm Knowles' theory of andragogy is almost certainly the best known concept in adult education, and it often appears to gain uncritical acceptance based on name recognition rather than careful consideration of its propositions. Since Knowles introduced his theory in the mid-1960s, many concerns have been raised about how the claims of andragogy are grounded. Like any theoretical perspective, andragogy reflects both the context of its conception and the convictions of its creator.

25 Tools : A Toolbox for Learning Professionals - Jane Hart in Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

The 2009 Toolbox contains 25 categories of learning tool. Within each tool category are the names of the most popular tools from the emerging 2009 Top Tools for Learning, as selected by learning professionals worldwide. The majority of tools in the Toolbox are FREE tools, although a number of commercial tools are included. Some of the tools are desktop tools; others are online services.

The Strange Case of the Transfer of Training Estimate - Robert Fitzpatrick in The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Why do posts and articles, such as "When the Game's Up", which would otherwise be great posts, keep basing their message on a retorical question? -- "I...would estimate that only 10% of content which is presented in the classroom is reflected in behavioral change on the job."?

Completing the Zen in Performance Management - Don Clark

A lot of people associate performance management with the annual performance review. While it can and often does include performance reviews, it goes far beyond it in that it looks at performance improvement as a daily activity, rather than just a yearly event.

Real Leaders Ask - Harvard Business

Questions packing this kind of punch are usually open-ended - they're not looking for a specific answer. Often beginning with "Why," "How," or "What do you think about...," they are questions that set the stage for subordinates to discover their own solutions, increasing their competence, their confidence, and their ownership of results.


Wikis, Learning, Pattern Maker, & Ideas

Wooden Coffee Grinder

Control and Community: A Case Study of Enterprise Wiki Usage - Matthew Clarke in Boxes and arrows

There are three key differences in which Wikis are used: public, team and enterprise Wikis. In addition, there are various forms of control to protect against risks, including user registration, moderation, enforced stylistic rules, and imposing prescribed topic structures and page layouts. These types of control, however, are typically seen as contrary to the basic Wiki concept. Consequently, one of the central tensions when managing a Wiki is between centralized control and anarchy. In the public arena, the balance of power tends towards anarchy, but in a corporate environment a more centralized approach is often required.

Continuous Learning Experience - Blender - Training Solutions

Through experience I am learning that training should never be a one time event, it should be a continuous learning experience. As a corporate trainer it can be all too easy to facilitate the class (off or online), collect your smiley sheets, and check the class off the list as done forever. It feels great to mark the task off the list but it can also be a recipe for disaster. This raises the question, "What are the best "Continuous Learning" solutions?" This post highlights some of the wins and losses I have had in creating continuous learning experiences.

Pattern Maker - Repper

A free-to-use pattern creator that turns your images into eye-catching designs. You can start playing right away: just upload an image and start dragging.

Creative Elegance: the power of incomplete ideas - Matthew E. May in Change This

To begin with, the menu has only four food items. You can order a Hamburger, a Cheeseburger, a Double-Double, and French Fries. The fifth item is a beverage. You can partake in the standard array of Coca-Cola products, or order one of three flavors of milkshake: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.

That's it. Or is it? One reason for the cultish phenomenon of the company is the "secret menu."


Social Sites, Design, Informal Learning, & Brain Games

Hand Crank Coffee Grinder
Java Time

Anthropology: The Art of Building a Successful Social Site - ReadWriteWeb

The Nine Building Blocks of Social Engineering:

  • Voting
  • Tags
  • Editing
  • Badges
  • Karma
  • Pre-search
  • Google is UI
  • Performance
  • Critical Mass

Is Design Too Important To Be Left Only To Designers? - NussbaumOnDesign

There is huge anxiety among designers and design educators at the encroachment of business, education, health, energy, transportation and other fields into Design. The evolution of Design from an individual working intuitively to shape beautiful things into a collaborative process of discovering what can come next and making it happen is attracting people to Design for new ways to journey through these confusing and uncertain times.

Informal Learning: Directed and Flow Goals

People tend to fall into one of these two camps in terms of how they approach their own learning:
  • Directed Learning Goals – specific focus
  • Flow Learning Goals – nonspecific, exploratory


Learning Goals : eLearning Technology - Tony Karrer

On Directed and Flow Learning Goals - Michele Martin

Informal learning for "directed" and "flow" goals - Catherine Lombardozzi

Brain Games: Do They Really Work? - Scientific American

So what do these findings tell us? Clearly IMPACT demonstrated that both trained and some untrained cognitive abilities can improve after two months of structured sensory input training. But the control group also improved, albeit to a smaller extent, suggesting that even watching videos (such as The History Channel) may help!

Chrysler, Culture and Cerberus - NussbaumOnDesign

Chrysler thrived when it's brands and design aligned with American culture. Jeep, Dodge--muscle stuff. Vans--family stuff. Chrysler failed when got out of touch with US culture--and merged with German car culture. Daimler Benz ran the numbers and saw efficiencies of scale.