Posts Tagged ‘Reflection’

Sitting at perfection station and watching the trains go by

29 October, 2009

I can be a picky bugger. I like things to work exactly how I planned and I get more than a little peeved if they don’t. That’s the main reason I’ve not posted anything on this blog in over two months. As always life takes over and the blog gets neglected, that’s cool everyone’s blog gets neglected sometimes. The thing is once I decide that I want to write something I feel the I need to change the world with one blog post.

Inevitably I’ll write many many drafts, which funnily enough wont change the world, so I don’t post them. Then I start getting pissed off about not coming up with anything ‘good enough’ and before I know it, two months of work, conversations and learning have drifted past with no reflection or analysis.

The thing is in the last two months I’ve worked on some cool things, encountered some big challenges and are now spending lots of time thinking about what the next step is. Surely stopping a few times along the way to record where it was going would have been a good idea.

So there it is, “release early, release often” sound familiar? I’ll try to apply that mantra to my blog… maybe I’ll actually learn something.

UPDATE: In true realease early release often fashion… I hit the publish button before I proof read this! It must be fate 🙂

I thought this was a comment…

29 July, 2008

A couple of interesting things came up in the comments on my last post. Mary Abraham has found new energy for the concept of ‘encouraged’ internal blogging as a reflective tool, and Michael Axelsen talked about the potential pitfalls of corporate blogging. Today I’m going to tackle the first issue, writing for a corporate blog has been a challenge for me lately and I reckon there is a whole other post on that topic!

I’ll start with the guts of Mary’s comment on my last post

“It’s hard when a tool used initially for primarily social purposes is moved within a corporate environment. There inevitably is a restriction of freedom that comes with that transition. While I understand and sympathize with the social media purists, I’m also cognizant of the needs of the organizations that adopt these tools.”

I must admit, I’ve always struggled when rigid frameworks are applied to a concept. I did a KM subject at uni that focused on Communities of Practice. This was my first exposure to CoPs and the concept blew me away. Until that point I had never even considered informal learning, and knew little about knowledge management. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my head around the lecturer’s definition of a CoP, he described it as a very specific group with a very specific purpose. Rather than encouraging debate about natural knowledge communities that we had observed in our workplaces and how we could encourage them as part of a learning strategy; he debated with us for the entire class about which groups fitted the CoP mould and which didn’t. In the end I think we missed an opportunity to discuss how we could enhance our practice using this concept because we got caught up on details of the definition.

I see this happening in the response to Mary’s initial post. Sure, what is described is not necessarily a social activity, but does that mean it has no purpose or value? Today Mary advanced the argument for reflective blogging even further:

“This seems like a legitimate request for management to make. If employees have learned something, this request will encourage them to record that information where it can be shared and used by others. If they are given the time to reflect and the tools to record their reflections but don’t have anything to record, that’s an important indication to management.

…Does management need to take a closer look at the organizational culture that permits this approach?”

In response to Mary’s post, I found myself wondering where a tool is classified as social media, if a blog is purely used for reflective purposes, is it social media? If I use del.icio.us only to keep track of my bookmarks between work and home (as I did for the first few months I used the tool), is that social media?

I don’t know the answer to that but I do think that we should look at tools in terms of potential use, rather than typical use.

Is that a tumbleweed?

25 July, 2008

Yep things have been very quiet here at the tram in the last couple of weeks, work has been crazy, I’ve had some sort of virus and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to write a post for our corporate blog.

The good news is Karyn Romeis has got my blogging brain going again with her post on the “Well, they just must” approach to implementing learning tools. Like everyone else in the learning world I have seen this many times before. The bit that got me thinking was that the moral to Karyn’s story equally applies to social media initiatives, the ‘must do’ approach for internal blogging was suggested by Tim Leberecht and advocated by Mary Abraham a few weeks ago. Initially I supported the idea and promoted it within our team. I reckon there is a lot of value in encouraging your team to put an hour a week aside to blog about their successes, challenges and random issues from the week.

My colleague Alex suggested to me that the value may only realised if other staff can find information they need on the blog. From one perspective I agree with him, the core idea behind Enterprise 2.0 is to help people to easily communicate and share while they work, if no one reads a post on an internal blog then neither of these objectives are being achieved. From a different perspective, if we look at it as part of a personal learning strategy I see immense value in regular reflection for an individual’s practice (that’s the whole point of this blog!).

To come back to the point, you have to ask, is an individual going to gain the value from a reflective experience if they feel they are being forced to do it? This is where we come back to Karyn’s story, if we force adoption of a learning tool the learning experience will be tainted and the maximum value is unlikely to be obtained. More advisable, yet more difficult is – you guessed it – articulate the value to be obtained from the experience and make time available to the team to take up the opportunity.

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