Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

The Year That Was 2009

Here’s a look back at the popular posts on this blog and where readers came from during 2009.

Top 10 posts:

  1. eLearning and Content Development Salaries in India. Also in the list were posts inviting participation in the survey and the 2008 salary survey findings.
  2. Rules for Kids and Teenagers for Facebook Usage
  3. Instructional Designer Competencies
  4. Getting Started with Instructional Design
  5. Learn and Lead (About)
  6. Blogs by Indian Learning Professionals and Companies
  7. Web 2.0 Quotient - version 1.1
  8. Indian Learning Professionals on Twitter, updated list here
  9. Innovation in Indian Learning Industry
  10. 5 Reasons Why You are Not Being Promoted

Top traffic sources:

  1. Google / organic
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Orkut
  5. Yahoo

Top referring blogs/sites

  1. Upside Learning blog
  2. eLearningLearning
  3. eCube
  4. Learning Circuits blog
  5. The Writers Gateway

Top search keywords that helped people get here:

  1. facebook rules for kids, teenagers and facebook, rules for teenagers, facebook and teenagers
  2. manish mohan, manishmo
  3. instructional design competencies, instructional designer competencies
  4. salary survey 2009, salary survey india
  5. shift happens 4.0, shift happens
(Data source: Google Analytics)

Top Learning Resources of 2009

2009 was a continuation of my journey of online self-learning. I share with you the top learning resources from my PLE (personal learning environment) for the year 2009. I have found these valuable in my learning during the year. This is definitely not a comprehensive list.

Here are my top learning resources for the year 2009 (in no particular order):

  1. Twitter has been one of the most valuable learning tool for me this year. You can find the learning professionals I follow here and here.
  2. Stephen Downes OLDaily newsletter – The best of online learning daily updates, the one email subscription you should have
  3. Workplace Learning Today, Brandon Hall – A great aggregator blog of happenings around workplace learning
  4. Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid E-Learning Blog. If you thought PowerPoint was boring, you’d be dead wrong. A great resource to learn to transform your elearning using PowerPoint and Articulate.
  5. HarvardBusiness.org Voices – various authors, very insightful management and leadership posts
  6. Great Leadership by Dan McCarthy has been a find this year. Great writing on leadership.
  7. Sumeet Moghe’s Free as in Freedom
  8. Zaid Ali Alsagoff’s ZaidLearn – The best lists, you can find almost everything here.
  9. Harold Jarche’s blog
  10. Ken Allen’s Blogger in Middle-Earth
  11. Clive Shepherd’s Clive on Learning
  12. Tony Karrer’s eLearning Technology
  13. Upside Learning blog started their weekly finds that have been very useful.
  14. Learning Practice by Vasan has had some interesting posts that got me thinking.
  15. Sahana Chattopadhyay’s ID and Other Reflections
  16. Tom Stone at Element K blog provides useful summaries of learning and development events and news. (Disclosure, I work for Element K)
  17. Gina Minks shares her Adventures in Corporate Education in her blog
  18. Ellen Behrens’ alearning or Association eLearning to be exact.
  19. Jane Bozarth's Bozarthzone has thoughts about the training and development field.
  20. Clark Aldrich On Simulations and Serious Games as the name says it all.
  21. e-Clippings (Learning As Art) by Mark Oehlert
  22. Informal Learning Blog by Jay Cross
  23. Karl Kapp’s Kapp Notes is another great resource for learning in 3D.
  24. Cammy Bean shares her Learning Visions.
  25. Clark Quinn shares useful Learnlets.
  26. Cathy Moore’s Making Change is a must for practical instructional design and elearning tips.
  27. Patrick Dunn’s Occasional Rants are not mere rants.
  28. George Siemens writes about learning, networks, knowledge, technology, community in elearnspace.
  29. Serious Games Market, another find this year.

For updates about technology, I rely on my Twitter network. If there’s something interesting, it gets retweeted around anyway.

I also developed interest in photography this year. Two photography blogs I follow are Beyond Megapixels and Digital Photography School.

I also share specific posts that I find useful. You can view them here.

Hope you find these resources as useful as I have found them.

Do Your Systems and Processes Promote the Right Culture?

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this Dilbert strip. It also got me thinking. Are your systems and processes promoting the right culture that you want in your organization? You may have the most sophisticated systems and processes but if they stifle creativity, prevent collaboration, encourage fiefdoms and generally make it hard to work with each other in the organization, I recommend relooking at them. It would be great if we designed the systems and process keeping in mind the organization culture we want to create. Start with the culture in mind and then build the systems and processes around it.

What is Innovation?

Talking about innovation always opens Pandora’s box (see comments on my post Innovation in Indian Learning Industry).

Wikipedia defines innovation as:

a new way of doing something or "new stuff that is made useful". It may refer to incremental and emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations.

According to Merriam-Webster, innovation is:

Main Entry: in•no•va•tion

Pronunciation: "i-n&-'vA-sh&n

Function: noun

1 : the introduction of something new

2 : a new idea, method or device

Another site RealInnovation.com says:

An innovation can be big or small. Brand-new or just a bit different, it doesn't matter. An innovation can be clearly complex or seemingly simple. Innovations are often thought of in terms of technical achievement, but can also be a design.

An article on America.gov says:

Innovation is invention plus introduction.

Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development describes innovation as:

means coming up with new ideas and approaches that break new ground, push the boundaries and open up new ways of doing things.

I am beginning to think that innovation is relative. Each person is probably innovating in their own ways, some more than others (they find a new way of doing something perhaps). Each organization is innovating (they must, to stay in the business) in different areas like better ways of doing things (process innovation) or just building new products (product innovation) or providing new services. Countries are probably considered to innovate probably when many companies from the country are seen to be innovating.

An important aspect of being innovative is to be seen doing innovation. The larger the scale of comparison, the more impact the innovation must have. As an individual in your organization, if you can get the work done in difficult circumstances, you might be considered innovative. Or if you keep generating ideas and dialog you can be considered innovative, even if the ideas don’t result in a final product. As an organization it is harder. You can start by winning awards in niche segment and be considered innovative in that niche. To be considered innovative globally, the organization needs to have achieved recognition from outside its niche area of operation.

Grand things won’t happen on their own. If I want the organization or the country to innovate, I will start small, start with myself. I will keep innovating in every small thing and won’t wait for the ultimate game-changing innovation to come to me as a spark of brilliance. And I won’t worry about the definitions.



Photo by:

Innovation in Indian Learning Industry

Will Thalheimer wonders what is the state of innovation in the Indian learning and performance industry in his recent blog post. He comments on the NY Times report on India’s anxiety over the slow pace of innovation and wonders what the situation is in the learning industry. Will Thalheimer is a learning-and-performance consultant and researcher who specializes in helping clients build more effective learning interventions.

I guess it depends on what we call innovation. No I am not getting into an academic debate on what is innovation, primarily because I am not good at it. I do believe there is innovation happening in the Indian learning industry. Much of the innovation is focused on solving problems closer to home. These may not always be visible to the world. Some examples:

  • NIIT and TIS win Brandon Hall and CLO Magazine awards regularly. Other Indian companies in this year’s award list were Aptara and Servetium.
  • Harbinger and Upside Learning have learning products that are competing with the best and are now quite visible in the US.
  • NIIT’s Hole in the Wall is a key innovation in how children learn and has the potential to solve the India’s huge problem of educating the masses. The model is now being adopted and implemented in many developing countries, not just India.
  • NIIT, Educomp, Edurite, Everonn are making significant inroads in introducing ICT and elearning in school education system.
  • NIIT has been using innovation in curriculum and technology to overcome the problem of shortage of faculty in smaller towns and villages as part of its, not so publicized, affirmative action.
  • It is hard for companies like Infosys, Wipro, HCL etc. to hire and train tens of thousands each year and put them on the job without innovating in training practices. Some awards by these companies:
    • Wipro: 2009 ASTD BEST Award
    • Satyam: 2008 ASTD Training Management
    • Infosys BPO: 2007 ASTD Training Management
    • Reliance Industries Limited: 2007 ASTD Organizational Learning


Of course, Indian companies aren’t innovating as much as they can or should. Why?

  • We did start with ‘low cost’ advantage, a tag that’s hard to shake. One, Indian companies need to learn how to demand more from customers. And two, at the end of the day, low cost is indeed an advantage they will continue to play on it.
  • Indian industry is traditionally a service industry and has grown significantly doing exactly that. So product development has not been a priority for long. If companies continue grow doing one thing, there’s less of a motivation for change.
  • We don’t know how to package things well. That means presenting ideas, creating white papers etc. For some reason we don’t seem to pay enough attention to creating a really good document or presentation. This lack of packaging is visible in everything, from emails to project reports.
  • Indian industry has been focused on volumes. You could debate that there is process innovation. I mean whatever said and done, there is jugaad* required to get large volumes done. But yes, we haven’t quite been focused on product innovation until recently.
  • We aren’t really focused on academic research (at least I am not aware of it). There is very little connect between academic research and workplace implementation, though I suspect that’s the case in most other countries too.
  • We don’t know how to sell consulting, research and innovation well. We also don’t have high profile visible individual consultants/experts. I guess Thiagi and CK Prahalad are Indians innovating but don’t quite count as India innovating. It may be some time before an Indian from India is awarded the CLO of the year award.


Innovation is happening in India, definitely. Can more happen? Of course! Should Indian learning industry be worried? I don't know. There will be companies that will continue to push our low cost envelope to the western world. But with the western economies slowing down, and the opportunities now becoming visible within India, I am guessing we will be seeing much more innovation focused on the domestic industry. Not all will be visible to the western world. We are a shy lot and still learning to market ourselves better.


* Jugaad n. /jü-'ga-d&/ (जुगाड़): an improvised or jury-rigged solution; inventiveness, ingenuity, cleverness.



Do you ‘Get’ Social Networking?

What came first – chicken or egg?

Most people don’t get benefit of social networking because they don’t have a large enough network. And then they don’t build their network because they don’t get the benefit.

Have patience. After all if it takes 10,000 hrs to become an expert, how can you expect to get benefits from social networking by simply creating accounts on various social networking services but not actually using them?

Convergence on Social Media – When Not to Use

So LinkedIn now allows you to update your status with your Twitter updates. There are already applications that help you post your Twitter updates to Facebook. And then there’s FriendFeed that allows you to consolidate all your social activity and push that on Facebook and other social media sites. Not to mention other aggregation services, RSS feeds, email alerts, etc. etc.

Seems like a cool thing, surely. Well almost. If your social network across different social media services looks like below, then posting the same update on different services makes sense. After all, there’re only a few connections that are common across different services you use and pushing the same update on all services helps you get the message to a wider connection base.


However, if your social network looks like the one below, you are bombarding your connections with the same update on all networks. This can be very irritating for your connections.

My rule of thumb – limit convergences of updates on different social media services irrespective of the overlaps of your connections.

First Impressions of Google Wave

I got a Google Wave invite and didn’t really know what to do. I was quite lost when I first logged on. It took me about a week before I actually started exploring and figuring it out. I am still at it. Here’s what you can do when you get a Google Wave invite.

  1. Add the person who sent you the invite in your Contact list.

  2. Start a wave thanking the person who sent the invite. This is getting your feet wet.

  3. I think the Contact list shows your Google contacts who already have Wave account. I am assuming this since Wave showed me only my limited contacts. I could be wrong.

  4. Start a wave (more like a conversation really) with someone you know.

  5. You may be added to other waves by your contacts. Join the conversation with them.

  6. And when you get to invite others to Wave, send out invites to people who will join you in the conversation.


I started a wave to discuss what Google Wave is all about. I have added folks to the same wave as they I sent out new invites to more people I knew. My first impressions about Google Wave:

  • Wave seems an enhanced collaborative tool. It’s got elements of discussion forum, IM, Twitter, email all in one.

  • Not for the weak hearted. Takes some time get used to. And you have to actually start using it to understand more about how it functions.

  • Waves with many people can get long and confusing. Sure, you can play back every step how the wave was created, but I think most will just read the wave top down. And if the wave is long then it is a lot of reading.

  • There’s no ‘email alert’ if you add others to a wave, or when you are added by others to a wave. I felt some people were ignoring me when didn’t respond to my waves, when it was just that they didn’t know a new wave was started with them included in it. You need to visit the Google Wave site to see what’s new. I think the intent is that it will eventually replace email (perhaps, who knows). And you don’t get an email alert when receive an email… duh! I was however expecting an email alert on any wave activity, like the one I get when there’s Facebook activity on my account.

  • You can see what others are typing as they type. Looks cool initially but gets irritating after a while. It is very hard to focus on screen when characters are moving around. And you can see exactly what mistakes the other person is making and how they are correcting them. Very disconcerting!

  • There’s no title or subject assigned to a wave. A little hard to keep track of what the wave is about based on the preview of the fist message in the wave.

  • When a wave has been updated with new messages, it is highlighted (shows up as Bold). You need to navigate the whole wave to figure out what’s new on that wave. Doesn’t directly show what’s new in the wave.

  • You can’t delete waves. You can only Unfollow them. Not sure what happens if everyone unfollows a wave.

  • Apparently there are many command line actions that do many things on Google Wave. I didn’t bother trying them out. Hopefully Wave will be released with more WYSIWYG commands. We’ve been too spoilt to bother with command line actions.

An interesting conversation on our wave:

Abinava:

I have wondered about one thing though - one of the features of eMail is its ability to communicate across providers... I don’t what @what you are... I can still send a mail... what happens to wave...? Can we communicate with non-wave-ers?

And if we can’t - isn’t wave against the whole funda of email...?

(either that - or it is being monopolistic)

Me:

Interesting point. If it turns out that you can't communicate with other email address using Wave, then my guess is that Google Wave will not succeed. I am guessing that to get the full benefit of Wave, one will need Google Wave account. And I am sure Google will come out with a way to map other domains to Google Wave, much like it does currently with Gmail. It is an interesting business model. It will also force other email providers to come up with better email features. I can imagine Microsoft will start working on the next level of Outlook. Even now there are features that are available only in Outlook.

Me:

Poll - Do you think Google Wave will force other email providers to change the way email services are provided?

Yes – 4 | No – 1 | Maybe – 1

Shishir:

Google Wave may not be able to force a change in email services. However, it would definitely affect instant messaging and collaboration.

So there you are… still early days for Google Wave to say which way it will go.


Measuring Micro-blogging Adoption

Here are the parameters I am using to measure adoption of corporate micro-blogging.

  • Number of members on the service
  • Total messages
  • People with at least one message
  • % People with at least one message
  • People contributed 80% of messages
  • % People contributed 80% of messages

Still don't have a strong business case to take to my CEO for spending money on it.

First 5 Steps to Get Started with Corporate Micro-blogging

“Okay, I am on Yammer. What next?” That’s the question most new users to corporate micro-blogging ask. As I wrote earlier about my experiments with micro-blogging in corporate environment, one of the challenges in micro-learning adoption is training. A lot of your colleagues may have joined your corporate micro-blogging network but that’s no guarantee of participation. This may have to do with folks not really knowing what to do next after signing up for the service.

Here’s what I suggest you do after signing up for your micro-blogging service:

  1. Set up your profile. Add a little bio and your photo. Adding a professional looking photo is preferable but an avatar should do too. Just remember, it is your professional network.

  2. Explore existing messages already on your stream. I recommend that you read through all messages on the first two/three pages of the micro-blogging stream. What’s a “stream” you ask? Well it is the list of (“stream of”) messages on the web page.

  3. Announce your arrival to the network. A simple “Hi, I have joined Yammer. I am (role/responsibility) in (department/location)” message will announce you to your network. It is good to announce your role/responsibility and department/location in your first message.

  4. Install an access application. The best way to keep up with micro-blogging is usually not the Web page. For Yammer, install one of these applications that work best for you from their applications page. Check for similar applications on your micro-blogging service.

    • Desktop application – This is an Adobe AIR based desktop application. It will minimize to your system tray and display a gentle pop-up when there’s a new message.
    • Outlook plugin – this shows your Yammer messages within the Outlook window. If you are using Outlook at work, this is an ideal application for Yammer.
    • Install Firefox Extension – This adds an icon to Firefox browser’s status bar displaying the number of unread messages, and alerts you when a new message is received.
    • Mobile application – If you are using a smart phone, install Yammer application for your Blackberry, iPhone or any other Window Mobile smart phone.

  5. Set up your email preferences to receive an email digest of messages posted each day. Okay, ideally you should really be starting to read messages on one the applications listed in the previous step. However adding an email alert will ensure that you get the message even if you don’t log on. Next ensure that these messages don’t go into your spam/junk folder.

So there you are… your first 5 steps to get started with corporate micro-blogging. You can now start participating in the conversations. Start with commenting on other people’s messages, sharing useful links, sharing tips, seeking new ideas... Go on, don’t be shy...


5 Reasons Why You are Not Being Promoted

I came across Dan McCarthy’s blog recently. Dan is a practitioner in the field of leadership development for over 20 years and is currently the Manager of Leadership and Management Development at a Fortune "Great Place to Work", "Training Top 125", and "High Impact Learning" (HILO 80) company. He has a great blog on leadership that I would encourage you to subscribe to.

Dan wrote a great post Head’s Up – You are About to be Promoted or Fired where he shares why you might get promoted or fired. I think there’s also a third script: the status quo script. While you may not be fired for things you do (or don’t do), you may not get promoted either. Here’s what the script might be why you are not getting promoted:

Status Quo script:

I have some good news - you are keeping your job. Unfortunately we aren’t promoting you. Here’s why:

  1. You are not seen as a leader amongst your peers. You do your job well enough. However you don’t inspire others, either within your team or amongst your peers. People respect you for doing your job with the best intentions and spirit but don’t really look up to you for taking them to the next level.

  2. You don’t take initiatives. If there is a new opportunity, you don’t volunteer. You don’t seem to have new ideas. You usually wait to be assigned tasks and you are happy to do what is assigned to you, which you do well, no doubt. Perhaps you are content and satisfied with your current role.

  3. You are not adding value to your current role. For example, your role is not just to create and present the report, but also work towards improving what you are presenting.

  4. You are not visible. You don’t participate in company initiatives. You avoid official social gatherings. You don’t participate in cross functional teams. You shy away from taking credit for the good work you or your team does. You rarely share what you know, people don’t really see you as a node of reference.

  5. You resist change. If there is talk of changing process or tools, you resist it. Your first reaction to initiatives is that it can't be done. It is too hard to convince you about the new ideas or changes and too much time needs to be spent with you to onboard you. People see you as an impediment to new ideas.


Picture by

Dream Job redux

Are you complaining too much about your job? Wondering what your dream job is? It might be a better idea to stop complaining before it is too late. Would you like to lose this job?



Video found via Mohitoz on the Rocks blog.

10 Tips for Better Meetings

A question was asked on Twitter for some tips on running better meetings. I sent out a series of tweets and then added a few more to make this blog post.

Here are my tips for better meetings:

  1. Question the need: Ask yourself, do you even need the meeting? Do what you can over email to avoid meetings.

  2. Have an agenda: Not points to discuss but decisions to be made. If the meeting is to review progress, make sure you have status against goals.

  3. Keep'em short: Schedule shorter meetings. Force participants to take decisions in the short time.

  4. Review actions: Review status of actions in last meeting. If no action for 2 meetings, question if you really need the action.

  5. Have the right participants: What are you expecting each participant to contribute? Do you have the decision makers in the participants? Do the participants know what's expected from each of them?

  6. Summarize actions: Not just summarizing the actions but also be specific, who is required to do what and by when.

  7. Avoid gimmicks: Just stay focused and have the meeting. Don’t have silly gimmicks that are supposed to make meetings more effective. You don’t really want to start measuring meeting effectiveness, passing tokens etc. Hey, you’ll probably end up in having more meetings deciding the gimmicks.

  8. Who is running the meeting: Identify who is really running the meeting? The meeting chair should help participants stay focused on the meeting agenda.

  9. Be prepared: with your agenda, data and decision points. Better preparation means shorter meetings.

  10. Follow the hygiene: of being on time and stopping on time.

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/a-barth/ / CC BY 2.0

Happy Diwali

Wishing a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali to you and your loved ones. May the new year bring cheer and happiness for everyone. Praying for peace and prosperity all around.


Photo by me.

Analysis Paralysis and Lizard Brain

Seth Godin talks about quieting the lizard brain within us and finishing what we started. He says thrash the ideas up front, don’t get scared about shiping the product and start thrashing the idea later in the development stage. Of course, we also have the analysis praralysis syndrome where we might spend too much time in analyzing the idea without ever starting it. You don’t finish what you don’t start, right.

Okay, so basically what everyone is saying is move your blooming part-of-your-anatomy and get on with delivering on your great idea. Sure analyze (thrash) the idea at the start but don’t get stuck there. And then once you’ve started it, don’t start thrashing (analyzing/critiquing) the product just before you have the deliver it.


Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain from 99% on Vimeo.

Indian Learning Professionals and Companies on Twitter

I have updated my list of Indian learning professionals on Twitter. I have included company Twitter accounts in the list. Feel free to leave a comment to suggest more professionals and companies who should be on the list. I have been less discerning this time and have included all professionals who have more than one tweet on the list. Also listed them in alphabetical order.

You can now use the TweepML link to easily follow these professionals on Twitter.



aanteladda - aanteladda

Education Strategist, Coach, Bridge, Entreprenuerial Catalyst, Mum

abhijitkadle - Abhijit Kadle

interests range from genetics, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, engineering, technology, computing to electronic games, media, communication, and design

Abhinava - Abhinava

biker... dreamer... sapiosexual

amitgautam - Amit Gautam

atuljog - Atul

Trainer,Executive Coach & a curious learner! Passionate abt adult learning, bringing fun and learning into training n designing content which are impactful ...

baxiabhishek - Abhishek Baxi

geek / new media guy / photowalker / microsoftie / windows7 PC / blank noise guy / critical movies fan / windows mobile

bishtumesh - Umesh Bisht

learning and development professional, digs web 3.0 , e-learning, and content

dbhasin - Dolly Bhasin

Am a Knowledge Enterpreneur with focus on Small Enterprises, Travel, Tourism, Hospitality for eLearning and emarketing

deepak1279 - Deepak

dineshmagadi - dinesh magadi

dominicrajesh - Dominic Rajesh

HR Professional with focus on Learning and Development. Motto: Help others help themselves.

elearningtyro - E-Learning Tyro

Instructional Designer and E-Learning Specialist

followVasan - vasan

e-Learning professional committed to making difference through learning solutions

gaganadlakha - gaganadlakha

gargamit100 - Amit Garg

eLearning Outsourcing, Learning 2.0

GautamGhosh - Gautam Ghosh

HR and Social Media geek. Perpetual Learner. Interested in how emergent technologies are changing Organizations. Organizations 2.0 if you please!

geetabose - Geeta Bose

Run Kern Communications -a learning solutions & usability consulting company

gJaideep - Gerald Jaideep

Innovation Initiator or Hunter/Gatherer for FireStarters

harmalbhu - Harini

Instructional designer. Love: Fiction, techie tools.Sharing Knowdlege.

indug_72 - Indu Gopinath

Jax - Xavier Roy

I get paid to write :-)

JosephineShobee - Josephine Shobana

Delivery Manager at Element K. Interested in learning, innovation, leadership, strategy…

kamalbatra - kamalbatra

kanchanshine - Kanchan Shine

Instructional Design Consultant

kapil1312 - Kapil Bhatia

Enjoy discussing Education, web 2.0 , edupunk, elearning. Hate people who block youtube and twitter in schools.

karthicku - Karthick

KavisMusings - Kavi

Blogger. Dreamer. Optimist. Coach. Believer in people and potential. Citizen of the world. Ranter in general.

lakshmanr - lakshman rajagopalan

Learning professional, Management, Leadership, enthusiastic trekker, amateur photographer, follower of techie news, avid reader

lakshmik_92 - Lakshmi Krishnan

Learning and OD professional

manishmo - Manish Mohan

Collaborative and Informal Learning, Management, Performance enhancement, Entrepreneurship, Technology, Amateur photography

Mohammedhb - Mohammed HB

mrmwrites - swamimo

Technical Writer, Blogger, Web Admin, Secretary - ITC SIG of STC, Employment Manager - STC India Chapter

MuhammadAnas - Muhammad Anas

preetamrai - preetamrai

Tracking tech and music from Africa, E.Europe and Asia

poojajaisingh - Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

eLearning Professional

rajesh_pankaj - Rajesh Pankaj

RaviBramha - RaviBramha

AVP Technology, 24x7 Learning

rjaideep - R.Jaideep

elearning professional,tech lover,future enterpreneur

rnarchana - Archana Narayan

Constantly evolving as an instructional designer at Kern Learning Solutions (www.kern-comm.com) to ensure richer learner experience

rucsb - rucsb

Web 2.0 buff,IBMer,Learning professional, Indian, geek,netizen, thought leader, luvable !

ruparajgo - Rupa Rajagopalan

Instructional Designing - My Passion

sahana2802 - Sahana Chattopadhyay

Learning evangelist, instructional designer and social learning enthusiast. Believe collaborative, participative learning is the future...

sekar_jd - sekar_jd

shaji0508 - Shaji

Design Specialist at NIIT

shana1729 - Nishana

Senior Flash Developer

shishirsh - Shishir Sharma

Project Management, Technology, Instructional Design, Learning Solutions, Amateur photography, Sketching, Languages, Astrology

sreyadutta - Sreya Dutta

Instructional Designer by profession, working at Oracle.

sundararajt - Sundar Thondaman

An ardent fan of social media..learning consultant in the enteprise space..venturing into management consulting, and life skills training...

svsm67 - Sonia Sant

thoughts - Geetha Krishnan

Learning professional

togetherinlife - kaushik

Love.Life.Great Parents.Training,Blogger.Speaker.Travelling.See India.Trekking.Himalayas.Reading.Long Drives.Yoga.Beer.Making Mistakes.Explore Life Everyday!

VaiVai - Vaishnavi

An Instructional Designer by profession, passionate about literatures from across the world and enthusiastic about new experiences!

vijeesh - Vijeesh Shankar

learning - mobile, classroom, web, social, informal..(a-z of learning :-)

write2tg - Taruna Goel

“A learning professional” – an instructional designer, trainer, recruiter, supervisor, mentor, coach, change initiator, training manager…and more.

Learning Companies

24x7Learning - 24x7 Learning

24x7 Learning is India’s premier Intellectual Infrastructure partner

Astutix - Astutix Learning

Effective Learning - Delivered!

niitimperia - niitimperia

NIIT Imperia Center for Advanced Learning has been specially created to provide quality Management Education to working professionals.

NIIT_Imperia - NIIT Imperia

NIIT Imperia offers world class senior management programs with IIM Calcutta available for working professionals and organizations at NIIT-Imperia.

NIITLtd - NIIT

This is the official Twitter site for NIIT Ltd.- leading Global Talent Development Corporation and Asia's No.1 IT Trainer

niituniversity - NIIT University

The NIIT University is a not-for-profit institution offering UG, PG and Doctoral Programs in IT, Edu Technology, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology.

trainingdotcom - Training.com

Training.com is an eLearning initiative by NIIT to provide convenient, personalized and affordable training to students and working professionals.

Shift Happens 4.0

Still wondering about the power of Internet, digital media, convergence and if you should be on the social media bandwagon? Here’s version 4.0 of Shift Happens series.

Also see Version 3.0, Version 2.0 and Version 1.0.

Do we Learn More from Successes or Failures?

Amit Garg asks whether we learn more from successes than failure. He mentions an article on Science Daily that suggests brain cells learn more from successes than failures. Well, at least that’s how monkeys learn based on a research by scientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory according to the article. Do read the interesting conversation ongoing on his blog post.


Do organizations learn from successes? Do they even attempt at learning from successes? I don’t think organizations and managers do a good job at learning from successes. And I am as guilty as anyone else of this. The whole management review governance structures are built around learning from mistakes and ignoring successes. We have goals and measure progress against these. If our goals are consistently being met, there’s hardly any time spent on reviews. However if the goals aren’t met, or a perhaps a project has gone bad, we spend inordinate amount of time doing root cause analysis and identifying corrective actions. Of course root cause analysis and identify corrective actions are absolutely required and we really can’t afford not to do these. We do need to prevent problems from recurring and look for ways to continuously improve the process. However we hardly spend any time in learning what we might be doing right when goals are met, or from projects that went well.

We celebrate successes but don’t necessarily attempt to learn from them formally as much as we attempt to learn from mistakes. Our former Creative Director would go sore screaming at managers including me, (not literally, don’t get me wrong now) on why we weren’t looking at the 9 projects that went well instead of trying to find out why 1 project went bad.

Why don’t we learn from successes? Could it because it is harder to learn from successes? Or perhaps successes are expected from each of us and we are just doing our job when we succeed. And if we are already doing our job well, what’s to learn?

It would be interesting to know if there are any formal methods of learning from successes, like there are for learning from failures. Any best practices from organizations out there?


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.

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