Category Archives: Learning

How we learn best

How to teach

I find myself coming back to learning again and again these days. Some people say that planning is learning. Some say that change is learning and learning is change. Some say that the meaning of life itself is to learn. I’ve used learning as one of 6 core values that changes a good job into a great job in my new project, projekt arbejdsglæde.

So if learning is so important, then teaching must be equally important, so here’s an article with some good tips on how to teach. And we’re all teachers to some extent, especially leaders.

It’s great stuff. I especially like the deep respect for the student/pupil. I’m thinking that you can’t really teach anybody anything. You can create a situation that allows people to learn – which can be vastly different.

The rest is … silence

There’s a very important talent, a discipline, that is almost totally ignored these days: Silence and solitude.

We’re talkers. We speak, argue, discuss, put forth. We seem to express ourselves mostly by what we do and say, and we measure others by the same yardstick. But there is a value in silence and solitude that I think we’re forgetting. Being alone with your own thoughts allows you to learn something about yourself and your current situation that you might miss if you’re always talking and doing.

I hade the privilege of trying 48 hours of silence last year, and it was a beatiful and terrifying experience. Two days with no TV, nothing to read, noone to talk to, no phones, no internet, no nothing. Or actually nothing but nothing. Two days with plenty of time to slow down and discover what went on inside my head.
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Book review: The living company

I always thought that the really big companies were immortal. That once an organization attained a certain size, it would last forever, barring some catastrophic event or weird fluke. But it turns out, that the average life span of Fortune 500 companies is under 50 years!

Arie de Geus pioneered a study at Shell that uncovered this fact, and looked at companies that have lasted a long time, and “The living company: Growth, Learning and Longevity in Business” summarizes the characteristics of these organizations. The most important fact that sets them apart: They are not in business only for the money!

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Book review: The fifth discipline fieldbook

The fifth discipline by Peter Senge is probably the most influential book on learning organizations. It laid the theoretical groundwork for creating learning organizations by defining five essential skills: Systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning.

The Fifth discipline fieldbook follows up on the theory, and offers a wealth of methods and tools to strenghten the practice of the disciplines. It also contains lots of case stories from many different companies.

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Book review: The thin book of appreciative inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is an extremely effective and fun method for introducing positive change. It bases itself on the assumption that improvement can be achieved by focusing on the positive and doing more of that. Normally when we try to improve something, we do the opposite. We focus on what doesn’t work, and try do less of that. AI (as it’s known) is just as effective – and a lot more fun.

This book is a (as the name suggests) a concise how-to guide to AI.
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Book review: An unused intelligence

There are many different theories about learning, but not a single one of them states, that the best way to learn, is to sit passively on a chair, while a teacher talks about the subject in question. No theory ever in the history of the world has claimed it, and yet this is how schools, colleges, universities, business training and countless other learning concepts operate.

This book subtitled “Physical thinking for 21st century leadership” marks a departure from that school of thought and describes a way to ground learning in the body.
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