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.
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.
Continue reading The rest is … silence
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!
Continue reading Book review: The living company
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.
Continue reading Book review: The fifth discipline fieldbook
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.
Continue reading Book review: The thin book of appreciative inquiry
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.
Continue reading Book review: An unused intelligence
I have a confession: A friend told me about this exercise, and I’m afraid that she heard about it on Oprah… But hey, It’s still good.
Anyway, it’s about creating a daily positive space for reflection. Try it!
Continue reading Exercise: Journal of good things
This “Handbook on meeting people with a purpose” by Dale Hunter, Anne Bailey and Bill Taylor weighs in at a little under 200 pages, but it is packed with useful information. I bought it on amazon mainly because the title made me curious, and it was a quick and interesting read.
Continue reading Book review: The Zen of Groups
The fifth discipline by Peter M. Senge is one of those books that truly make a difference. It is referred to in many different contexts, and it played an important role in shaping the concepts of the learning organization.
Continue reading Book review: The fifth discipline