Live Forward. Look Back to Honor and See What You Could Do Better…

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

–Soren Kierkegaard, 19th Century Danish philosopher

The plan: Lisa would restart our WLS blogging with a reflective post on her learning truths from the last year. (It was wonderful!) I would follow with my own reflections in a week or two.

Instead:  I did a lot of other things. I marched with 20,000 advocates on a sunny day in St. Petersburg for women’s rights and other unity principles; played host for long-weekend visits from three groups of dear friends and family; cooked experimentally; biked; went to the gym; cleaned house…each week (brutal); and kayaked with mermaids and manatees.

No surprise then that January blew by, a fully lived month. The lovely memories will sustain me for a long time. Read more

New Year and New Next Steps

As you know, Doris and I took some time off to reimagine the Women’s Learning Studio, reset our goals, and determine what, if any, the WLS future holds. Being the eternal optimists we are, with a dose of pragmatism thrown in, we are embarking on a new WLS adventure with a more narrowly targeted focus (we hope!) that we will share with you soon.

Part of our journey to restart our journey involved reflecting on our learning – from our WLS experience so far, and as the lifelong learning junkies we are. We are going to re-start our blog, posting about twice a month, to document our learning and to get back into the habit of regular reflection and sharing. As we have said before, blogs are a great way to reflect and share!

Doris will post her learning in another blog soon, but here are my three biggest ahas from this time of WLS dormancy, the work I do as a consultant, mediator, and facilitator, and from the events of the past several months. Please contact us and we’ll add your three biggest learnings – we’d love to hear them! Read more

Digital Badges and Certificates – do they have value in your DIY Learning Ledger?

Jane Hart, whom I follow, had some intriguing quotes from her favorite April blogs in her blog this week. One of them was by Ralph Thomas from the  EreMedia blog entitled When It Comes To Career, It’s Up To Every Employee To Stay Relevant. I clicked on the link and read the blog. In it Thomas chronicled the rise and demise of various companies, and their workers, who did not keep pace with changing moires and trends in their industries. Here is an excerpt:

The workplace of today is changing, and workers’ skill sets must keep pace with employers’ expectations. However, who determines that expectation if your livelihood is dependent on some employer to make the right strategic moves? They lose, and ultimately, you lose.

For this reason, every one of us must have a career strategy, and that strategy should be guided by your industry’s trajectory. You should be fine-tuned to the intricacies of your profession.

You have no choice. You have to self-develop to stay relevant. Always remember that YOU are in charge of your career  Never get sucked into the “company knows best” approach to your career.

Read more

Build Your Personal Learning Networks by Giving Back

In last week’s blog, Doris outlined the many benefits of building networks and working out loud. Sounds easy, no? If you haven’t worked this way before, you may answer, No! How do you begin to build networks for learning and sharing if you are new to this way of working, come from or are in a hierarchical culture, or don’t really have an established learning network to begin with? It can be intimidating. It doesn’t have to be.

We don’t have to remind you again that we are in a brave new world – the connected online world. Most of us have a purpose for interacting with others online on a fairly regular basis. We use Facebook, Instagram, and other social network sites to share news and pictures with family and friends, find and share videos, highlight political or social causes, or perhaps get recipes. I go to OpenTable or TripFinder to find restaurants in a new area I will visit, read the reviews by diners, and decide where to eat based on what I find from the crowdsourced consensus as well as food magazines. The principle underlying these sites is that everyone is contributing to the common good for the benefit of us all. You do get the disgruntled review once in a while, but can filter those out based on what the vast majority of posters are saying (unless there is universal panning of a place, which does happen!).

It is this giving back to the commons that underlies building networks and connections. This is the important value to bring to the share process. Read more

Your Destiny? Personal Learning, Networks, and Working Out Loud

Lisa’s last blog post Personal Learning Is in Your Future offered a rich mix of springboard ideas and resources. Its breadth made me ponder how best to build on her post.  It reminded me of the dilemma faced by consumers in super-sized stores. How to pick just one item from the many possibilities!

The New World of Work

Eventually, I decided to start with Lisa’s justification of why we must become responsible for our professional development and learning with Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM)—seek, sense, share.  The new world of work requires us to Read more

Personal Learning is in Your Future!

Doris and I have been musing about learning and reflection in this series of blog posts. I began with Reflection and Journaling: Seek, Sense, Share and Doris followed with Adopting the Habit of Reflecting and Journaling in Your PKM. We both explored how reflection is necessary for understanding and assessing one’s learning, and how developing reflective habits, such as journaling or blogging, increase learning.

We have also written about the new world of work in several of our blogs, highlighting the rise of the contingent workforce, project-based work, and the future of work. All of our blogs point out today’s new reality:

  • It is up to you to develop your skills and know how
  • Keeping up with the digital world is a must
  • Working collaboratively online is the new norm
  • Contracting is the new employment, often project-based and short term

Read more

Digital Fluency for Success in Work and Encores

Twice in one week.  It’s delightful seeing Lisa in person again.  Last week, her husband’s birthday celebration brought us together.  This week she and I are participating in Encore Connect: Your Roadmap to What’s Next.  Encore Connect is a three-hour interactive session for midlife and older adults to discover, retool, and connect to their next career step.  We have been volunteering for many months to help Bevan Rogel, Encore Tampa Bay CEO, reach out to groups to make them aware of this learning opportunity.  Read more

Adopting the habit of reflecting and journaling in your PKM

Lisa’s blog post last week titled “Reflection and Journaling: Seek, Sense, Share,” reminded me how hard it can be to stop bad habits and form healthy new habits. She observed that the stumbling block for many of us in the Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) process occurs when:

…we get stuck on the seeking information part of the PKM process, and don’t make sense of our resource collection or share out what we learn and the resource gems we find. How do we take the time and create the ritual of reflection, which is key to understanding what we learn as well as what we need to learn?

I, too, find it hard to stop gathering information and begin analyzing and synthesizing the meaning of “resource gems.” Read more