Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Re-creating – Refocusing my Work & Services

March 10th, 2015


Over the coming months, I will be totally transforming my website. I’ve been blogging on my Social Media Tools for Work & Learning platform for the past dozen years.

Now it is time to consolidate my learning and communicate my work more effectively and with greater clarity. As a strong believer in the benefits of “working out loud“, the changes I will be making will give me a more solid foundation for communicating with my networks.

I am very excited about the changes I’m making. My new website will focus on three areas of my interest and services:

  1. Personal Knowledge Mastery for individuals and organizations – PKM & Network Learning workshops;
  2. Addressing the world wide crisis of youth unemployment, especially through my role as Editor & website developer for
  3. Helping volunteer organizations improve their sustainability through my website development & registration/management expertise.

I’m currently immersed in several projects so this transformation (another perpetual beta project) will take some time. When ready for going live, I’ll let my networks and colleagues know where to go to find my posts.


Why PKM: Harold Jarche – making sense of the network era

April 28th, 2014

This video will give viewers a succinct explanation of why personal knowledge mastery is becoming a required skill in the post industrial, knowledge network world we now inhabit. I’m taking part in the current PK Mastery workshop series. It’s an in-depth, hands on program that is giving me a solid foundation for deepening my PKM skills. You can learn more about Harold Jarche’s PKM in 40 Days workshop series here.


Personal Knowledge Mastery Workshop – PKM in 40 Days

April 10th, 2014

As part of my participation in PKMastery in 40 Days work, I’m completing an exercise on creating a twitter community and narrating your work. Here is how Harold Jarche describes this area of PK Mastery.

Finding a Community on Twitter 

Communities are everywhere and there are many deep conversations and knowledge exchanges happening daily all over the world. So how can you find a community on a platform like Twitter? Twitter is different from Facebook and LinkedIn in that relationships are “asymmetrical” meaning that if I follow you, you do not have to follow me. This feature allows you to adjust the signal (good information) and noise (spam or information of less interest) ratio. If you find Twitter boring, it means you are following the wrong people. There are about 250 million active Twitter users, so you should be able to find someone who is interesting!

Narration of your Work

Narrating one’s work does not get knowledge transferred, but it provides a better medium to gain more understanding. Working out loud is a concept that is very easy to understand, but not quite so easy to do. Most people are too busy managing in their information age workplaces and have little spare time to try to learn how to work in the network age. The most important step in learning a new skill is the first one. This same step has to be repeated many times before it becomes a habit. I have learned that the first step of starting to work out loud, as part of personal knowledge management, has to be as simple as possible.

Twitter Community and Narration

I had two full meetings the day I chose to narrate my work. I figured there would not be a lot of diverse activities to write about but in my estimation, some very important things happened that leap frogged my understanding and practice.

I had a few hours before my meetings started so I decided to start my day by making sense out of my twitter account. I had created over a dozen lists at different points in my work and learning. Of course I had moved on with many of my work projects and thinking so those lists were now out of date and many of the contacts were no longer needed. I spent over an hour re-familiarizing myself with Twitter – I’m not a big user! What a job I have ahead of me.

I realized that in sorting out and re-establishing my Twitter account, I’m bringing into alignment the important projects I’m working on and being more clear with my purpose and goals for communicating via Twitter. As mentioned in an earlier PKMastery post, I’ve being woefully negligent by ignoring key people (known and unknown) who I could follow and learn from as well as share with. Now that I know more how to design my lists, find people I want to learn from and share with, I’m much more dedicated to using Twitter as a key part of my online network learning. I liked the Twitter tips from Joachim and a few others in our 40 Days Mastery group.

How to: Build a Community on Twitter – Mashable

The second part of the Twitter exercise was to find and develop my Twitter community. I decided to focus my twitter community search a projects I’m developing. The project is a school based mental health & student success initiative that would use a PKM framework in conjunction with a community based research mapping framework.

Students, in partnership with Child and Youth Workers (in school employees) would learn how to utilize PKM to guide research mapping (seek, sense, share) activities. By using their PKM framework, students would not only learn a process that will help them guide their work while on the pilot project, the PKM framework would be a process they can use in their ongoing student academic activities and continue on as they take on employment and careers.

The broad outcomes sought is a more inclusive, tolerant school community where there is less bullying, mental health stigmatizing and fewer students ending up in mental health crisis situations. So, to sum up, I’m scouring my contacts both online and off so I can connect with them via Twitter. What I do then, I’m not sure yet. At the least I will start tweeting about this pilot initiative and encourage more discussion. A large bureaucracy like the school system moves very slowly. I am taking on a systemic and complex problem and engaging youth in delivering the project. Using Twitter will let me stir the pot, hopefully without ruffling too many feathers.

My second big working and learning experience of the day was that in two conversations with strangers I took the opportunity to explain the pilot project initiative (described above) I was developing. I haven’t had many opportunities to explain the project to people outside my sector so this was a test (probe) for me. What pleased me was that I felt that I explained myself very clearly. People appeared to completely get what I was trying to do with this project. Just seeing that these people grasped the purpose of the initiative and how I planned to deliver the project gave me a lot of inspiration and confidence to keep plugging away.

These experiences made me realize that if ideas sit too long in one’s own head and if not tested out in conversations, good ideas can wither and die. Another take away from those two conversations was that I recognized that talking out loud is as important as working out loud. The final take away is that narrating your work can be a truly powerful and empowering experience. I’ve being writing blog posts for many years but I think getting into a habit of narrating your work on a regular basis will make me a better writer and blogger. It’s also amazing that inconsequential events, upon reflection can lead you to deeper insights about yourself and your work.

p.s. if any readers have suggestions or thoughts about my PKM and Research Mapping in schools initiative, please give me a shout.


Personal Knowledge Mastery – a 40 Day Series

March 31st, 2014

I’m very pleased to be participating on the PKM Mastery in 40 Days series. My work is mainly in the non-profit and public sectors. Social media integration into online communications is the core theme in my services.

Over the past few years I’ve being looking for a compelling and simple framework (process) for my own professional development.  In hindsight, I think my quest was more about re-discovering who I am and what is my business in this new era of working and learning. I’ve being blogging for many years, use and experiment with many social media tool however I believe I’m quite disorganized as a network learning practitioner. To put it bluntly, I’ve recognized that I need to apply more discipline in my practice.

Reading and following Harold’s (Life in Perpetual Beta) work and now his PKM material is very inspiring. For me, the PKM framework makes such good sense and I believe it will be a process to help me become more methodical in my practice. The 40 days of PKM is my opportunity to apply the thinking and process in my work.

I’m very excited to be working on several projects that utilize PKM as a central component.  After much sense making I saw how the PKM framework can operate in conjunction with a community based research/mapping framework that I’m using to engage students as school community researchers examining positive mental health in our schools.

As am developing this project, I’ve realized that the PKM framework can apply with many other cause issues delivered by non-profit organizations. Non-profit workers are always designing new initiatives to address community problems. PKM is a natural fit for their design and collaboration efforts. These workers also have a duty to assist consumers (of their organization’s services) in being effective users of digital technologies and networks.

Given those insights, I’m looking to integrate PKM in my work with non-profit groups so they can follow a process that improves their own professional development and also improve results for their organization.

I’ll continue posting progress updates in the PKM in 40 days workshop series as I’m determined to embed solid and effective practices in my work. I look forward to a very exciting and challenging 40 days.


What Will I Be

April 9th, 2013

I’m trying to design a new website that reflects what I want to do over the next few years. I am a bit stuck because I don’t really want to use my blog as a business marketing site (not terribly good at that anyway) and I don’t want it just to be an aimless, wandering around site that stops and picks up the latest shiny objects. So what to do.

I saw Hugh McLeod’s latest cartoon today and it helped with my dilemma. I will have a bit of business, a bit wandering around, a bit of pontificating about what I think and a bit of fun. In other words it will be mine and that’s good enough for me.


Shaping the Organization’s Culture

April 5th, 2013

There’s a huge culture conversation that’s just beginning. It’s going to be huge. And exciting.

Are you ready to have it…?  – Hugh MacLeod

This cartoon by Hugh MacLeod and his short text summary points to a greater interest and readiness to tackle culture.
In my work with non profit organizations, I’m noticing that the Boards of Directors are talking more and more about how staff performance often doesn’t live up to the culture of the organization. These discussions are often in talks about staff moral, poor decision making, staff complaints, managing inter-staff conflict etc.
These discussion had me reflecting on the capacity of the organization’s leadership to shape the organization’s culture. It seems like in the past at least there was a  great reluctance to discuss and even think about shaping culture. I think this is changing as we grapple with some of the negative side effects of not shaping our culture. Figuring out how best to do that shaping is the new challenge. I welcome it.


My Normal – stories from children with rare diseases

February 14th, 2013


I’m very pleased to share news on the launch of My Normal, stories from children with rare diseases. Emma Rooney designed and developed the My Normal project based on her lived experience of growing up with Gaucher disease.

Through the National Gaucher Foundation of Canada, Emma was a recipient of a 2011 Genzyme Patient Advocacy Leadership Award (PAL Awards). The PAL Awards program seeks to spark innovation in disease awareness programs and patient support initiatives around the world.

I’m proud to have been part of the project team that developed and launched this very exciting and important resource for children and their families. My Normal provides an online space for children (and their families) to share their stories of living with a rare disease.

On the website, Emma’s shares her story of coping and growing with Gaucher disease. In sharing her story, Emma both models and invites children with any rare disease to share an anecdote, photo, poem etc. about their experience of living with a rare disease.

The illustrations in the video story, Emma’s Garden: Growing with Gaucher are beautiful drawn by Emma’s sister Megan, a professional artist living in London England.

Please share this resource with anyone you know in your network who lives with or affected by a rare disease. Below is a short preview of Emma’s Garden: Growing with Gaucher. If you want to go directly to the full version you can click here.


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Jay Cross – 2012’s Top Articles on Working Smarter

December 29th, 2012

The Internet Time Alliance and Jay Cross are magical. I can’t go wrong in following Jay and the troupe at the ITA. Here is Jay’s top articles for 2012. This will make for a great review and a kick start for my 2013 year.
Working Smarter Daily points to ideas from design thinking, network optimization, brain science, user experience design, learning theory, organizational development, social business, technology, collaboration, web 2.0 patterns, social psychology, value network analysis, anthropology, complexity theory, and more. These disciplines add up to what I call “working smarter.”

Working smarter embraces the spirit of agile software, action learning, social networks, and parallel developments in many disciplines. Every day, Working Smarter Daily uses social signals to select the top articles from blogs in these fields. Here’s how. And here are the top articles from this year:




Social Media Revolution 2013 & Jane Hart’s 2012 Blog Picks

December 28th, 2012

It’s time to get back to work. My website has been quiet long enough. I’ll end the 2012 year with an updated version of the famous Social Media Revolution 2013 video produced by Eric Qualman.

Thanks goes to Jane Hart – Learning in the Social Workplace, for posting this new version on her site. She has posted a list of outstanding moments in the 2012 social learning world and I’ve pasted those highlights below the video.


Here is Jane’s year ending post with key highlights of the 2012 year.

In the first of two reviews of 2012, here are the 10 most popular posts on my own blog this year – based on viewing stats, tweets and FB likes. Shown in order of popularity, with the most popular first.

1 – The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 list is revealed

On 1 October 2012 I revealed the results of the 6th Annual Survey of Tools for Learning – the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 – and provided a brief analysis of the results

2 – 10 things to remember about social learning (and the use of social media for learning)

In March 2012 I participated  in the #lscon chat, where there was some discussion about social learning, so I tweeted a few of my own thoughts and repeated them here in this post

3 – Only 14% think that company training is an essential way for them to learn in the workplace

That was one of the findings of  a survey I ran in April 2012 on how people learn best in the workplace. In this blog post, I shared the data from my survey, some of my thoughts about the results, and the importance of undertaking your own survey.

4 – A new framework for supporting learning and performance in the social workplace

In this post in March 2012 I proposed my Workplace Development Services (WDS) framework to help organisations understand the range of new services and activities that will be required that are focused on supporting continuous performance improvement and learning in the workflow as people do their jobs.

5 – The future belongs to those who take charge of their own learning

In October 2012 I posted about the importance of being proactive about your own professional development and acquiring new knowledge and skills on your own, since despite the training you have received in your job, you may well find you have fewer marketable skills than when you started.

6 – The role of the Enterprise Learning Community Manager #elcm

In July 2012 I talked about the role of the Enterprise Learning Community Manager – someone who encourages social connections and fosters a sense of belonging to an enterprise community of learner, for the purpose of supporting and improving performance in the workplace.

7 – Collaboration and community skills are the new workplace skills

In February 2012 I posted about the new social and collaboration skills that workers will require in the workplace, and how we can help them acquire them – not by training people to be social, but by modelling these new behaviours.

8 – Emerging new roles for learning and performance professionals

In November 2012 I talked about some of the new roles that that will be required to support individuals and teams as they organize and manage their own learning and performance needs.

9 – The differences between learning in an e-business and learning in a social business

In August 2012 I wrote a long post that included a chart where I summarised some of the fundamental differences in thinking and practice between “learning in an e-business” and “learning in a social business” – and how it can be supported.

10 – The key to informal learning is autonomy

In this post in April 2012 I explained that, for me, the key to informal learning is where the locus of control lies.. With informal learning, it is you, the individual, who are in control.


December 27th, 2012 | Category: Articles10 comments



My “Go to” Authors for Work and Learning

September 5th, 2012






It’s been a busy summer. There were trips to the cottage, a few sightseeing excursions out of town, family celebrations and even a bit of work in-between all the socializing.

Throughout the summer, I managed to stay connected to my favourite authors (bloggers) who write so well on subjects I’m deeply interested in and use in my work and professional development.

I’m constantly focused on learning how to help groups and workers be better at what they do and achieve improved results with social technologies. The three bloggers I’m featuring in this post, stimulate my learning and enable me work more effectively with clients.

Here are a few brief descriptions and excerpts from Harold, Jane and Jay’s websites.

Harold Jarche- life in perpetual beta: A key topic in Harold’s extensive list of blog categories is Personal Knowledge Management or PKM. I like the PKM framework because it is so applicable to the needs of knowledge workers. PKM also helps me fine tune my skills as I work with others. You can sign up for online PKM workshops with Harold.

In this post titled “Basic Skills for Net Work” Harold provides a simple and practical list of PKM skills that can help workers and organizations.

Here are some questions that personal knowledge management can address:

How do I keep track of all of this information? >> start small

How do I make sense of changing conditions and new knowledge? >> curation

How can I develop and improve critical thinking skills? >> Observe, Participate, Challenge, Create

How can we cooperate? >> freely share

How can I collaborate better? >> learn out loud

How can I engage in problem-solving activities at the edge of my expertise? >> net work skills

Jane Hart – Learning in the Social Workplace: Jane is world famous for her Top 100 Tools for Learning which she publishes yearly. She is also a team member in the Internet Time Alliance along with Jay Cross, Harold Jarche, Charles Jennings, Clark Quinn and Paul Simbeck-Hampson.

Facilitating Collaborative Learning  – a recipe for success is a recent article she wrote for the e.learning age magazine. In this article she describes her experiences of online workshops she has been offering at the Social Learning Centre , a global online community for learning professionals.

Her recipe (co-developed with Harold Jarche) is a priceless guideline for fostering collaborative learning in the workplace. The post also emphasized the shift from a training mindset to the more informal social learning mindset for performance results.

I’m facilitating informal online learning with several groups so I’m really learning a lot from her recipe.  When you read the full post and you will see why Jane’s perspective is so relevant.

A more effective social approach, however, is where the content is well-integrated within the community, and in fact co-created by the community, and where the emphasis is placed much more on the interactions, knowledge sharing and conversations of the participants – than on the content per se.

Jay Cross – Internet Time Alliance: Jay’s work is so rich in content and innovative ideas, I’m not sure where to start. I especially like how Jay writes about how the business world is evolving and in many cases de-constructing.

In a January 2012 post titled “No More Business as Usual”, Jay succinctly describes the pains experienced by the business sector and points to new trends that offer a way through the maelstrom. Here is how Jay describes the state of business.

“This is business.” — Vito Corleone, The Godfather

Business is changing, and the learning function must change along with it.

Rigid, industrial-age corporations are not keeping up with the pace of change. Customer Spring, Shareholder Spring, and Worker Spring may break out any day. Everyone’s mad as hell. They won’t take it any more.

How bad is it? The lifespan of corporations is at an all-time low. The majority of workers are frustrated, unhappy, and disengaged. Shareholders are receiving a lower return on investment than ever before. Customers are fed up with mediocre service. Return on assets has declined every year for the last forty. The only class of people making money are CEOs, and there’s general agreement that their rewards are obscene and inappropriate. We can’t go on like this.

I have many more people in my “go-to” list of authors however, Harold, Jane and Jay are at the top of my list as they get at the key issues I’m challenged with in my work and learning.