Monthly Archives: August 2012

See the wood for the SMEs

A great pair of entries from Ryan Tracey (@ryantracey) on the nature of the SME. This discussion leads us into the territory of “Unconscious Competence” as pioneered by Gordon Training International. Thanks to Ryan for sharing these gems.

E-Learning Provocateur

In my previous blog post, Everyone is an SME, I argued that all the employees in your organisation have knowledge and skills to share, because everyone is an SME in something.

Sometimes this “something” is obvious because it’s a part of their job. For example, Sam the superannuation administrator is obviously an SME in unit switching, because he processes dozens of unit switches every day.

But sometimes the something isn’t so obvious, because we’re either too blind to see it, or – Heaven forbid – our colleagues have lives outside of the workplace.

Martha the tea lady

Consider Martha, the tea lady. Obviously she’s an SME in the dispensation of hot beverages. That’s her job.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that she’s also an SME in customer service and relationship management. That’s her job, too.

Oh, and she speaks fluent Polish and Russian.

Gavin the IT grad

May I also introduce you to…

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Au clair de la Lune

Like many others, I was sad to learn of the passing of Neil Armstrong.

The Apollo missions and all they represented were a key part of my childhood, even as a Canadian. While I was only 14 months old when Apollo 11 touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, I remained captivated by the accomplishments of NASA and even the Soviet Space Program. Those were heady times, and I even remember watching the “handshake in space” live on TV.

Tonight as I look at a half moon still visible in the late summer sky, I think about those days when man walked the moon, and I’m saddened that we’ve not left Earth orbit for similar missions in the 40 years since.

Godspeed, Neil Armstrong. Your quiet courage and humble outlook were examples to us all. Tonight I give the moon a wink, just for you.

Pinterest: It took a while, but I get it. Finally.

Pinterest LogoIn many respects (for those who subscribe to such things), I am a typical Taurus, and stubborn as hell. I admit that there are times when I will resist trying new things until I know I can see the benefits for me. Once I “get it”, however, I’m unstoppable.

That paragraph accurately sums up my experience with Twitter. While initially skeptical, I have now – as most of you know – embraced the tool enthusiastically because I see the value from a personal and professional point of view. A secondary benefit is, of course, the entertainment value.

And then came Pinterest…

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Thoughts on Atrixware’s recent post on Destructive Trends in Learning

I follow a number of vendors through my Facebook presence and this post from Atrixware caught my eye. The title certainly had some drawing power because L&D professionals are frequently (and often unwittingly) engaged in destructive behaviour. Not for themselves, of course, but in terms of learning outputs and impact. Let’s face it: we’ve all been there.

The major thread of the article is that the e-learning community is akin to the Lemming, following leaders or new ideas in droves. I suppose there’s some anecdotal truth to that assertion, in much the same way people become enchanted with the zeitgeist of the day in their work or social circles.

While the general guidance is OK at a basic level for L&D, I struggle somewhat with their points, so here are my thoughts. Read the rest of this entry