Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kissing the Problem

I'm reading Annette Simmons' A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to Overcome Fear and Distrust at Work.

I'm finding a lot of quotable passages and some nice expressions. Here is one: "Kissing the problem". When groups in an organization constantly complain about a problem and do absolutely nothing about it, they may have acquired a sort of complaint habit that they've become comfortable with. They're "kissing the problem." I've noticed a lot of this behavior going on. It's usually enveloped in a larger conversation about bureaucracy to make sure that nothing is actually done about it. A new employee might notice this but a long-time employee will not even notice because the behavior is part of the culture.

How about trying to "slap the problem" and wake up everyone?
And... what am I doing about it?
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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Top Tools for Learning

I was trying to come up with my "Top 10" to contribute to Jane Hart "Top 10 Tools for Learning 2009" but I can't get to ten if I sticking to the tools I truly use regularly. So here are my Top 8 tools for learning, the tools that are part of my personal knowledge management system.

* TiddlyWiki (portable wiki) - excellent to develop a searchable notebook and many other things, including writing a novel.
* iGoogle - excellent to organize your desktop, quick access to Gmail & quick links. I've created three tabs in iGoogle (home, office and KM). That way, if I'm at the office and my screen shows my iGoogle desktop, anything on that screen is work related. The KM tab is for everything that is related to knowledge management and/or professional development that isn't directly work-related.
* Google Reader (organize rss feeds) - the key is to regularly review what's useful and what's not and not be afraid of unsubscribing. Once in a while I also go hunt for new interesting feeds.
* CMapTools (concept mapping): I use Inspiration at work because that's what our office uses but I have a strong preference for CMapTools for concept mapping. I've been slightly obsessed with concept mapping and it's become a hammer looking for nails.
* Captura (screen capture) - I don't know that it's really a "learning tool" but I use it regularly.
* Diigo (social bookmarking) - I love it since I discovered its highlighting and comments capabilities. I was using FURL for a few years, they were bought by Diigo and the transfer of my bookmarks went relatively smoothly.
* Blogger - I've added Zemanta to it recently, an easy way to enhance my posts with related links and to automate the process of creating hyperlinks.
* iTunes (for podcasts and audiobooks) + iTunes University

If I had to pick the top 2, it would be TiddlyWiki and CMapTools.

That being said, I don't use any of these things when it comes to supporting my youngest daughter's learning. For that task, I rely on a white board, index cards, and the local public library.

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