Why did you bother to ask me?

How many times have you walked away from that meeting intended to gather opinions knowing full well that nothing you said would get accounted for in the end? You try to push aside the deep understanding that you spent an hour sharing insights that will not be looked at again. It’s disheartening. It creates that “why bother asking me” emotion. It’s not that the insights are totally discounted, but after several experiences across organisations of being in meetings with staff, … [Read More]


Let’s learn OUTSIDE the room too!

When we hear “we’ll be doing some training” from the boss, is it met with a groan? A silver lining that you’ll at least get to catch up on email? As the boss, do you promise yourself that “this training will be different for them … THIS one will truly engage positive change” while you cross your fingers? Training is an important aspect of the learning process. Thankfully, we have great ways now to engage the adult learner much more … [Read More]


Creating the Environment for Improvement over Churn

Those who do not study the past are condemned to repeat it. ~Santayana Envision the situation: A team is contracted to build a new statistics course for a bachelor’s degree program. This is exciting because it’s the first offering, and building is always more fun than editing. The scope is set to help students understand statistics enough to better analyze scholarly studies and develop healthy skepticism practices towards research. There is always a rush of pleasure for a writing team … [Read More]


Effectively using taxonomies to structure an amazing learning experience!

Last year I wrote about a course mapping process that I created to help any individual structure a learning experience that would include measurable outcomes (cognitive), proficiency, and true engagement (affective). Once the scope of a course is established, a frequent next step is to select action verbs to ensure participants know what they will measurably achieve (cognitive taxonomy). However, measuring cognitive understanding is not the same thing as becoming proficient in practice. As such, setting up a graph such … [Read More]


Let’s Look at Collaboration Models!

It is only human to find collaboration natural. Collaboration is the oil that keeps us running smoothly, but too much oil can reduce effectiveness. A couple examples are the “squirrel” effect that prevents completion, or context shifting that makes completion take longer than necessary. There are huge benefits to collaboration, but it’s easy to forget the soft dollar costs that are absorbed with the meetings, email, and continual communication online or in an open floor plan … all this culminating … [Read More]


Reporting Org Bias to Increase Learning at Agile 2016

A workshop that I facilitated around cultivating a learning organisation for Agile 2016 had a section on understanding why we don’t learn, and the biases that prevent us from learning more effectively. Gino and Staats article on Why Organisations Don’t Learn published through the Harvard Business Review provided a great catalyst for an activity within my workshop. The Experiment Without identifying the biases, I asked everybody to denote where they felt that their organisation or team stood between the two … [Read More]


Moving from pedagogy to andragogy … and why.

The most common differentiation I hear between pedagogy and andragogy is the simple definition … the art and science of teaching children (pedagogy) or teaching adults (andragogy). Well, that defines the term, thank you … but how are these differences conceptualized? How does it change how I look at 1) designing learning, 2) planning for facilitation, or 3) evaluating outcomes? This infograph is a representation of why we look at pedagogy and andragogy differently in all three critical roles of 1) instructional designer, 2) … [Read More]


Working with overloaded WIP that isn’t yours…

It’s 1030pm. I was promised three major artifacts that would allow me to move forward with three different projects by three different people …. Tonight. My inbox? Empty. Surprised? Nope. So my three cards sit on the board … blocked. In fact, my blocked cards often outweigh my entire backlog. Is there ever a task or project that isn’t interconnected and requires collaboration with somebody? Limiting your own WIP is certainly a fabulous step to managing workflow and increasing effectiveness; however, … [Read More]


Aligning Workplace Learning to Organisational Paradigms

Being exposed to Reinventing Organizations has been incredibly effective for me to better articulate the dynamics of how a company or large groups within a company are conducting management strategy. That articulation then removes judgment, on my part at least, and provides simple acknowledgement of current status. Models and frameworks such as exhibit 1 below help us develop necessary shared language, and in this particular one, Laloux helps us visualise more effective strategy for incremental evolution forward. My mind then goes to … [Read More]


Problem Solving Isn’t Always about the Problem Presented

I’ve had all this army, all these officers… This damn Hooker, this damn idiot Meade. All of them. The whole bloody, lousy mess of sick-brained, potbellied scareheads. They ain’t fit to lead a johnny detail. They ain’t fit to pour pee out of a boot with instructions written under the heel. I’m tired. It’s always easy for me to watch Gettysburg because while I possibly have much of the script memorised, my empathy with their emotions experiences change and often … [Read More]


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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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