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]


Reviving Personal Curiosity….

In our digital age of overwhelming information and sound bytes, group think is terrifyingly easy. A professor I recently spoke to stated, “if you want to get social media hits just start slamming MBTI.” His point was that despite the fact that it is incredibly tested backwards and forwards and continually improved upon, it’s always popular to throw it against the wall and get some fake cred.


Growth Mindset for Adult Learners

Iteration after iteration. Milestone after milestone. Year after year. The life cycle of a PhD experience is unique unto itself, testing far more than intelligence. Endurance, patience, discipline, and possibly a dash of insanity are all necessary components. Most importantly is that a PhD student must have a mindset of continuous improvement. Upon completion, I now see that the entire PhD process is one large milestone, offering me the discipline to create effective and long-lasting social change. So what is … [Read More]


What is an exceptional coach?

This article by Dagley (full reference below) is incredibly insightful for anybody who wears a coach label as it describes coaching practices that have exceptional outcomes. I used it for a literature review in my doctorate, but I want to share it here as well. Dagley’s (2010) point was to articulate the differentiating factors between mainstream and exceptional coaches. The interviews provided insights that intense early engagement, variety in conversational approaches, and business-centric awareness are all elements of the exceptional … [Read More]


The Elements of Self-Actualization…and Why Coaches Should be Aware of Them

The desired outcome of mentoring or coaching adult learners is to help those individuals achieve self-actualization through transformational experiences. The more self-actualized an individual, the more aware and able that individual is to transition into or improve within knowledge-based careers. Therefore, it is important to understand how motivations are realized in individuals, as well as understand what characteristics demonstrate a self-actualized individual. Rather than career, income, or social status, a truly self-actualized individual will exhibit very specific behaviors that Maslow … [Read More]


Why we should not ascribe to behaviorialism!

I am increasingly disturbed with the amount of behavioralism practices that run rampant through our educational and training environments. In my world of accelerated adult education, the buzz theory is constructivism. Why do I call it a buzz theory? Certainly not because it’s an invalid theory; quite the opposite! I strongly believe in it, as well as the underpinnings of humanism and social constructivism for effective education. I call it a buzz theory because it’s popular to tout, but not … [Read More]


Coaching in Adult Education

In my mental preparation for Agile Coaches Camp in Minnesota, I am excited to talk to coaching practitioners after a couple months of research and study of current coaching practices. My research is about exploring the adult learner’s ability to enact personal change using coaching techniques within formal education that inspires a growth mindset. For the scope of coaching I am inferring, I discard terms of mentorship, training, and consultancy and rely on the definition of Jatkauskiene, Jatkauskas, and Jovarauskaite … [Read More]


Agile Experience Reports: Writing vs Reviewing

One year ago I wrote my experience report about applying agile methodologies to the curriculum design process I use in my university. Tim O’Conner was a great shepherd providing insight on what the community needed to hear from me. Something that he recommended to me was to provide a “giving back” section. Granted, there should be strong implication of how the experiences are in the article can apply to other situations. However, this extremely intentional bullet pointed section was extremely … [Read More]


Embracing and Exposing Scholarly Work in Agile

This is my call for help! As a doctoral student, one of my passions is lean and agile practices in academics both as a curriculum designer and higher education administrator. I am hopeful that my dissertation will be the qualitative exploration of links between agile intentionality and sustainability in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. A lead-up into this dissertation planning is a major thesis on systems in academics, with a strong focus on lean and social systems. In fact, the application … [Read More]


Communities of Practice & Related Boundaries: Part 4 of 4

This post sets the tone of current practice within academics for boundary objects. These empirical studies map back to the theories discussed in Part 2 and provides experiential relevance necessary to apply them in the real world. These posts are draft writing snippets of a systems thesis for adult education I am developing in my doctoral work. If you wish to see a more detailed review of one of the articles referenced, please do not hesitate to contact me. Boundaries … [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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