Learning

2010年09月03日

8時半のルール

830
企業の人材開発プログラム、または公式のイベントなどで話をするとき、若いビジネスマン達の熱心さにはいつも感銘を受けます。ノートをとったり、良い質問をしたり。彼らが真剣に、どうすれば組織の中でより良い仕事をして向上していけるのか学び取りたいと思っていることがよくわかります。


しかしここで、もう少し高度なチャレンジを提案したいと思います。真のグローバルプロフェッショナル?-市場の中で自らの組織を抜きん出た存在へと変えていく人材―は、すべてにおいて、実際に「次の1歩」の行動へと踏み出す人たちです。彼らはレクチャーやトレーニングコースに出るだけでは十分とはしません。鍵となるのは、その後のフォローアップと、自らの仕事への応用です。

私の知る、最も成功している人たちは、懇親会で名刺を集めるだけで終わらず、翌朝さっそく前日会った人たちに思慮深い一文を送り、時にはそこに一歩進んだ質問を付け加えたりします。スピーカーが言及した本のタイトルをメモしたら、すぐに購入し、その日の帰りの電車の中で読み始めます。風呂の中で何かビジネスアイデアが浮かんだとしたら、長いTO-DOリストに書き加えるのではなく、同僚をランチに誘い、そのアイデアを実際にプロジェクト化する方法を探り始めるのです。

私はこれらの観察から得られるルールを「8時半ルール」と呼ぶことにしました。次に誰か面白い人に会ったり、新しいコンセプトを学んだり、あるいはアイデアを思いついたりしたときは、「翌日の朝8時半に何かを実行」するのです。同僚がオフィスに来る前に、eメールの処理に追われ始める前にです。信じてほしいのですが、このタイミングを逃したら、あなたが何かを実行することは二度とないでしょう。

jeffjapan at 13:49コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 

2010年07月25日

dog days of summer

good dogMy dog Linda is one of those kinda-trained types that follows directions just often enough to allow the humans around her to feel a sense of control. After many years of daily feedings, morning and evening exercise runs, mock fights on the living room floor, and everything else we have shared, we both know the regular routines and hardly need to glance at each other to get through most activities without a hitch. But now that she is getting on in years, she is starting to pick and choose a little bit more whether to follow non-standard commands (refusing to go upstairs for bed until a certain time,  not shutting  up and sitting still  when the rest of the family heads out on a Saturday ride to the pool and leaves her in the yard...).

Two books that I read recently made me think a little bit more about how Linda might be seeing things. And they also gave me some insights into how I might better deal with the people around me as well, especially those that I need to coach and teach in my job.

I highly recommend the first one, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. It is narrated in the first person by the eloquent Enzo, a lovable mutt firmly devoted to his master Denny, an aspiring race care driver with a sick wife and lovely young daughter. They go through a lot together, with Enzo constantly frustrated by his inability to communicate consistently with Denny because of his lack of thumbs and an effective tongue to speak with. As he says in the first sentence: "Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature." And as with my Linda, those gestures range from wild barking and jumping to urinating on papers and ripping up a roomful of girl's dolls. But the power of the writing makes you really understand Enzo - and made me really think again about how little I sometimes work to truly listen to and understand those around me. And I don't just mean Linda.

If you are into car racing, there are also some real treats in this book - including the scene where Enzo accompanies Denny out for some hot laps on a test track. "Two barks means faster!"

The other book, Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor is basically a how-to approach to applying the rules of training by reinforcement. If you can get used to its kind of weird mix of technical academic terminology (conditioned reinforcers, event markers), animal anecdotes ("I shaped a large hermit crab once to ring a dinner bell by pulling on a string with its claw.") and human behavior examples (from conducting orchestras to learning how to putt), it offers some really valuable insights into how you to motivate and "shape" yourself and those around you in a positive way. And not just by bringing a clicker to the next company meeting...

 

     



jeffjapan at 22:02コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 

2009年12月13日

the 8:30 rule

I do a lot of teaching and facilitation in corporations and universities,

and through that get a chance to interact with lots of young business

people. Typically these are high-performers chosen by their companies to

participate in the courses my company offers, or MBA/MOT students at top-

level universities. So this is a highly-motivated talent pool to start with.

 

Despite their already busy work schedules, they sacrifice precious free time

with family, friends and hobbies in an effort to better themselves and learn

more about the world around them. This is fantastic, and I applaud their

efforts.

 

But at the same time, there is more that most of these students could do to

leverage the opportunities they are getting. The "best of the best" that I

see in these groups, the true global professionals - people who make a real

difference in shaping their companies or organizations and the markets that

they touch - are those that always "take the next step" in whatever they

do. They don't just attend the courses they are offered. They make sure to

follow-up, understanding that application is key.

 

The most successful people I know are the ones who not only gather a lot of

meishi at the cocktail party - but those who send a thoughtful note and

even an extra question to those they have met the next morning. They not

only write down the name of the book the speaker mentioned - but quickly

buy it and start reading it in the train that night. And when they get a

business idea in the shower, they not only write it down on a long to-do

list - they immediately gather a couple of colleagues over lunch and explore

how to expand it into a project.

 

From these observations, I have developed what I call the "8:30 Rule". The

next time you meet someone interesting, or learn a new concept, or have an

idea - DO SOMETHING with it at 8:30 the next morning. Before everyone else

gets to the office. Before you get bogged down with email. It doesn't have

to be a big step, just a concrete step that you can follow up on later.

Order the book online. Write a quick summary of the idea and email it to a

colleague for input. Create a mind map about how it relates to your work,

and reserve 30 minutes in your next monthly team meeting agenda to

discuss its potential relevance. Believe me, if you don't do it then,

you will probably never get around to it later.

 

There is always a danger that people feel self-satisfied after attending a

seminar, and then lose all the potential value of it by forgetting to truly

follow-up and apply their learnings in their daily life. I do it myself

all the time. True Global Professionals don't fall into that trap. I

have been trying to apply my own "8:30 Rule" as a way to force myself

to improve in this way. I hope it can help you as well.



jeffjapan at 10:06コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 

2009年07月17日

also born on a blue day

OK, here is a book for you English readers. Born on a Blue Day by

Daniel Tammet. When I started it, I had not known anything about

the author, who is an autistic savant with amazing creative and

cognitive talents. In this memoir, he covers a range of topics,

including his successful challenge to recite from memory the first

22,514 digits of the mathematical constant pi (let's see if I can do

three digits: 3.14 - yes!).

 

Most interesting for me are the parts when he describes his visual and

emotional experience of numbers - what scientists call "synesthesia".

Can you imagine this going on in your mind?

 

"Numbers are my friends, and they are always around me. Each one

is unique and has its own personality. The number 11 is friendly and

5 is loud, whereas 4 is both shy and quiet - it's my favorite number,

perhaps because it reminds me of myself. Some are big - 23, 667,

1,179 - while others are small: 6,13,581. Some are beautiful, like 333,

and some are ugly, like 289. To me, every number is special." (p.2)

 

Fantastic, isn't it? In a very small way, I can almost feel what he means

- 289 is kind of ugly, don't you think? Daniel Tammet also sees days

of the week as  certain colors - thus the book title, which refers to his

birth on a Wednesday - always "a blue day". After a quick online

search (again, I don't have quite that kind of brainpower!) I was

comforted to know that my birthday, May 10, 1967, was also a 

Wednesday - because blue is my favorite color, and that just feels

right.

 

But beyond this exposure to a fascinating story, what I got from the

book was a renewed incentive to understand how other people learn.

One of my company's main business areas is in professional training,

most often for multi-national corporations and audiences that include

a wide range of scientists, marketers, researchers, etc. We work

hard to get our key messages across to these many types of people,

but sometimes it is easy to forget that the individuals do approach

problems very differently, depending on their own innate abilities,

experiences, and cultures.

 

The passage that really brought this home to me in the book comes

when Daniel Tammet is talking about his elementary school days:

 

"I often found it confusing when we were given arithmetic worksheets

in class with the different numbers printed identically in black. To me,

it seemed that the sheets were covered in printing errors. I couldn't

figure out, for example, why eight was not larger than six, or why

nine was printed in black instead of blue... When I wrote my answers

on the paper, the teacher complained that my writing was too uneven

and messy. I was told to write every number the same as the others.

I didn't like having to write the numbers down wrong."

 

So next time I am explaining something for the third time in a lecture

setting, repeating myself, not getting through and sensing frustration on

both sides, hopefully I will remember to step back and try a different

approach. Maybe ask the group to gaze out the window at the

massive 9's that dot the Shinjuku skyline, to try to imagine which

number might sound like "a clap of thunder or the sound of  waves

crashing against rocks" (5), or which one could feel "lumpy like

porridge" (37). At the very least, the conversation wouldn't be boring...

  



jeffjapan at 00:05コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 

2009年01月16日

MITでも新しい学習法

先日のInternational Herald Tribuneには面白い記事がありました(IHTの記事)

米国の有名なマサチューセッツ工科大学Massachusetts Institute of Technology)の物理学科では、初等物理の教室にテクノロジーを導入し、新型総合教育手段を始めています。

従来、ごく普通の講義形式で大勢の学生を大きなホールに座らせて、先生方が一方的なLectureを行うことに限界を感じたことは動機付けの理由だそうです。初日に300人の学生がサインアップしますが、付いて来なかったり、つまらなくなったり、図書館にて独学した方が効率だと感じたりしてくる関係で、最後の授業で半数以下まで下がってくるケースも多かったようです。理解度にももちろん問題があると認識した先生方が新しい方針に切り替えてみました。

新しい手法の基本は

1) 一クラスの人数をMAX80人とし、7-8人ずつの円卓に分けられる。

2) 各テーブルにネットワークコンピュターが用意されて、各自にリモートハンドセットをもたして、共有の画面で授業に対する回答、返信、質問などインプットできる仕組みを導入。

3) 「体験」や「演習」に重点をおき、学生に自由に動いたりお互いにディスカッションしたり、壁面に設置されたワイトボードに書き込んだりすることを奨励する。

弊社のマネ?と勝手に想像したいところもありますが実はこのTEALと呼ばれている             (Technology Enhanced Active Learning)を2003年より試行してきているようです。

MITですから、各教室設備に$2.5Million(=約2憶5千万円)を投入しました(すごいな!)が、そこまでやらなくても、このようなアイデアを大学や企業内研修に採用することも可能ですし、大切ではないかと思います。日本では、このようなEXCITEMENTやFUNがでると「真面目な勉強にならない」との意見がでるのが当然です。でも、諦めない。だって、MITのfacultyのなかで冴、反対する先生も沢山いるとも書いてあります。どこでも同じですね。



jeffjapan at 15:48コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 
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