Reflections on: Work out Loud Week

Last week I made some efforts to participate in Work out Loud Week, which I think is a really great initiative. I think the thing I learned the most is that I need to get better at articulating what I’m doing and why.  Focusing on how to share what I’m working on is a great way to do that!

I’m also in the initial stages of a project, during which so much of the work doesn’t always have a clear output- there’s a lot of learning and strategic thinking that happens at that point that I found hard to capture.

I did do a bit of prototyping for some potential simulations based on a project team request. After noodling around with a few different tools but not quite getting at all the things I wanted, I wound up using Captivate, which was a great experience. I haven’t used Captivate much in a while, the last time would have been Captivate 8 or 9 for a small project, but not for anything bigger than a couple little tutorial videos since Captivate 5. It was way easier and smoother than I remember, and I found it really pleasant to use.  The output didn’t rely on flash, overall, I was pretty impressed with it for that application.

I think working out loud is a great way to both capture some of the tacit knowledge that people carry around in their heads, and demonstrate the value in the day-to-day things people do.  Especially in HR and L&D, this is something that’s so sorely needed.  Overall, the experience was good, and I’m hoping to do a lot more working out loud in general.  I recommend you try it out as well! Here are some additional resources to get you started:

Reading List

While I love reading fiction, I often get into stages where I read mostly non-fiction- lots of career focused and professional things. I wanted to take quick stock of my reading list to get an idea of what kinds of things I’ll be learning over the next little while (on bus commutes, etc).

Recently Finished:
Do Over: John Acuff
Team Building: William Wyatt
Never Eat Alone: Ferrazzi

In progress:
Show Your Work: Jane Bozarth
Yes, And: Kelly Leonard
Lean Enterprise: Humble, Moelsky, O’Reilly
Continuous Learning: Tussing

In the list for sometime soon:
The Confidence Code: Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Emotional Intelligence 2.0: Bradberry, Graves
Thanks for the Feedback: Stone, Heen
The Big Book of Team Motivating Games: Scannel, Scannel

Lots of interesting things on the go!  Aside from that, it has been a really busy summer, and I’m learning a ton as it is just in my day-to-day work and volunteer activities.  I’ve been back at work for 3 months, and have done a crazy amount of stuff since then- worked on a project that delivered 4 large online courses, designed and delivered 3 different day-long training workshops on various topics, done consulting,  instructional design, development, worked on planning events for the local CSTD chapter, I’m taking on some new responsibilities as well, and it’s fast-paced and a little stressful at times, but overall kind of exhilarating.

I’ve also been working with a designer on a project to redesign this site, so hopefully there’ll be some major design changes here soon as well.  I’m excited, I feel like I’m really kicking off a new chapter in a lot of ways.

Book Review: Do Over by Jon Acuff

So it all started with some tweets:

And the Twitter #bookclub was born. A group of us are reading Do Over, by Jon Acuff. I’m now a few chapters in and wanted to check in and share my thoughts so far!

When I first picked up Do Over I thought it might be related to iterative work- perhaps some kind of application of Agile, wherein you “do over” your work based on feedback.

As I dove into the first chapter, I saw that I wasn’t in the right area at all- “Do Over” seems to refer to the ability some have to “Do Over” things in their lives or careers. The first chapter focuses on the concept of a “Career Savings Account”- basically an idea where you build up a rainy-day fund for your career through investment of time in some key areas. These areas include:

  • Skills
  • Character
  • Relationships
  • Hustle

Nothing crazy and groundbreaking so far, but the tone is conversational and fun, and I’m sucked in. There’s a chart that illustrates how each of these areas can help with various career changes and issues- things that might cause you to call a career “Do Over”.

In the chapters following, there’s some exercises that help you work on the Relationships area. I’ve filled a few pages already with great people I know- I’m continually surprised by all the knowledge and skills and general awesomeness in my network. You guys are awesome. Pause for virtual hugs.

Anyway. we move into different types of people, friends, and foes, and advocates. There’s a big focus on the value of casual relationships, and the best things to do about foes. I got some great tips here- I don’t think I have much in the way of real foes, but what I might have probably falls more under “clueless” than “calculated”. Awesome. There’s a lot of focus on choosing a good approach and attitude- one line that stuck with me was:

“Misery loves company and also recruits it.”

Ouch. I can’t think of many people who would want to knowingly perpetuate misery! But it happens- and books like this help break the cycle.

Advocates are one place I think I’d really like to do some more work. I want to more intentionally shape my career, and an advocate is a good way to do that!

I’m about a third into the book now, and enjoying it. What do you think so far, bookclub?

CPLP Study Notes – Module 9: Career Planning and Talent Management

I started actively studying my ASTD Learning System materials last night. I started at “the back”, with Module 9, for a number of reasons, not the least because I don’t have a lot of expertise in that area already. Module 9 is Career Planning and Talent Management.

The first few chapters deal with workforce planning, stragetic planning, and succession and replacement planning. It’s awesome to gain some new insights into how these types of plans are formulated, and the roles workplace learning and performance professionals can play in this planning. Following that are chapters on job analysis, career development theories, and assessment tools. Some of these things I’ve had some exposure to, but definitely not at this level of detail. I’m pretty fascinated already, and I haven’t even gotten into my area of expertise yet!

One thing I’m noticing- as a courseware developer, I’m constantly thinking about how I could design the learning materials better, and develop visuals and activities to improve transfer and retention. I already have a list of objects I want to develop in order to improve my own retention of the key points. I may post those items here as I make them!

May, and embarking on my quest for certification!

With the beginning of May came a bunch of really lovely weather, and it feels like there’s been a collective sigh of relief that winter is finally over.

I’m also starting on one of my major projects for this year, CPLP certification. I’ve been planning on doing this for a while, and I’ve finally signed up and am now preparing for the exam (which I plan to take in September) and the work product (which I’m submitting in either August, or February, not sure yet, more likely February). I’m excited about all the things I will learn in the process of preparing. I’m also interested to use the process as a sort of study of adult learning itself- it’ll be interesting to see what works and what doesn’t for me as I study and prepare.

The exam is changing next year, so I’ll be one of the last few to test on the current ASTD competency model. There are nine modules of content I will be assessed on, some of which fall into areas I know well, and some that don’t. I have a copy of the study materials, and I opened the box like it was Christmas morning. I’m making a study schedule this weekend with the help of a friend to help keep me on track for the exam in September. I may also use this blog as an outlet for summarizing what I’ve learned throughout the process of studying, and for reflecting on other professional development, we’ll see. Maybe I can connect with some other CPLP candidates this way!

Also coming up at the end of this month, I have some volunteer training with FACS, and a presentation at the accessibility conference in Guelph. Lots of exciting things going on!