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Why learning in business is becoming fluid and lively - the relationship between the academic and the student has flipped.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 05:11

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Drawing on a business model, the development of a more organic structure that is less hierarchical, as envisaged by Mintzberg (1994), seems appropriate; it complements what authors such as John Seely Brown say about 'learning from the periphery' too. Adhocracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhocracy

Characteristics of an adhocracy (Waterman, 1990; Mintzberg, 1994; Travica, 1999):

· highly organic structure

· little formalization of behavior

· job specialization based on formal training

· a tendency to group the specialists in functional units for housekeeping purposes but to deploy them in small, market-based project teams to do their work

· a reliance on liaison devices to encourage mutual adjustment within and between these teams

· low standardization of procedures

· roles not clearly defined

· selective decentralization

· work organization rests on specialized teams

· power-shifts to specialized teams

· horizontal job specialization

· high cost of communication (dramatically reduced in the networked age)

· culture based on non-bureaucratic work

 

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Handy’s Shamrock (1989)

The advantage of a flexible organisation is that it can react quickly to a change in its external environment.

Since the 1990s, firms have examined their value chain and tried to reduce their workforce to a multi-skilled core, which is concerned with the creation or delivery of a product or service. All other supporting, non-central functions are outsourced wherever possible to the periphery.

Charles Handy suggested, however, that organisations do not consist of just the Core and the Periphery, since the periphery can be subdivided.

He calls this a shamrock organisation:

The first leaf of the shamrock represents the multi-skilled core of professional technicians and managers, essential to the continuity of the business

The second leaf Handy calls the contractual fringe, because non central activities are contracted out to firms specialising in activities such as marketing, computing, communications and research

The third leaf consists of a flexible workforce made up of part-time, temporary and seasonal workers.

 

REFERENCE

Brown, JS

Handy, C (1989) The Age of Unreason

Mintzberg, H (1994), The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning: Reconceiving the Roles for Planning, Plans, Planners, Free Press, pp. 458, ISBN 0-02-921605-2

Travica, B (1999) New Organizational Designs: Information Aspects, Ablex/Greenwood, ISBN 1-56750-403-5, Google Print, p.7

Waterman, R. H. (1990). Adhocracy: The power to change. The Larger agenda series. Knoxville, Tenn: Whittle Direct Books.

 

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500 years of Lewes Old Grammar School, so what do they do? Close the High Street and march around town in costume

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 24 Oct 2014, 08:29

A school parade through Lewes. This is Lewes. This is normal.

I've been marching around in fancy dress for 12 years either as a Confederate Soldier or an early 18th Century Pirate.

Does Lewes produce more historians per head of population than other towns in the UK?

I wonder because all this activity must have an impact, especially on the younger participants. I took over 200 photos this afternoon, and spent a lot of time getting close ups of the 3d 'Banners' that were paraded through town.

The detail and craftsmanship impressed.

The entire set could be used as multiple pegs into the 500 year history of England ... and beyond, this is afterall the town of Tom Paine.

This on the day Scotland starts its yes campaign for independence and I happend to be reading the chapter in the Norman Davies book 'The Isles' on the extraordinary mishaps that resulted in the union of England and Scotland in the first place.

Scotland had gone bust financing an attempt at empire building in central America. I favour independence. Of the 62 ancestors I can trace back to the 18th century one was Irish, and some 50 from Scotland, the rest from the North East or North West of England.

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What is the library, when the totality of experience approaches that which can be remembered?’

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 10 Dec 2012, 21:11

‘What is the library, when the totality of experience approaches that which can be remembered?’ (Rausing, 2011:52)


Lisbet Rausing

Speaking at the Nobel Symposium 'Going Digital' in June 2009 (that ironically took another 2 years before it was published0.

Things are gong to have to speed up in the new age of digital academia and the digital scholar.

 

We have more than a university in our pockets (an OU course), we have a library of million of books.


(I have an iPhone and iPad. I 'borrow' time on laptops on desktops around the house, libraries at work).

I’ve often pondered from a story telling point of view what it would be like to digitize not the libraries of the world, but something far more complex, the entire contents of someone’s mind. (The Contents of My Mind: a screenplay) It is fast becoming feasible to pull together a substantial part of all that a person may have read and written in their lifetime. (TCMB.COM a website I launched in 2001)

 

‘Throughout history, libraries have depended on destruction’. (Rausing, 2011:50)


But like taking a calculator into a maths exam, or having books with you as a resource, it isn’t that all this ‘stuff’ is online, it is that the precise piece of information, memory support or elaboration, is now not on the tip of your tongue, but at your fingertips.

Rausing (2011) wonders about the creation of a New library of Alexandria. I wonder if we ought not to be looking for better metaphors.

 

‘How do we understand the web, when this also means grasping its quasi-biological whole?’ (Rausing, 2011:53)


Tim Berners-Lee thinks of Web 2.0 as a biological form; others have likeminds. But what kind of growth, like an invasive weed circling the globe?

There are many questions. In this respect Rausing is right, and it is appropriate for the web too. We should be asking each other questons.

‘Do we have the imagination and generosity to collaborate? Can we build legal, organisational and financial structures that will preserve, and order, and also share and disseminate, the learning and cultures of the world? Scholars have traditionally gated and protected knowledge, but also shared and distributed it, in libraries, schools and universities. Time and again they have stood for a republic of learning that is wider than the ivory tower. Now is the time to do so again’. (Rausing, 2011:49)

 

If everything is readily available then the economy of scarcity, as hit the music industry and is fast impacting on movies, applies to books and journals too.


It seems archaic to read the copyright restrictions on this Nobel Symposium set of papers and remarkable to read that one of its authors won’t see their own PhD thesis published until 2020.

‘The academic databases have at least entered the digital realm. Public access – the right to roam – is a press-of-the-button away. But academic monographs, although produced by digitised means, are then, in what is arguably an act of collective academic madness, turned into non-searchable paper products. Moreover, both academic articles and monographs are kept from the public domain for the author’s lifetime plus seventy years. My own PhD dissertation,19 published in 1999, will come into the public domain in about 110 years, around 2120’. (Rausing, 2011:55)

The e-hoarder, the obsessive scanning of stuff. My diaries in my teens got out of hand, I have a month of sweet wrappers and bus tickets, of theatre flyers and shopping lists. All from 1978. Of interest perhaps only because 10,000 teeneragers in the 1970s weren’t doing the same in England at the time.

 

‘We want ephemera: pamphlet literature, theatre bills, immigrant broad sheets and poetry workshops’. (Rausing, 2011:51)


What then when we can store and collate everything we read? When our thoughts, not just or writings are tagged and shared? Will we become lost in the crowd?

‘What if our next “peasant poet,” as John Clare was known, twitters? What if he writes a blog or a shojo manga? What if he publishes via a desktop, or a vanity publisher? Will his output count as part of legal deposit material?’ (Rausing, 2011:52)

The extraordinary complex human nature will not be diminished; we are what we were 5000 years ago. It will enable some, disable others; be matter of fact or of no significance, a worry or not, in equal measure.

A recent Financial Times article agrees with Robert Darnton, warning that by means of the Books Rights Registry, Google and the publishing industry have created “an effective cartel,” with “significant barriers to entry.” (Rausing, 2011:57)

Much to ponder.

‘If scholars continue to hide away and lock up their knowledge, do they not risk their own irrelevance?’ (Rausing, 2011:61)

 

GLOSSARY

Allemansratt : Freedom to roam

The Cloud : A Simple Storage Service that has some 52 billion virtual objects.

Folkbildningsidealet: A "profoundly democratic vision of universal learning and education"?

Incunabula: "Incunabula" is a generic term coined by English book collectors in the seventeenth century to describe the first printed books of the fifteenth century. It is a more elegant replacement for what had previously been called "fifteeners", and is formed of two Latin words meaning literally "in the cradle" or "in swaddling clothes"

Maimonedes :  His philosophic masterpiece, the Guide of the Perplexed, is a sustained treatment of Jewish thought and practice that seeks to resolve the conflict between religious knowledge and secular.

Meisterstuecke : German for masterpiece.

Samizdat : An underground publishing system used to print and circulate banned literature clandestinely.

Schatzkammer : ‘Treasure Room’, and in English, for the collection of treasures, kept in a secure room, often in the basement of a palace or castle.

Schumpeterian


REFERENCE

Ruasing, L(2011) (Last accessed 23rd May 2012) http://www.center.kva.se/svenska/forskning/NS147Abstracts/KVA_Going_Digital_webb.pdf )

 

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The value of Social Learning, lest you forget.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Jun 2012, 00:50

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Ebbinghaus came up with the 'Forgetting Curve' to indicate how what we learn is soon forgotten unless we continue to engage with it, social learning is a painless way to repeat this engagement process. It also defies the latent loneliness of studying alone with your books and eBooks, LMS and PLE.


The historian EHCarr said 'study a subject until you hear its people speak', in a social learning context you hear these voices. A commentator on Radio 4 (search in my OU Student blog for the reference) said some months ago 'research a subject until the narrative reveals itself' which as my subject of interest is e-learning is achieved by doing this, over a 1000 e-learning posts in my blog and over two years on the Open University's MA in Open & Distance Learning.

I picked up the name Ebbinghaus in a paper written by James Cory- Wright on the Brightwave website, responded to a prompt for disucssion in an Epic Linkedin Group and am posting all of this in my Open University Student Blog to  share with fellow travellers on the MAODE: H807, H808, H 800, H810, H809 and/or any ellectives a person  may choose to do as an alterantive.

Epic and Brightave, along with Kineo and others are part of the e-learning cluster in Brighton.

Find out more at Wired Sussex.

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B882 meets H807

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Jun 2012, 13:27

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The module ended 10 days ago so what am I doing having a dream about the thing? And given the course, 'Creativity, Innovation & Change' then once again, despite my best efforts, I can share with you that 'Working with Dreams' is a tricky one for the office.

The dream was about collaboration, not in teams, but in partnership. I'm re-reading the Walter Isaacson biography and tossing notes onto Twitter and Facebook.

My thoughts dwelt on the nature of close collaboration, how likeminds may be LESS useful than minds where there is conflict. The key is to have a common goal, indeed, very different 'personalities' by type, experience, background, response are beneficial so long as the 'GOAL' is a significant motivation that overrides everything else.

For anyone caring to join in I've set up a Steve Jobs: Walter Isaacson discussion group on Linkedin.

Currently I am talking to myself (was it not ever thus).

P.S. My bloods have come but negative, so I feel like taking a cold shower and changing scenes.

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The innately interesting 'creativity'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 12:52

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BBC Radio 4 on Creativity

Start the week with Andrew Marr.

JONAH LEHRER 'Imagine' How creativity works.

  • A universal property of human nature (though it doesn't mean we are all equally good at it). Jonah Lehrer.

What is creativity?

A different kind of mental activity to sweating it out at the office, or the 'ah ha' moment in the shower. the epiphany.

Bob Dylan and his moment of insight (May 1965) when he least expected it (or wanted it), after a year long tour he took a break.

  • The cortex sharing a secret with us. Jonah Lehrer.

What are the mental states and moods. Relaxed. Daydreaming is important, why a walk without the iPhone, a flight without the laptop, even in the bath is a place to tap into unconscious awareness.

Testament to unconscious ideas.

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Value of collaboration, being surrounded by the right people, the big city, the 'cluster', such as Shakespeare moving to London (what was it about the 1580s and 1590s in London?).

Can we recreate another age of genius?

Grit. Single-mindedness. Persistance. Putting in the 10,000 hours.

JOANNA KAVENNA

Joanna Kavenna is a novelist.

Preparing for the 'great out pouring' then the potentially gruelling, striving.Defamiliarising yourself.

SCANNER

Robin Rimbaud – aka Scanner

Neurons firing, the heart beating. The social interactions that feed into this world.

Neuroscience confirms what we had always thought was necessary or going on, such as Colleridge going for walks (or Steve Jobs).

  • Easily distracted.

A wall chart showing 22 projects. A morning, an afternoon and an evening session then quit.

RACHEL O'REILLY

Dr Rachel O’Reilly is a research fellow in the Chemistry Department at the University of Warwick.

A chemist. How to take a material and improve it. Problem solving for a company, the 'audience' we report back to, or funders, another 'audience'.

And here's a creative team to die for:

 

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Steve Jobs and Pixar

Breaking out of the mindset

Preposterous process of 'growing a baby' and a new encounter breaks you out of your mindset and habit.

Childhood play and do i.e. 'playfulness' compared to the business-like 'job' at a desk (even at a keyboard).

If you are at all successful, you are then expected to reproduce what you did before and the habitual way you work becomes a habit. Andrew Marr. (And what publishers/the public expect and want).

A writer and a musician want to change their voice.

Being in the right place at the right time.

The 'Semilweis knee-jerk reaction'.

[While doing some of this at Connect Wisdom]

Peak ages of creativity

  • Poetry early 30, like Physicists.
  • Novelists mid 40s
  • Caused by 'enculturation'.
  • So always try new things, constantly risk reinvention.
  • Painters peak late.
  • Historian late.

Imposed archetypes

Inestimable confluences of influences. The writer who is obsessed with reading other people's works as well as writing.

Exploring the science of creativity

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Put Bill Gates and Steve Jobs through the Kirton Adaptor Innovator personality inventory and what do you get?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:41

Re-reading the Steve Jobs biography with four months in hand before another MAODE module I am struck by what it tells you about Gates and Jobs and how self-evidently one is an adaptor 'doing things better' while the other is an innovator 'doing things differently'.

This drawn from doing a KAI personality inventory and all the reading around these tests for B822.

I came out at 144 on a scale of 160; I'd envisage Jobs as somewhere on the outer edges of 150 while Gates gets a 20 or 30, neither would be in the 60-130 zone for two thirds of respondents.

If they ever did one of these are the results known?

As most managers do observation and experience of a person's behaviour and responses must suffice.

I feel a desire to revisit H807 'Innovations in E-learning' while mixing it up with B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'.

I can do this through the 1000+ entries I have here and by refreshing my mind from the current and archived blogs of others blogging here currently (though few if any blog there way through the MBA programme and I am yet to find anyone blogging about B822).

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More on creativity from John Cleese (two decades later)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 21:12

John Cleese on Creativity

... and the importance of the unconscious.

  • Sleeping on it.
  • Writing it out a second time having lost the original.
  • The danger of interuption
  • We do not get our ideas from our laptops.
  • Create boundaries of space (to avoid interuptions)
  • Create time

 

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B822 'Creativity, Innovation & Change' Hear what John Cleese has to say on creativity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 21:11

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This works for me and plays directly into B822 'Creativity, Innovation & Change'.

Listen then act.

John Cleese on Creativity

I'm going create the space and make the time! And play.

  1. Space
  2. Time
  3. Time
  4. Humour

FURTHER READING

Amabile, T. M. & Sensabaugh, S. J. (1985).  Some factors affecting organizational creativity:  A brief report.  A paper presented at the Creativity Innovation & Entrepreneurship Symposium at the George Washington University, Washington, D. C.

Ekvall, G. & Arvonen, J. (1983). Creative organizational climate:  Construction and validation of a measuring instrument.  Stockholm, Sweden:  The Swedish Council for Management and Organizational Behavior.

Gryskiewicz, S. S. (1982).  Creative leadership development and the Kirton adaption-innovation inventory.  An invited paper delivered at the 1982 Occupational Psychology Conference of the British Psychological Society meeting on "Breaking Set:  New Directions in Occupational Psychology" at Sussex University, Brighton, England.

 

MacKinnon, D. W. (1961). Creativity in architects. In D. W.

MacKinnon (Ed.), The creative person (pp. 237–251). Berkeley: University of California, Institute of Personality Assessment Research.

MacKinnon, D. W. (1978). In search of human effectiveness: Identifying and develop

 

MacKinnon, D. W.  (1978). In search of human effectiveness:  Identifying and developing creativity.  Buffalo, New York:  Bearly Limited.

 

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Social Learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 4 Oct 2012, 12:52

This isn't something new; the best way to learn is from and amongst others. John Seely Brown gets it right when he talks about 'learning from the periphery'. Think how in the playground or when joining a club where there may be no formal induction or training, how you gravitate towards the centre over time as you listen in to conversations, get the drift of what is being said, get up the courage to ask questions (which is hopefully encouraged), and in time gain knowledge and confidence to offer your own unique take and things. In time you gravitate towards the centre; you may even become the centre. the 'leader' or part of the 'leadership' those wise folk at the centre of things.

I recall this as an undergraduate on campus, an outsider for a year, at the centre for a year and then worrying about Finals.

The OU launched 'Social Learn' yesterday.

This is exciting. It brings the hubbub of the eclectic learning community online. This is more than a forum, it is a virtual learning space.

It will take all kinds of participants for it to work otherwise it is like one of those South American Pipe Dreams to build cities from scratch in the Amazon Jungle. It is the people and their ideas, thoughts, knowledge and participation that will bring it to life. It will require moderators, and leaders, and champions, and people to listen and guide and share. It will require moderators:

'The essential role of the e-moderator is promoting human interaction and communication through the modelling, conveying and building of knowledge and skills'. (Salmon, 2005:4)

And a new take on things:

'Online learning calls for the training and development of new kinds of online teachers - to carry out roles not yet widely understood'. (Salmon. 2005:10)

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How to define a 'wicked' problem?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 24 Feb 2014, 15:12

'I could use a colourful swimming costume'.

This pegs the following ideas:

Interconnectness
Complicatedness
Uncertainty
Ambiguity
Conflict
Societal Constraints

And recalling the authors Mason & Mitroff (1981)

However, I need to visualise this. Perhaps the actor James Mason (in his Nabakov role of Herbert Herbert from 'Lolita') with a Russian girl called 'Olga Mitroff'. Everyone around them are wearing colourful Versace swimming costumes whereas their's are plain black. She is black and young, suggesting the 'complexity' required here and they are standing on the end of a springboard, like walking the plank, and holding hands to give me 'conflict' and 'connectedness' even disaproval from those around them and so 'societal constraints'. All I need to do now is peg this further with an orange flavoured fruit Polo. And then be able to add a couple of relevant sentences to each. Assuming there is a question from which this 'mind dump' can provide some detail.

Why does this all matter?

I've been learning in B822 how to apply a variety of creative problem solving techniques to business problems; both the theory and practice says the the problem you are dealing with has to indicate all the above to warrant a creative problem solving approach.


Beyond the exam I can and will apply this to what I do which has in the past been solving communications problems using creativity in the execution of ideas.

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Creative Problem Solving B822

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Feb 2014, 17:46

I stumbled upon this. It is timely for anyone faced with an exam on 24th April for B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change', so much so I am going to transcribe this, analyse and learn its lessons as going through old exam papers this short video, in a fun and engaging way, answers to questions precisely.

This is why I chose to study B822 as an elective within the Masters in Open & Distance Education.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFYLeT9q8tk

 

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Use of video in elearning (part 7)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 4 Oct 2012, 11:24

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What makes an elearning forum tick?

This is the crux of social learning for me, what John Seely Brown calls 'learning at the periphery' or Cox calls 'vicarious' learning and I have dubbed 'learning through serendipity'. As a result of taking part you acquire knowledge, you develop your thinking and underststanind. It was no different for me learning French. The school way was hopeless, what I required was total immersion, which is what I got in my late teens turning up in France on an exchange, making friends and returning ... then wokring a gap year as far from English speakers as possible. This is how I learn, many of us prefer this informal approach. Its something that corporate elearning companies and corporate learning departments have yet to tap into. Perhaps because it lacks measurement, that there appear to be no parameters.

There are many ways to get content noticed. All the traditional tricks of promotion are required here too. Email databases, events, trade promotions, press advertising and business cards; online is not a panacea, neither is it replacement technology. It is part of the world we live in, a choice, something else, that complements other ways of doing things.

The 'long tail' refers to the way content has a life before, during and after being posted. There is a story to tell in its creation and promotion; its release should factor in for a long shelf life, then there is this 'after life', how once posted content may then be picked up by others and developed into different, better and alternative things. Keep tabs on this and content online becomes more like street theatre, or taling from a soap box on Hyde Park Corner, it is an opportunity to engage with an audience.

I like to blog, use Linkedin and Twitter.

Better to be the master of some platforms than a jack of all  trades.

 

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Use of video in elearning (part two)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Jun 2014, 05:27

'How' and 'Where' you show your video content has become part of the brief.

It makes a difference in terms of the audiences and potential audiences that can be reached and the way in the which your content could, if you wish, be reversionsed and used in different ways (hopefully, under the right Creative Commons) with links back to you.

On your website, whether on the intranet or for exeternal viewing where it can be shared and discussed.

It can also go out as a channel in its own right. At the broadcast end I recently saw what some of the content going out on Channel Flip. Today you can have your own channel. If you have appeal to an audience and can attract enough viewers advertisers will sponsor your content.

Elearning has become far easier to mange and distribute with platfroms such as present.me for video, but also specialist mobile elearning platforms like GoMo from elearning specialists Epic.

The right content may be used in qualifications too.

Put on YouTube your content can be embedded within other people's content while you can take advantage of detailed analytics, not least viewing behaviours.

 

 

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Use of video in elearning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 06:34

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What role does video play in elearning? What role does AV or video play in digital communications?

A simple question shared on Linkedin and picked up by a West End Production company led to my joining four producers for what became a two hour conversation yesterday. I based this conversation around a mindmap created in Bubbl.us, something a fellow MAODE student introduced me to over a year ago. (We were comparing tools, such as Compendium, for creating visualisations of learning designs).

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I had thought about dripping ink into a glass of water to make a point: that digital content dripped into a digital ocean quickly dilutes, that binary code of text, images, video and sound can be melted down and mashed up in many ways. I wonder if an ice-cube in a G&T would have served the same purpose?

It is of course a metaphor, the suggestion that anything goes and anything can happen.

(I find these mind maps a far easier way to share ideas. It is non-linear. It is an aide-memoir. I'd put it online in Picasa and in a blog rather than printing off. I had expectations of calling it up on a huge boardroom screen, instead we struggled with a slow download in an edit suite. Sometimes only a print out would do. There wasn't an iPad amongst them either).

We discussed the terms 'e-learning' and even 'e-tivities' acknowledging that as digital activity is part of the new reality that online it is just 'learning' and that an 'activity' is best described as such.

Video online can be passive, like sitting back and watching a movie or TV. To become an activity requires engagement, sitting forward, and in most cases tapping away at a keyboard (though increasingly swiping across a touch screen).

'Sit Back' or 'Sit Forward' are phrases I recall from the era of 'web-based learning' a decade ago, even interactive learning on Laser Disc and DVD in the early 1990s.

There is science behind it, that learning requires engagement if stuff is to stick: watching a video, or a teacher/lecture is likely to be too passive for much to meaningful. The crudest activity is to take notes (and subsequently to write essays and be examined of course).

Here I am saying 'anything goes' that a piece of video used in learning may be short or long, with limited production values or 'the full monty', the kind of conference opener or commercial that are cinematic with production values and costs to match. We differentiated between 'User Generated Content' and 'DIY', between the amateur working alone and someone being guided through the craft skills of narrative story telling using video. I cited various examples and our our plans to bring alumni together over a weekend, to introduce TV production skills, hand out cameras and a sound kit (though some would bring their own), then based on responses to a creative brief, a synopsis and treatment, even a simple script, they would go away and shot then edit something. These pieces should have a credibility and authenticity as a result.

The kind of outputs include the video diary and the 'collective' montage with contributions from around the world linked with some device. A recording (with permission) of a web conference may meet the same criteria, embedded on a dashboard to allow for stop, stop, replay. A couple of other forms of 'user generated content' were mentioned, but neither taking notes nor recording the meeting I have forgotten. I use the negative expression 'corporate wedding video' for the clips that can be generated by teams who haven't had the training, or lack the craft skills.

For the presentation I had spun through a dozen video pieces and grabbed screens as I went along, key moments in the presentation or some trick or approach that I liked to illustrate a point: text on screen, humour, slip-ups denoting authenticity and so on. Put online and embedded in a blog these images were a form or mashup. The images could be collated on Flickr. Whilst a piece of video on YouTube can be embedded anywhere a person wants it, this content in various ways can be reincorporated. Not a bad thing if links of some kind are retained. Providing a transcript and stills are ways to facilitate quoting from the piece, for getting the conversation going on a social platform. This depends of course on the client brief, whether there is a wish, let alone permission, supported by the right Creative Commons choices, to see content shared.

We discussed external and interal communications, the difference between content for the Internet or an Intranet.

We also discussed the likelihood of people to participate in this way. I like the simple split between 'Digital Visitors' and 'Digital Residents', between those who look and those who touch, those who observe from time to time, compared to those who take an active role. I quoted Jakob Neilsen and his 95:4:1 ratios between those online who simple browse or observer (what used to be pejoratively called lurking), those who rate, like or comment and the 1% who create the content.

Forrester Research have taken this further though this isn't something I took them through:

  • Creator
  • Conversationalist
  • Critic
  • Collector
  • Joiner
  • Spectator
  • Inactive

 

Forrester%2520Research%2520LADDER.JPG

 

REFERENCE

Salmon, G (2002) The key to active learning online. (accessed 24th March 2012) https://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde8/reviews/etivities.htm

 

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The mortality of ideas (and incandescent light bulbs)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 22:00

Light%2520Bubls%2520in%2520a%2520row%2520SNIP.JPG

I've wanted to quote this for many years.

Winston Fletcher used this with images at an Advertising Association presentation at the CBI in October 1984.

 

When the client moans and sighs

Make his logo twice the size

If the client still proves refractory

Show a picture of the factory

Only in the gravest cases

Should you show the clients' faces


Found in 'Welcome to Optimism' after several false starts finding the right search terms for Google.

This is another way to look at it:

 

Mortality%2520of%2520ideas%2520SNIP.JPG

 

I was a trainee Rep at JWT.

My merry dance around the world of advertising continues with occasional afternoons mentoring at the School of Communication Arts which I attended in 1987.

I kept a daily diary at the time, most days a single sheet of A4 whether I felt like it or not.

This was Tuesday 9th October 1984.

It was a fortnightly or weekly IPA meeting that attracted graduate account managers from across the London advertising agencies. The diary entry reminds me who I was with, the ads we looked at, where I was and what I got up to. Plenty in fact to bring it all back in considerable detail.

The other quote or image I am looking for was a set of dimming light bulbs to illustrate the 'Mortality of ideas' something that threatens and crushes many a great project.

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New businesses in a radical market

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 06:19

'As soon as a new radical market emerges, hundreds of new entrants rush to colonize it. Before long, consolidation takes place and most of the early entrants disappear. A few survive. But even these early survivors usually are not the ones that end up conquering the new market. The true winners are those that undertake a series of actions that scales up the new market. How do they do that?' Markides and Geroski (2004)

Can you think of organisations that have been a flash in the pan, that came out of the DOT COM boom and went bust? Who are the winners and losers going to be with Web 2.0?

 

Reference

Markides.C; Geroski, P. (2004) Strategy and Business, 35: 2-10

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Stories and Metaphor 12th January 2012

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012, 06:16

From the B822 Techniques Library we learn that we relate to stories; the parallels to our own lives provide meaning.

I'd say that to be successful audiences must feel empathy with any story, whether for entertainment or to get attention in a business context.

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Bill Naylor takes this well attended session.

He starts with the story of a Merchant

(I thought we were going to get the 'Merchant of Venice'. It felt like something from 14th century Italy, like a piece from Bocacio's Decameron).

The story concerned a merchant, his beautiful daughter and a money lender. Unable to pay back the loan the money lender suggests a deal, his daughter in marriage and the debt will be dropped. To help the merchant he offers to put two stones in a bag, one white, one black to be picked out by the daughter. It is agreed. The daughter happens to see the money lender putting two black stones in the bag. What does she do?

We offer our solutions, though none get the Merchant off the hook and save the daughter.

  1. Take none
  2. Take both
  3. Pick a pebble.

CHEAT

  • Herself by picking up a white pebble and hiding it in her hand.

Transpose the rules

Actually she dropped the black pebble and said they'd know which one it was.

To create strategic clarity

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"Stories stick in your mind like mental velcro." Naylor (2011)

  • They create strategic clarity
  • They create a connection
  • They embed values
  • They compel or inspire to take action
  • They are revealing
  • Stories connect us to a purpose and improve our performance

Quotes Henry V on the eve of The Battle of Agincourt

E.g. Chairman of the board.

STORYTELLING AT WORK

  • An icebreaker
  • Induction
  • Communications
  • Learning. (Boje 1991)
  • Strategy
  • Action

A story usedby De Bono about Columbus

Egg on its end. Breaks the tip so that it would stand on its end. Once done anyone can do it.

  • Story of a young character on his first day having a word with a gruff character on the train in.
  • The story of the fat man in the bath in relation to consumer law and returned products, in this case a bath that had sat for 5 months. Bill at a builder's merchants.
  • Splintered toilet seat. The lady had a history of such issues.
  • The thin man in the shower. Covered in soap he couldn't turn it off.

SPECTRUM

  • Little s
  • Anecdotes
  • Examples
  • Rcounts
  • Big S
  • Movies
  • Epics

IMAGE

VS. The uncanny valley of business story telling ... Plummets.

ELEMENTS

  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Conflict
  • Resolution

MYTHICAL THEMES

  • Creation
  • Struggle for self-discovery and identity
  • Battles, warriors, heroes (building of the M62)
  • Jack Welch 'neutron bomb' Manager of the Century. 'Winning' Topping and tailing'
  • Finance the top, ditch the bottom. (not unlike Steve Jobs)
  • Love, self-sacrifice, dedication
  • Wisdom and maturity

Three Huberts on a hill, three rivals.

Owns a race horse, only half, which half? The rear end as it eats less.

WHERE USED

  • Induction
  • Formal and informal settings
  • Before an event
  • Teaming courses
  • Newsletters
  • Customer meetings
  • Social events
  • Team building sessions

Left brain right brain

(Simplistic and superseded?)

HOW STORIES WORK

  • Auditory types NLP
  • Absorbed playfulness (winnicott, 1972)
  • An excursion from the problem.
  • Stimulate new ideas
  • Convey hidden messages (do you tell them or leave them to dwell on it)
  • Enable uncurious learning

De Bono's 'Thinking Hats'

  • Unsconscious
  • Feta on the verge of sleep (best for learning)
  • Relaxed awareness (best for learning)

... Achieved through story telling, with learning supported by light music.

CAVEAT

  • Stuck in the metaphor
  • Persuasiveness of advertising

WORKSHOP

  • Participants write the first line of a story that others complete. John Brucker on metaphor.
  • Write an essay 10 mins
  • Draw a mind map of the story

Write a statement in 3 sentences of 5,7 and 5 syllables. (Japanese Haiku poetry form)

E.g. sales director or purchasing director, what is best for the company and what is best for me.

DEVELOP

  • In pairs use why?
  • Write a sentence on the problem
  • Boundary examination
  • Options for for As.

Jack welch

'My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener who provided water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course I had to pull up a few weeds as well'. Jack Welch.

COMPONENTS OF THE METAPHPOR

  • Topic :  the original concept
  • Vehicle
  • Ground
  • Tension
  • Zolta Kovecses Metaphor: a practical introduction.
  • John Brooker, yesand.biz

Joke

  • Set up, and punch.
  • Friend broken up with wife. With his best friend. Going to miss the friend.

SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB ?

  • Metaphor: swimming Linguistic: Am I too far from the shore.
  • With a systematic framework.

Mind Maps

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Rich Pictures

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FURTHER LINKS:

http://www.imagethink.net/

 

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You are where you work

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 14:49

What makes a university campus such as Harvard or Oxford a hotbed for entrepreneurs? Is this recreated in closed networks online or at Residential School. How come some buildings induce mental stagnation and disaffection whilst others are a delight? Where (no company or organisation names) have you worked where the architecture, landscaping and office lay-out are conducive to innovation?

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/23/tony-hsieh-las-vegas-zappos/

Serendipitous interactions, or what Tony Hseih calls 'spontaneous collisions' between people, are what spark ideas and facilitate relationships that lead to stronger ties and more ideas.

Have you worked for such a company?

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/23/tony-hsieh-las-vegas-zappos/

Hsieh calls his people "culture magicians". Steve Jobs designed this into fabric of Pixar and Apple.

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B822 Block 3 Activity 3.5 Strategy & Vision

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 14:27

Although widely derided (usually for being out of touch and not reflecting the realities ‘on the ground’) many organisations persevere with mission statements and the like in order to express their sense of direction.

What gives your organisation a sense of direction?

Would you call this ‘strategy’? ‘vision’ or something else?

To what extend does it spring from within the organisation, and to what extend is it a response to the environment?

To what extent is it 'owned' by the workforce?

Is there any evidence of a tensions between the espoused values and actual behaviour?

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How to use your blog for Tutor Marked Assignments

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 May 2014, 06:58

This is my approach, it works for me.

Everything goes in here: notes from what I read or come across, sometimes so I didn't lose track of them, course related comments I post on people's blogs too.

A good deal of this remains hidden (private), however I will sometimes 'expose' notes and cryptic thoughts in case someone can make sense of it for me, or chivvy me along to construct some rounded thoughts and sentences with the stuff.

There's some random stuff too.

Tagging matters immensely.

'Search' leaves it to chance, which might help you serendipitously to come across a thought or note you had, but is scrappy and can be time wasting, rather be tag happy and have a system.

Everything gets the module reference, if there is an activity reference this is added as a single word such as 'h807activity3.4' or some such so that it can be searched for and found with ease.

Come TMA time I revisit all the content from that block and start adding the tag, for example, 'h807tma2', or as I'm currently doing 'b822tma3'.

Gathered in one search list I then go through each relevant post refining my thinking.

At some stage I may add further tags to identify arguments or to give it a chronology if that isn't apparent. I then cut and paste to a word document.

I MAY assemble in PowerPoint simply to help shuffle ideas around.

A system?

Hardly. Each to their own. I panic like anyone else over an assignment but know the stuff is here and having done the reading and activities and having shared my thinking and had this coloured and shaped by others that I ought to be able to assemble a cogent case.


Tags are strategic, Search is more random.

I switch between the two when revisiting note

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Tips on blogging

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012, 04:28

DSC02365.JPG

1) Keep it niche

You come to trust a person to have something to say about 'x' rather than the entire alphabet.

2) Keep it fresh

Depending on your ambitions update twice a day Yes, you have to have a point of view, no you don't have to make the posting public but you need to build a 'body of work'. 250 words will do, a picture and comment and from time to time a link and snip from something you have stumbled upon.

3) Keep it authentic

There's a light, conversational style that i think of as 'BJ' (Blog Jocky).

4) Read and comment on blogs you like

Reciprocity is vital, there is a virtuous circle of being read and contributing to other people's blogs. Vary the pace and approach. It works to include photos and video, though you risk setting yourself too great a task if you imagine you can generate or load a video clip every time.

5) Watch the stats

You can understand what makes your blog tick, what keeps it vibrant. It is motivating to know you are being read.

6) Promote

Put your content in front of those who are most likely to find it of interest or value by sharing it with specific Linkedin groups and by getting it out on Twitter as part of pertinent conversations.

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Are you in KAI terms an 'adapter' or an 'innovator?'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 12:50

Adaption-Innovation

There are two styles of decision making. (Kirton, 1976, 1977, 1980)

Adaptors ’stretch’ existing agreed definitions. They proceed within the established mores. Dominates management.

Innovators ’reconstruct’ the problem, they separate it, emerging with much less expected and probably less acceptable solutions.

'They are less concerned with 'doing things better' than with 'doing things differently'.

Across a population, Kirton and others have tens of thousands of people to go on from completed inventories to go on, there is a Normal curve of distribution (Kirton, 1977)

I am an innovator and somewhat out on the far edge of the scale. Does this render me and people I have met who are ’innovators’ unemployable? With certain teams, in certain orgsnisations we are incompatible unless you want us there to act as a catalyst, consultant or communicator.


Any problem goes through a series of stages:

 

  • Perception of the problem
  • Analysis of the problem
  • Analysis of the solution
  • Agreement to change
  • Delegation
  • Implementation for most was two/three years after the problem became apparent, whilst a few were tackled with the bare minimum of analysis. Objections were often only overcome (then collectively forgotten) as a result of some crisis. Rejection was often based on WHO was putting the idea forward.


Cf. P111


Disregard of convention when in pursuit of their own ideas has the effect of isolating innovators in a similar way to Roger's (1957) creative loners.


32-item inventory, theoretical range of 32-160 and a mean of 96.
Cultural innovativeness see Indian Women p114
Solutions sought within the structure by adaptors so nothing changes.


'Tolerance of the innovator is thinnest when adaptors feel under pressure from the need for imminent radical change.' Kirton (2011:115)


It is unlikely (as well as undesirable), that any organization is so monolithic in its structure and in the ’demands’ on its personnel that it produces a total conformity of personality types. P115


How an innovator or adaptor can be an agent of change where all around have a cognitive style alien to his own. Kirton (2011:117)


Reference


Kirton. M.J. (1984) Long Range Planning 17, 2, 137-43 in Henry.J. Creative Management & Development 3rd ed. pp109 (2011) Ch8 Adaptors and Innovators: why new initiatives get blocked. M.J.Kirton
Kirton.M.J.(1977) Manual of the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory.
Rogers.C.R. (1957) Towards a theory of creativity. In H.H, Andersen. Creativity and its cuktivation. Harper.

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What does it take for an organisation to foster innovation?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Mar 2012, 19:18

I've got it down to five words, reduced from several week's reading:

  • Recognition
  • Realised
  • Rewarded
  • Routine
  • Retention

Those who come up with ideas are recognised for their input and achievement.

Their ideas are realised; they go into production or become reality.

Resistance to the idea and to change is overcome.

They receive reward which might be a bonus, or shares or promotion beyond a handshake and some time at the top table.

It is everyday, routine, part of the culture of the place not a bolt on fad like TQM and Quality Circles of the 1990s.

People stay in, they are retained because of the above and so go on to innovate again rather than for themselves or the competition.

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B822 Book 3 Activity 5.3 Total Quality Management

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Mar 2012, 17:38

Is Total Quality Management a liberating force for the people who work with it or is it intrinsically exploitative and if so why?

I've experienced huge successes and outright failure using TQM.

The success was in an organisation where the CEO was the champion, and though a UK company they embraced all the collegiate and collective brotherhood ethos that was a blend of US and Japan. It was a way of life, a permanent culture shift in which people were recognised for relevant achievements, rewarded, retained and given further responsibility.

In contrast, the other organisation were ticking boxes, the CEO was a distant, Eton educated Grenadier Guard who I never saw 'at the workface' it was an effort to find examples worth turning into short films (my job) and it was apparent that some were a fudge. It was being used by middle managers to secure their place at the expense of others.

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