Sunday, August 24, 2008

Old dogs and new tricks

On Thursday I took my management team out of the office to rural Wiltshire for an "away day". The subject under dicussion was our course portfolio; which courses do well, which one not so well, what new products should we develop, what new partnerships... You get the gist.

I have done this many times in my life but never before with such a sense of the sheer vastness of possibilities for learning and personal development (see my previous post for more on this). However, this feeling of awe is coupled with enthusiasm. I have also rediscovered Mind Maps. I've been aware of mind maps for years and have met a number of advocates but have never really got on with them.

But while I was waiting for the meeting to start I was looking through some of Jane's recent posts and decided to download "FreeMind". Interestingly this is one of the things you find yourself doing more of when you get into web 2.0. The dead seconds while you are waiting for meetings to start get used catching up on your RSS feed or following the latest trail of virtual breadcrumbs through the internet. As a learning professional and a man I decided to work out how to use the software by getting on with it rather than reading any instructions and set about using it to create notes for our meeting.

Interestingly, I quickly found that FreeMind was a much better way than standard taking of notes. It forced me to use some kind of structure when considering what to write and more ideas were generated when I showed the other members of the group my notes thus far.

For those who work for me you can go and look at our strategy mind map in our Google group (if you dont know where it is ask Alex). I'm afraid everyone else will have to take it on trust.

On reflection the process of re-examining old ideas in a new context and uncovering previously unimagined success could be a metaphor for all connectivist business models.

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