Continuous Learning For Self Development

Continuous Learning For Self Development

Continuous learning is essential for economic survival in this increasingly technological world. However, I believe it is also essential for growth as a human. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in technology and organizational success that we forget that our first duty is to improve ourselves.

Drawing as Thinking

When you take notes or think about a project, what do you write? Do you use pen and paper? Or some sort of notes app or outliner on your computing device?

How about drawing mind maps or sketching ideas? On listening to a recent podcast I jotted this note

Drawing is not an artistic process; it is a thinking process.

Math as Thinking

Reading Peter Diamondis’s newsletter recently, he once again talked about how worthless math was in school—“I have never expanded a polynomial in my life.” I bet he used the logical thinking instilled by working math problems his entire life!

Wishing for Certainty

When I was young I knew old guys who had worked for the same company for many years. There was a certainty about life. I, on the other hand, have never really known that certainty. Here is a thought that once again draws out that idea of clear, logical thinking

The antidote to uncertainty is not certainty—which is impossible—but clarity.

It’s all about passion

Henry Cloud—The fruitfulness of our lives will come from our hearts. Developing our inner selves helps us prioritize our lives. Our hearts will determine the “issues” of our lives.

Resources

Your most important resources are time and energy.

Leadership

Andy Stanley—Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.

Introduction to Systems Thinking to Solve Wicked Problems

Introduction to Systems Thinking to Solve Wicked Problems

Here is a thought provoking TED Talk from Tom Wujec, a Fellow at Autodesk where he helps leadership teams solve complex challenges and design their future with emerging digital technologies. He uses the metaphor of drawing the process of making toast to eventually get groups thinking about using systems thinking to do what he calls “Wicked Problem Solving.”

Following is a his 8 steps process:

An Introduction to Systems Thinking and Wicked Problem Solving

DrawToast workshops are a great way to get groups to think freshly about mental models. In just 3 minutes, each person sketches a diagram of how to make toast. When comparing diagrams, people are shocked at how diverse the diagrams are, revealing a wide range of models of what’s important in making toast. It’s a great launch pad for drawing out what’s really important to the group.

There are 8 Simple Steps to the DrawToast Exercise:

Step 1

Prepare

Get the ingredients: felt markers, thick paper stock, sticky notes or index cards, and masking tape. Stage your room with tables, chairs, and a clear wall where you can post your work. It’s important to have enough room for all participants to see everyone’s creations.

Step 2

Invite

In your invitation, set expectations that your meeting will focus on building a systems model  of an important challenge – clarifying your vision, improving cash flow, figuring out the next bold challenge. Begin with a simple design exercise.

Step 3

Conduct

Run the meeting informally. Hand out markers and paper to everyone and ask people to draw a picture of how to make toast.

Give them 2-3 minutes.

You may want to play toast-making music…

Step 4

Reflect

Have each person hold up their drawing for all to see. (Let the laughter start) Have the group place their drawings on a large wall space and comment on the drawings; pointing out which are simple and complex, which have people and which don’t.

Step 5

Play the TED.com DrawToast video and let it explain the big ideas about systems thinking. After it plays, ask the group how many nodes they drew and what kind?

Step 6

Draw Your Challenge

Have people draw a picture how to improve what what they are working on as a group. This can include almost anything, strategic or tactical. See ‘Draw Questions’ for inspiration. Make sure people draw individually and in silence.

Step 7

Share

Have people work at tables. showing and explaining their diagrams. Compare and contrast the diagrams and see what is similar and different between them. What links and nodes are common?

Step 8

System

If you have the time, have the group develop a systems diagram of the challenges using sticky notes and drawn links. Building on the previous individual diagrams, have groups of 4-6 people create nodes and links to to solve the challenges.

Introduction to Systems Thinking to Solve Wicked Problems

Introduction to Systems Thinking to Solve Wicked Problems

Here is a thought provoking TED Talk from Tom Wujec, a Fellow at Autodesk where he helps leadership teams solve complex challenges and design their future with emerging digital technologies. He uses the metaphor of drawing the process of making toast to eventually get groups thinking about using systems thinking to do what he calls “Wicked Problem Solving.”

Following is a his 8 steps process:

An Introduction to Systems Thinking and Wicked Problem Solving

DrawToast workshops are a great way to get groups to think freshly about mental models. In just 3 minutes, each person sketches a diagram of how to make toast. When comparing diagrams, people are shocked at how diverse the diagrams are, revealing a wide range of models of what’s important in making toast. It’s a great launch pad for drawing out what’s really important to the group.

There are 8 Simple Steps to the DrawToast Exercise:

Step 1

Prepare

Get the ingredients: felt markers, thick paper stock, sticky notes or index cards, and masking tape. Stage your room with tables, chairs, and a clear wall where you can post your work. It’s important to have enough room for all participants to see everyone’s creations.

Step 2

Invite

In your invitation, set expectations that your meeting will focus on building a systems model  of an important challenge – clarifying your vision, improving cash flow, figuring out the next bold challenge. Begin with a simple design exercise.

Step 3

Conduct

Run the meeting informally. Hand out markers and paper to everyone and ask people to draw a picture of how to make toast.

Give them 2-3 minutes.

You may want to play toast-making music…

Step 4

Reflect

Have each person hold up their drawing for all to see. (Let the laughter start) Have the group place their drawings on a large wall space and comment on the drawings; pointing out which are simple and complex, which have people and which don’t.

Step 5

Play the TED.com DrawToast video and let it explain the big ideas about systems thinking. After it plays, ask the group how many nodes they drew and what kind?

Step 6

Draw Your Challenge

Have people draw a picture how to improve what what they are working on as a group. This can include almost anything, strategic or tactical. See ‘Draw Questions’ for inspiration. Make sure people draw individually and in silence.

Step 7

Share

Have people work at tables. showing and explaining their diagrams. Compare and contrast the diagrams and see what is similar and different between them. What links and nodes are common?

Step 8

System

If you have the time, have the group develop a systems diagram of the challenges using sticky notes and drawn links. Building on the previous individual diagrams, have groups of 4-6 people create nodes and links to to solve the challenges.