One of the assignments of the “Social Learning in Business” workshop run by the Social Learning Centre is to keep a journal reflecting on my day or two. Rather than scribble it down on a notepad, I’ll write my thoughts on my blog here.
(In some parts of the world, this day hasn’t happened yet – it’s just unfolding….so here’s what to expect today…)
After a stinking hot night at home (Melbourne is in clutches of a heat wave), I came to the office at 7:30 am just to get cool. The blessed air conditioning was on and it was the first time in a few days that I breathed a sigh of relief from the heat. Usually our office has arctic temperatures (summer and winter) but today, there were no complaints by me.
0:730 – 0:830 am
My early morning routine was to read my emails as I don’t have remote access from home (something the way my laptop is configured means remote access doesn’t work. Of course I delay calling the IT Help Desk because every single experience with them has meant lengthy delays on the phone, an experience which I don’t want to repeat).
(Note to self: Psyche yourself up and call IT!! You simply must have that Java thingy fixed to access your emails or be welcomed to work on Thursday by 34 678 emails in your inbox).
I submitted an Annual Leave Day tomorrow to attend the “Designing Learning in the Digital Age” workshop in town which I paid for. All my professional development is done in my own time with my own money so that I’m in control of my own learning. It means that I can self direct my learning and hence, my own career.
0:830 – 0:900 am
Wandered over to one of the training rooms to set up for a Valuations Training session this morning.
I have been working with the Valuations Team here in our organisation over the last couple of months to design and develop a blended learning program for the Consents team. The program involves the Consents team completing some pre-workshop activities related to the topic such as read about valuations, complete an e-Learn and some Q&A. This is then followed up with a 2 hour theory and skills based workshop that is run by the Valuations subject matter experts (SMEs).
I work with the SMEs to create a session plan that has theory, context, skills practice and feedback.
I used this half hour to prepare the room and then wandered over to the kitchen to get myself a cup of coffee. While I was in the kitchen filling up a water jug, I met one of the participants who attended the Trusted Business Advisor workshop last week and we chatted about the training (he loved it; I hated it) and then conversation flowed into what we thought our CEO was going to announce to the media today (you guessed it, more organisational job losses).
The Valuation session went well and there was lots of questions around the valuation process. It was fairly informal as the Consents team is experienced with the use of the system but the pre-work helped them structure some well-thought out questions to the SMEs. I received positive feedback from the Consents team who like the blended approach of some pre-workshop tasks, a workshop and then post-workshop activities on the job.
“I like how we are encouraged to work together and teach each other while we’re working on real customer files, makes it more real and I don’t feel the pressure that I might get something wrong,” said one participant to me.
The Performance aids that I developed with the SMEs such as a Quick Reference Guide on how to order a valuation on the system, and a Document Support Matrix that outlines what documents need to be attached with what valuations, were well-received by the participants.
I asked the Valuation Team if they were open to having one of their team members flexi-desk with the Consents team when they do their first valuations so that they have a “SME on call” and they were happy to oblige.
I’m using flexi-desking as a ‘post-workshop’ activity asking SMEs who usually are hidden away on other floors or buildings to consider actually working (embedded) with their internal clients – and everyone seems to love the idea like it’s a mini-break.
This is an example where flexi-desking does help cross collaboration in teams.
11:00 – 12:30 pm
Back at the desk to develop a Learner’s Pack for one of the other Support Teams in our business. This team recently has merged with another and there is a need to cross specialise the team so that all members have a foundation level skill set. This will take some time to build but through on-the-job performance support tools and also using my “Instructional Skills Program” I developed last year, I will put through all the SMEs of the team on this program and then assign them to a few team members each. That is, they will be responsible for coaching a small group of 3 people of their team on each other’s role using the instructional skills model.
I receive all sorts of requests from the business – sometimes, I get asked to provide advice for team members who are applying for various internal or external job roles. Other times, I am asked to provide advice around social media; whether I have any good references about X, Y, Z learning; whether I have any networks in other industries and many others.
While I was walking to this meeting, my boss stopped me in the corridor to ask “how do I download a video off YouTube?” My answer was, “What? You actually have access to YouTube?!” (our organisation has banned it for some people)
So I get all sorts of different questions and I’m happy to oblige.
Today I helped Rachel with her CV. She is currently exploring other career options within the organisation and wanted some assistance with writing a CV and a cover letter.
Rachel expressed her disappointment that every employer seems to want a degree as a minimum education level for many roles. Here was someone who was eager, who was undertaking study in her own time while managing a family and her own business on the side who felt somewhat ‘inadequate’ for not having a degree.
I wondered if some parts of society felt ‘marginalised’ for not having a piece of parchment on the wall saying they studied some useless subject they’d never use or apply.
Later that night, I glanced up the study wall to see my framed degrees and certificates. None really were any value to me work-wise, but they did open doors for me in my life.
Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.
1:00 – 2:00 pm
I sat at my desk eating lunch while viewing a webinar for professional development (this is my standard work day). Today I listened to the recording of a webinar by Allison Miller from Vanguard Consulting on “Transforming Educational Practice”
This webinar was pre-workshop requirement as tomorrow I will undertake the “Designing Learning in the Digital Age” workshop.
Although the audience is focussed for the vocational education sector and elements of the webinar don’t relate to corporate L&D, I can still use elements. In all honesty, I go to these workshops to inspire some new ideas and applications for the corporate context.
I’m looking forward to this blended program of face-to-face and webinars because we will be building learning in the session (and we are encouraged to BYOD – you have to love that!)
2:00 – 2:30 pm
Started to draft this blog post in WordPress while glancing over to my colleague’s desk who has been away for the last few hours – and I really, really need to speak to him to organise an Induction course and co-ordinating the Instructional Skills Program.
Where on earth is he?
2:30 – 3:00 pm
Answered more emails and set up meetings with people outside my business.
My networks in the company is growing every day so I’m finding that I’m answering questions, being asked to meet others and share information outside my direct business. In this half hour, I followed up on a Yammer connection who invited me for a tour of the organisation’s Social Media Centre and to discuss how we can use it to be involved peer-to-peer learning for our customers.
It’s all pretty exciting because I’m getting a greater appreciation of my organisation on a wider scale beyond just developing courseware for my bsuiness unit clients.
One day, I’d like to be involved in a project that involves learning to a wider target audience – such as customers rather than just focus on employees. I believe that will present itself a whole set of different challenges and I want L&D to be involved in a project like this and not left to the marketing people.
It just makes my day a little bit more bearable rather than churning out content.
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Dress Rehearsal for the Shining Star Awards. Every month our business holds these awards to recognise the individuals and teams in our business. This month, L&D has the task of hosting them. Today, we spent an hour going through the final script, sound and presentation and we’re hosting it as if people are on an aeroplane for a bit of fun. (We will all be dressed as air stewards directing people to their seat, giving air safety directions etc)…you get the drift…
Half way through the rehearsal, I asked if people had seen the fabulous Richard Simmons air flight safety video for Air New Zealand and many hadn’t. So I flashed it up on the big screen, they all fell over themselves laughing and decided instantly that this was going to be shown to get a laugh.
Besides, the introverts thought I had saved them as they didn’t need to do the actions.
If you haven’t seen it, here it is…enjoy.
4:00 – 4:45 pm
Back at my desk to complete my Learner Pack and respond to more emails. Glance up from my desk… Where on earth is my colleague? Grr….
4:45 – 5:30 PM
Travel home by train and caught up on tweets. Wondered why my iPhone battery charge is down to 17% when I hardly used it all day.
Stared out window while fighting sleep.
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Cleaned the house, washed dishes, tidied up, brought washing in while dashing into the study to rip music to MP3 to find audio tracks for Thursday’s Shining Star Awards.
Found a great site to rip YouTube music to MP3 – http://www.flvto.com!
7:30 – 8:30 PM
Body Jam dance class at the gym – made fool of myself. Nothing new here.
8:30 – 9:30 PM
Listened and watched the Global Meta Trends Impacting Education and Training webinar recording as pre-workshop activity and read the associated presentation slide
Checked the #LSCon tweets but it looks like people are still trying to get to the conference in Orlando.
Wished I was there…
9:30pm – 10:30 pm
Had a twitter conversation with @LearnKotch, @Tetracarbon and @thomasmike about how many meetings we attend during the day or week; their relevance; and whether our focus should be on the team or on our clients.
Charged my Samsung Galaxy tablet and prepared my bag for tomorrow’s workshop.
Folded some clothes from the washing basket. Just some…not all. Let’s not over extend ourselves…
Longed for cooler weather.
Forgot to have dinner.
Bed time to read novel “Secret Life of Bees” for 5 minutes before entering la la land.