I met my husband in the early 80s. He had a 1970-something Chevy Nova SS. I’m not that great with car model years. It was drab green but I went out with him anyway. I had a Chevy Malibu that apparently had a combination of 1973 and 1975 parts so it was alway a bit of a conundrum at first for folks. Was it a’73 or a’75? I don’t recall where we landed but I do recall it was bright blue and ticked like a bomb. I bought it for $350 and sold it for $400 after I graduated from college a few years later. I told the guy who bought it that it had ticked like a bomb since I bought it. He thought nothing of it either. After that, I went through a VW and Saab phase followed by a seven-fucking-mini-van-phase. And then back to VWs. I like driving a stick shift. It’s why the minivans were the bane of my existence. My husband, Andy, has been a Toyota guy for a number of years. He doesn’t care for stick shift. Don’t hold either of those things against him. That’s the first part of the story of our cars. The second part is about driving.

Let’s just say that over the past three decades, I’ve learned to just go along with Andy’s desire to take the road less traveled. “I’ve always wanted to try this road,” he’ll say. “Let’s see where this goes. You’re not in a hurry right?” This used to drive me insane. We’ve ended up almost stuck on tiny seasonal access roads during the wrong season. Hungry. Nearly out of gas. In total darkness. Lost for just longer than we wanted. But I’ve also been lucky enough to have witnessed beauty not found on main roads – both in nature and in the human form. Quirky restaurants. Oddities. Knowing Andy makes me richer. Had I went for someone with my driving habits, I’d go from point A to B in the shortest amount of time. To anyone but the driver, it’s as boring as sitting in a self-driving car. And that’s the third part, not driving.

I read the article The Self-Driving Car Is Not What You Think It Is by Brett Berk. It ends…

“If you let the robot drive, it may take the most rational route. But more times than not, rationality is the opposite of humanity.”

And that right there is what I find the most disturbing about self-driving cars. Berk notes, “the self-driving car is also predicated on finding solutions to a multiplicity of dilemmas—societal, social, anthropological, infrastructural, moral, regulatory, human, machine—that we have barely defined, let alone figured out.” Killjoy. So yeah, I need to get over myself but still…as much as I know I would love to sit in the driverless car and read or work or just gaze out the window, who’s going to accidently drive me through a dangerously muddy meadow so I can witness a bunch of snow geese? Will there be a setting for human mode? For Andy? I don’t they’ll be enough room enough for all the computers, servers, and sensors the car would need.

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  1. Ought and Is by Stephen Downes. A nice reminder to be sensitive of inferences involving is and ought.

    “If wishes were horses,” goes the old saying, “then beggars could ride.” There’s wisdom in that. Certainly we may believe things ought to be one way or another. But this belief doesn’t mean that anything actually is one way or another. This would be nothing more than wishful thinking.

  2. “The fun, ridiculous website Spurious correlations reminds us to have some god damn fun. Spurious correlation is “a term coined by Karl Pearson to describe the correlation between ratios of absolute measurements that arises as a consequence of using ratios, rather than because of any actual correlations between the measurements.” Tyler Vigen notes that his charts “aren’t meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data.” So, have fun!!! HT my colleagues Andrea Derler via Ben Carroll.chart
  3. Via David Mallon, The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016. Deloitte surveyed nearly 7,700 Millennials from 29 countries during September and October 2015 to learn more about Millennials’ values and ambitions, drivers of job satisfaction, and their increasing representation in senior management teams.

    …emphasis on personal values
    continues into the boardroom; the rank
    order of priorities does not change for
    senior Millennials. As such, we can expect
    Millennial leaders to base their decisions
    as much on personal values as on the
    achievement of specific targets or goals.

  4. Via David Mallon, Deloitte Center for the Edge,Passion at work: Cultivating worker passion as a cornerstone of talent development.

Terrific stuff.

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I recently had to answer a question for a presentation: “What will L&D need the most help with to be successful over the next 10 years?”

I came up with six areas:

    • L&D needs to get “unstuck.” There are many, many smart L&D people who (I think) know the way they’re working today isn’t going to hold 10 years from now but can’t move to the next level. They’re stuck. There’s a MUST READ Fast Company article, Why We Hate HR, that I highly recommend which touches on this. It’s an incendiary article. Be warned. Within it, you’ll see a reference to “educated incapacity.” The original phrase, “trained incapacity,” comes from the economist Thorstein Veblen. Basically, “training does come at some costs by narrowing the perspectives of the individuals concerned.” You must read The Expert and Educated Incapacity.
    • L&D needs to refocus. I read a terrific article by Con Gottfredson, Now’s the Time for Performance Support, about “reconceiving learning to influence the primary purpose of the organization: to perform effectively and efficiently.” Although the article was written nearly three years ago, I think it’s sends an important message about focusing on L&D’s role is in the organization.
    • L&D needs to improve the way learning is measured and linked to business performance. I’m not sure L&D does a great job measuring learning outcomes and linking metrics to business performance. This has been a recurring problem for years. I’ll bet at least half of organization don’t do or don’t know how to do this well.
    • L&D needs to analyze and use data to improve performance. Invest in tools and people who can analyze data and use it to improve performance. Data! It’s everywhere.
    • L&D needs to deal with disruption. Does it seem to you that there is a narrow point of view about the future and how organizations (and their jobs) are going to change? If you’re only reading content from people who work in L&D, expand your reading.
    • L&D needs to develop business acumen. For the most part, I think L&D is ill-equipped to help make the business effective and successful. There’s a great need to get equipped to do business…you work in a business! Here’s some great reading on that TWO VITAL STEPS FOR FIXING YOUR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT PROBLEM.

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Opinion: L&D is in deep doo doo.

December 13, 2015

Serious trouble. Difficulty. Deep doo doo. Why do I think this? Here’s just a sampling. This: The next shooting is happening soon. This online course isn’t helping. The Washington Post, by Dan Zak. December 3, 2015. Quote>>>”Mass shootings, in the parlance of Human Resources. Part of work. Part of life. America, 2015.” – Dan Zak A reporter […]

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Welcome and welcome back! Returning to Bersin by Deloitte.

December 12, 2015

I’m thrilled to return to Bersin by Deloitte after a nearly three-year stint at The eLearning Guild. It sure feels nice (and unexpectedly cathartic) to see those “Welcome back!” messages. I’ll be working alongside great minds like Dani Johnson and David Mallon writing about and conducting research in enterprise learning. Deloitte is an amazing company to work for. […]

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Ounces matter: Mashing up business travel and minimalist camping

December 9, 2015

In 2015, I traveled roughly ten weeks for work and went on some solo backpacking camping trips for pleasure and sanity. Backpacking alone was new to me and it really turned me on to minimalist camping where ounces matter. I missed having my husband/manservant lugging all the big, heavy stuff about 3 miles into my […]

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New ways to consume and apply research

December 30, 2014

I’ve recently been given the opportunity to oversee The eLearning Guild’s research function, while continuing to oversee the Guild Academy, an opportunity I’m both grateful for and extremely excited about. In the past, as an analyst and industry researcher, I’ve generally followed the hourglass structure for conducting research; however, I’ve been uninspired by the lowest part of the hourglass – the output for […]

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So you’re offering me the opportunity to pay you 50% more to get back a feature I just lost?

August 15, 2014

Yes, that’s what Bloomfire wants me to do. Apparently I’ve got two weeks make up my mind. If I don’t it looks like my rate may triple. Yup. Triple. I do not feel like a customer right now even though the company I work for pays them several thousand dollars each year. Let me back up… Bloomfire is a knowledge […]

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This is where my outrageous headline goes

August 1, 2014

I know that online learning is not the same as reading a newspaper article or watching news online (or at least I hope not) but I have always been interested in the similarities of two of their associated professions  – instructional designer and journalist – especially how they are evolving; presenting meaningful content that elicits less passive and less controlled behaviors. When it comes right down to it, both instructional designers […]

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Stop flailing. You’ll draw too much attention. Start failing.

July 30, 2014

As every scuba diver knows, panic is your worst enemy: when it hits, your mind starts to thrash and you are likely to do something really stupid and self-destructive. – Daniel Dennett, Philosopher To a lesser extent, it’s like that feeling I get walking through a store full of crystal and china. I think suddenly I’ll start […]

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