What are you working on?

February 18, 2008

l3classify2.jpgSimple enough question right? “(Just) what are you working on?” is a bit sarcastic and suggests you’re not really working on much.”Ooooh…what are you working on?” suggests excitement and interest. “What {the hell} are you working on?” is a bit hostile and suggests you’re not working on what you should be working on.

At Brandon Hall Research, we ask the question, “what are you working on?,” weekly so we can share information and ideas. (We do it without the sarcasm, cursing, or hostility of course because that’s just not cool.)

So, what am I working on? I’m so glad you asked! You always ask such great questions!

I should probably tell you about my process. This isn’t linear – some things happen concurrently. And all through the process I second guess myself…is this still something someone would want an answer for? Why?

  • Determine what question needs an answer (no sense answering a question no one wants the answer to)
  • Round one reading
  • Write
  • Categorize
  • Draft Table of Contents
  • Decide what additional info I’ll need (survey, study, etc.)
  • Round two reading (biblio trail from round one)
  • Write
  • Categorize
  • Read some more
  • Write some more
  • Categorize some more
  • Talk to people
  • Set up Google alerts
  • Read, categorize information from alerts (many blogs)
  • Talk to some more people
  • Gather papers, etc. from an online educational database search; read & categorize
  • Stand back, take a look
  • Sort
  • Second draft table of contents
  • Write it
  • Finalize my conclusion
  • Provide resources

My work now is in the sorting process for two topics – instructional strategies around generational issues and educational social networking in the enterprise (services, application, as part of an LMS).

Like working through a stack of buttons, I see if it makes sense to sort all this information into colors, style, number of holes, material, or some other way you’ll find useable. I decide if the sort is too large. Does it need to be subdivided?

I have to say over the past couple of years at Brandon Hall Research, we’re working on the most research we’ve ever worked on at one time. So, when someone asks, what are you working on at Brandon Hall Research, I say a lot.

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