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George Couros

George Couros's Public Library

  • Studies on PIM suggest mental processes involved in PIM can facilitate learning. A study analyzing PIM strategies of adult learners indicates naming, classification, and categorization strategies are part of a "constructive cognitive process" enhancing learning [6]. Creating categories in blogs appears to help learning as those actions are similar to "external representation" of information [7], which requires the learner to make sense of the information. Also, when managing information one tends to relate it to the context of its search and future uses [8]. The implications of these studies are blogs used as PIM tools can facilitate basic cognitive processes. Naming, classifying, categorizing, and locating information are cognitive processes that make the learner process new information at a deeper level. Also, the annotations attached to the contents provide a rich context for information recall, recognition, and retrieval.

  • You’ve likely heard the popular phrase “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Organizational culture is reflected in nearly every aspect of a company. We see culture exemplified through factors such as whether a company is willing to take risks or prefers to play it safe. Do they focus more on driving results and achievement or on people and relationships? Are they open to new opportunities and change? How do they generate and move ideas within the company?
  • Cultures that foster innovation are unique to startups, right? Not exactly. As a 112 year-old company, 3M proves that fostering the right culture for innovation isn’t only possible in smaller companies or startups. Though 3M has changed many CEOs over the past 40 years, the philosophy of William L. McKnight, its inspirational leader from 1929 to 1966, is passed along to every new scientist or engineer. The company’s culture was shaped to firmly believe in tolerating mistakes, promoting networking, and allowing employees freedom by using 15 per cent of their paid time to “chase rainbows” and hatch their own ideas.
  • Innovation is too important to be left to chance. If you are not seeing progress in your company, consider how your culture needs to be adapted instead of considering moving around boxes on an organizational chart. Cultures aren’t easy to change, but with the right leadership mindset, leading from the trenches to establish and foster the right norms and values that support innovation as a top priority, the door opens for growth, and who knows, maybe even your next competitive advantage.
Sep 10, 14

Quotes for Chapter 1 on Innovative Schools

  • The trick here is to not let ideas from the planning bound what students will ultimately do. Students may come up with a problem we may not have anticipated, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to encourage them to pursue those ideas too.


    For example, one group of teachers allowed their seven-year-old students almost free rein to explore the theme of persuasive speaking and writing. They went on to build the world’s youngest TEDxKids event. Students immersed themselves, as their teachers had, in over 200 TED talks, before turning their research and creative energy to solving some of the world’s most pressing—or simply most interesting—problems: Do animals talk? Do babies have a secret language? Which cancer should we invest in curing first? Why do slugs needs slime?


    Another group of students in a Brisbane primary school chose to explore living for 24 hours without technology, to immerse themselves not just in what makes technology so vital, but also the challenges and problems to our wellbeing that technology brings. From this starting point, the visceral, emotionally bound experience of living without their favourite gadgets, students arrived at higher order “non-Googleable” questions: Why might someone else think that living without electricity is a good thing? Can we write a set of instructions for the day that the electricity runs out? How would you improve our chances of not having brownouts and blackouts? If you could change one thing about Australia’s energy policies what would it be?

  • Students learn not math but, in the words of one math educator, answer-getting.
  • Teachers learn to teach primarily by recalling their memories of having been taught, an average of 13,000 hours of instruction over a typical childhood. The apprenticeship of observation exacerbates what the education scholar Suzanne Wilson calls education reform’s double bind. The very people who embody the problem — teachers — are also the ones charged with solving it.

  • So perhaps what is more important is not whether technology is making us stupid but if educational systems need to shift from teaching us what to think, to showing us how to think.

  • What Instagram is doing—along with the myriad other photo apps that have recently emerged—is giving newbies a way to develop deeper visual literacy.
  • I find it a lovely moment. Today’s tech is often blamed for producing a generation of people who stare at screens. But sometimes it opens up a new window on the world.

  • One reason students phone in their school assignments – and only halfheartedly copy edit and research them – is that they’re keenly aware that there’s no “authentic audience.” Only the teacher is reading it. In contrast, academic studies have found that whenever students write for other actual, live people, they throw their back into the work – producing stuff with better organization and content, and nearly 40 per cent longer than when they write for just their instructor.

  • Avoid Trickle-Down Tradeoffs. When team leaders fail to decide which old directions are going to be sacrificed in service of the new direction, the tradeoff doesn't magically disappear. It simply slides down the ladder. Instead of the team leader leaning into the discomfort and deciding once that the team is going to spend this quarter strengthening existing customer relationships, and not actively hunting for new prospects, each team member now has to decide for themselves whether to call on an existing customer or go find a new one every time they pick up the phone, open their email, or hop in the car.
  • To Lead Is To Decide. Making change decisions is a cognitively and emotionally taxing activity that the average person will go to great lengths to avoid. While I have discovered some techniques for increasing the consistency and reliability of our decisions, there is no proven way of completely eliminating the discomfort of making tradeoffs. That might be a key element of what makes great leaders great. Great leaders and change agents have come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and personality types.

  • “Diffusion is essentially a social process through which people talking to people spread an innovation,” wrote Everett Rogers
  • Rogers showed, people follow the lead of other people they know and trust when they decide whether to take it up. Every change requires effort, and the decision to make that effort is a social process.
Jun 23, 13

"But as we fast forward to today’s business world shaped by rapidly evolving technology and the far greater importance of institutional knowledge, creative thinking and sophisticated collaboration, the value of each employee has grown exponentially more important.  Companies are focusing on innovation and unique differentiation – and almost exclusively are looking at people, not machines, to provide it. 

As workers have become increasingly more critical to the overall success of their organizations, what they need and expect in exchange for their work also has profoundly changed.  Money no longer inspires performance as it once did.  Being paid equitably will always be important as a driver of job engagement and productivity, of course, but people across the globe now have aspirations in their jobs that were virtually unimaginable in an earlier age. "

Jun 15, 13

"Would a person with good handwriting, spelling and grammar and instant recall of multiplication tables be considered a better candidate for a job than, say, one who knows how to configure a peer-to-peer network of devices, set up an organisation-wide Google calendar and find out where the most reliable sources of venture capital are, I wonder? The former set of skills are taught in schools, the latter are not."

  • Would a person with good handwriting, spelling and grammar and instant recall of multiplication tables be considered a better candidate for a job than, say, one who knows how to configure a peer-to-peer network of devices, set up an organisation-wide Google calendar and find out where the most reliable sources of venture capital are, I wonder? The former set of skills are taught in schools, the latter are not.
Jun 09, 13

"As new digital marketing tools and systems are implemented they must be balanced by even more analogue systems than before. The ability to reach out, in a human way, to a Sara or Harry can quickly create either positive or negative momentum for your brand. That makes human interaction more important than ever."

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