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28 May 13

• Structured Socialization<br />We see from this example that people, even very smart people, are unable to anticipate the benefits of in-depth interaction with colleagues until they have experienced it for themselves. Before Researcher’s Square, the researchers at NIWL daily saw their colleagues coming in and out of the building, passed them on the staircase, or nodded to them in the hall, but they learned very little from one another. Moreover, when I asked them to anticipate how they might use Researcher’s Square, they could not envision a benefit beyond coffee and food. But when NIWL created a place for structured socialization* they not only learned from each other, the whole organization became more aligned and collaborative - in a word, more effective. Structured socialization named by my colleague, Robert Dalton, is the intentional design of processes and space that bring people together in conversational formats to create and share knowledge.<br />• Connection before Content<br />Before people can learn from each other or collaborate on issues, they need to build connections – that is, gain some understanding of who the other person is, including their skills, depth of knowledge, experience, and attitude toward others. People are unlikely to ask each other questions or ask for assistance, until they have built a connection that allows them to learn that the other person is knowledgeable enough and respectful enough to engage. In Researcher’s Square, the coffee, food, and small tables for chats, all provided an atmosphere in which the researchers were able to build the connections that then allowed content to flow.<br />• Cognitive Diversity<br />The researchers proved to be more interested in others’ projects than they thought they would be. They assumed that what others were doing would be of little interest to them and likewise that others would have little interest in what they are doing, after all the projects they were engaged in were greatly varied and appeared to have little in common with each other. However, in Researcher’s Square these differences also brought with them an attribute that boosts creativity and innovation within a group, cognitive diversity. When people are cognitively diverse they bring to any problem, a larger set of tools derived from multiple perspectives, problem solving tactics, heuristics and interpretations.<br />• Conversation Rather Than Presentation<br />The learning that occurred in Researcher’s Square did not come from presentations, rather the knowledge gained was through conversation. When we think about learning from others our first thought is to have someone make a presentation. But as ubiquitous as presentations are, they are a poor way to learn from peers. Typically, a presenter offers what happened in his or her own situation, but that is not what learners need to hear. Learners are interested in knowing how to adapt the lessons to their situation and for that they need to have a conversation so that the other person can understand their context, and they also can understand the context of the other.

27 May 13

Welcome to the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery of over 870,000 images. Selected from the world-class historical collections of the Archives, most of these unique photographs, maps, motion picture and audio recordings are being made accessible for the first time. Visitors are invited to explore and search the collections individually, or across all collections by keyword or any of the advanced search criteria. The gallery includes many complete collections; for others, only representative samples are currently on display. Visitors are encouraged to return frequently as new content will be added on a regular basis. Patrons may order reproductions in the form of prints or digital files; most images can be licensed for commercial use. Please see the order page for further details.

07 Feb 13

"Four Concluding Observations
• Structured Socialization
We see from this example that people, even very smart people, are unable to anticipate the benefits of in-depth interaction with colleagues until they have experienced it for themselves. Before Researcher’s Square, the researchers at NIWL daily saw their colleagues coming in and out of the building, passed them on the staircase, or nodded to them in the hall, but they learned very little from one another. Moreover, when I asked them to anticipate how they might use Researcher’s Square, they could not envision a benefit beyond coffee and food. But when NIWL created a place for structured socialization* they not only learned from each other, the whole organization became more aligned and collaborative - in a word, more effective. Structured socialization named by my colleague, Robert Dalton, is the intentional design of processes and space that bring people together in conversational formats to create and share knowledge.
• Connection before Content
Before people can learn from each other or collaborate on issues, they need to build connections – that is, gain some understanding of who the other person is, including their skills, depth of knowledge, experience, and attitude toward others. People are unlikely to ask each other questions or ask for assistance, until they have built a connection that allows them to learn that the other person is knowledgeable enough and respectful enough to engage. In Researcher’s Square, the coffee, food, and small tables for chats, all provided an atmosphere in which the researchers were able to build the connections that then allowed content to flow.
• Cognitive Diversity
The researchers proved to be more interested in others’ projects than they thought they would be. They assumed that what others were doing would be of little interest to them and likewise that others would have little interest in what they are doing, after all the projects they were engaged in were greatly varied and appeared to have little in common with each other. However, in Researcher’s Square these differences also brought with them an attribute that boosts creativity and innovation within a group, cognitive diversity. When people are cognitively diverse they bring to any problem, a larger set of tools derived from multiple perspectives, problem solving tactics, heuristics and interpretations.
• Conversation Rather Than Presentation
The learning that occurred in Researcher’s Square did not come from presentations, rather the knowledge gained was through conversation. When we think about learning from others our first thought is to have someone make a presentation. But as ubiquitous as presentations are, they are a poor way to learn from peers. Typically, a presenter offers what happened in his or her own situation, but that is not what learners need to hear. Learners are interested in knowing how to adapt the lessons to their situation and for that they need to have a conversation so that the other person can understand their context, and they also can understand the context of the other.

NIWL created a Hallway of Learning that changed the organizational culture."

24 Apr 12

So, what does this mean for all of us?  The message is simple and compelling.  If we are not enhancing flow, we will be marginalized, both in our personal and professional life.  If we want to remain successful and reap the enormous rewards that can be generated from flows, we must continually seek to refine the designs of the systems that we spend time in to ensure that they are ever more effective in sustaining and amplifying flows. As the authors observe, “it is not love or money that makes the world go round but flow and design”

24 Sep 08

Helping you do cool stuff with your digital photos since 2005. :-)
Have fun with your photos!

18 Nov 09

The standard approach to interface design is to craft a channel that allows you to easily and efficiently control hardware or software; it’s all about the interaction between people and computers. But today, the two entities on each side of the user inter

28 Nov 09

I liked this presentation, which suggests a design approach based more on getting learners to solve problems rather than remember facts. The proof, suggests Cathy Moore, is in the results: the problem-based approach, using scenarios, will actually improve

10 Feb 10

Today, in communities, the "landing page" for the service brings the user to the Public Communities list view...and additionally, they can click to see the My Communities list view...

09 Feb 10

My Modern Metropolis is a social network and community blog where artists, trendspotters and design lovers share today's best modern day experiences. At our core, we focus on art, design and photography.

Read about why others have joined theMET. Then, si

14 Mar 10

Here’s a collection of terrific social media infographics that might come in handy. As you probably know, infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge. They illustrate information that would be unwieldy in text form and they

14 May 10

The Pencil Project's unique mission is to build a free and opensource tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use. (not avail for mac as of May 2010)

15 Sep 10

California artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector recently constructed this incredible towering obelisk made entirely out of bikes on a street corner in Santa Rosa. Dubbed Cyclisk, the monument is an ode to bike culture constructed from 340 bicycles and on

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