2015 Rebooted and Reminders

sailaway2015, rebooted. Every new year offers us new adventures, new opportunities, new possibilities. I go to an annual holiday getaway with my family to refresh and relax. It is at this time that I reimagine my perspective, my focus, and enhance my connections with my friends and family. I imagine this would be what others do when they list their New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are funny because to me, it seems that there may be an instance of  not doing a good job at something or someone may have have lost their way but for most professionals I know, I think they do a fairly good job at their work and always want to make themselves better so I suggest another term than “resolve” but  “enhance.”

Take going to the gym, as an example. We may have eaten our way through the holidays and want to burn off that excess. Maybe it is not just the body that we’re trying to adjust to a preferred weight but more an enhancement of how we perceive ourselves (and maybe how others perceive us). So maybe our list of things to do this year (our New Year Enhancements) would not just be the physical (like a company expansion like Target, Canada) but incorporate the psychological (like understanding very clearly the audience like Target, Canada).

I invite you to think about just one thing to focus on for the year, a catch-all, if you may. Last year, we’ve learned that telling one’s kids “I’d want you to be kind” rather than “I want you to be happy” is the enhanced approach to reminding your offsprings what you want for them. We can derive happiness from kindness. We can potentially be selfish because we want to be happy.

At my mom’s 90th birthday celebration, part of our holiday get together this year, amidst the gamut of relatives, friends and well-wishers, she pulls me aside and asked “how have you been kind to others this year, my son?” This question reminds me that (1) my mom is on top of the latest research and more importantly, (2) she laser focuses on what is important. I continually seek out opportunities to incorporate learnings from my mom in my consulting practice.

sailtwoAs personalized learning becomes de rigueur in 2015, it is key that we know our audience’s learning capabilities really well to ensure that we pick the right learning opportunities for them. Package this with current events, then you’re solutions will make more sense.

For example, with the lowering costs of oil, would it make more sense to pull students in a face-to-face class? Would this mean an adjustment in how we develop blended curricula? But wait, with the terrorist attacks in Paris, would this mean a need for more online solutions to prevent the possibility of being caught in crossfires? These are questions to ask when building solutions. So my suggestion is not just to look at what is going on within your organization to create learning solutions, but do an environmental scan to ensure the very solutions you create actually stick.

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