Using What You’ve Learned

This morning at #L4LAASSA we were lucky enough to welcome Ewan McIntosh.  He helped us disrupt our thinking in a major way.  Have a look at the 10 takeaways from Ewan’s presentation:

  1. Provoke
  2. Curate wonder
  3. Ask the right questions
  4. Create a War Room (project nest)
  5. Capture the thinking
  6. Design discussion
  7. Drive towards problem-finding
  8. Take risks
  9. Build, build, build
  10. Know why

One of MY major takeaways/reminders from this session is that this this isn’t a one day workshop or keynote.  This HAS to be an ongoing thought process.  I think this is quite obvious to everyone involved, however dedicating the time to continue the journey after returning home is always the challenge.  In fact, it’s the same for any long term change project…the hard part is keeping the momentum going.

While sitting in front of Ewan McIntosh it’s very easy to get excited and brainstorm ideas.  But come Monday morning the “real world” comes crashing back down and there are proverbial fires that need to be tended.  So how do you take a great idea and keep it alive?

Whether it’s something taken away from a conference or even the idea to start a diet, how do you follow through successfully?  To me the concept is easy, it’s the implementation that’s tough.

Set Aside Specific Time:  

Setting aside specific time in your schedule is very easy, holding yourself to that time is the hard part.  What happens when “something comes up”?  Do you scrap the time you had allotted for your continued professional growth?  Usually, and unfortunately, the answer is ‘yes’.  This time must be sacrosanct, don’t waiver in that belief.

Find an Accountability Partner:  

This can take multiple forms.  First off, and maybe easiest, is to find someone who has the same goal/focus as you and work together.  Meet together once a week, set appointments and hold each other to them.  If you’re working with a partner there is an extra motivation to hold yourself to this time, you don’t want to let that person down!  A second option, if you’d rather work alone or on a different project, is to partner up with someone who has a goal, any goal.  Even though the goal isn’t the same you can check-in on progress and support each other throughout the process.  Most of us work better as a team, we’re collaborative beings by nature…go with it!

Reflect Publicly:  

Of course this requires more time…maybe.  See, reflection is one of the most important parts of the equation.  Without this you’re not going to move very far down the path toward success.  So, when you reflect (which you should be doing anyway), do it in a way that you can share publicly.  Perhaps you make audio notes while you’re in the taxi, maybe it’s a group chat on Voxer, or maybe you just take a picture of your War Room, white board, or notebook and share it to a blog.  Sharing publicly creates two things: another level of accountability and an opportunity to receive feedback.  Put yourself out there and see what comes back!

If you can put these three pieces in place when you’re working on a long term goal there is no doubt that you will see success.  A little bit of time up front will pay big dividends on the backside.  Don’t be afraid to invest a little time in yourself!!

 

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3 thoughts on “Using What You’ve Learned

  1. It is easy to let yourself down. You can always rationalize to yourself, but teaming up with someone and explaining failure is always hard. Therefore teaming up gets better results.

  2. Bret, we didn’t get to meet in person at AASSA but I was following your tweets! Your reflection here really hits home with me, especially as I’m currently mulling over how to tackle some pretty complex (but not complicated!) systems to bring change to my school (with the end goal of changing the world), while also desperately wanting to live a life of less is more. Your advice gives me a starting point- and carving out time is essential. I can and will carve out time, I already work on a team that hold me accountable to our collective high expectations (and high aspirations), and well, this is my first attempt at reflecting publicly! Wish me luck on my journey of learning 🙂

  3. Pingback: Use Your Connections, Build Your PLN | Pushing Forward

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