Remix: 6 Lessons on Playing Smart and Failing Forward

Dug this one up from the archives, dusted it off and gave it a fresh polish — you might even see your own reflection in it.

1 #NoHustleWasted. The shortcut to success takes years to create. There’s no copy & paste formula for it and along the way you’ll fail. Good. Failure is an outcome not a brand. If we don’t fail smart, we can’t play smart or grow, so we remain stuck in the fallacy that more of the same means progress. It doesn’t. You’ll screw up. Own it and show up again.

2 Owning mistakes is not easy. It means being courageous and humble and leading outside your comfort zone (which also happens to be where the magic happens right?). If you find yourself with your desk in a box and a proverbial blank canvas, fill it with what you want to do, not with what you “should” do. Don’t should on yourself and don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines. Perfection is the enemy of human. And it’s cool to be human again!

3 “If you’re not giving back, you’re taking too much.” ~ Robin Sharma
This one is simple. Say thank you, ask how you can help and show up for others. Find opportunities do one of each, every single day. When you rock the hustle of serving beyond yourself, the universe will boomerang the goodness.

4 Chances are designed to be given and taken. Think of a time when someone took a big risk to invest in your talent as much you invest in yourself. Pay it forward. Keep taking risks on yourself. Stay swift in evaluating opportunities, ensuring fit for personal values and future aspirations. Be fearless + audacious when your gut says so and smart when you feel it’s not a win-win. Be Curious and Pivot (for best results, rinse & repeat).

5 Serve and Protect – Being generous with your knowledge is a form of service. In authentic relationships, where the level of social and emotional intelligence is high, this occurs with a spirit of reciprocity. Find these connections and cultivate them. Where there is not alignment, listen. There is always something you can learn – even if it is about what doesn’t feel right so you can be more agile in recognizing it next time. Your network amplifies your story and narrative – your brand. Practice safe brand.

6 Say No to Status Quo. Unless you’re set on building a brand that says “I’m the cookie cutter of the corporate world”, don’t be afraid to be different. Take on roles and initiatives that ignite, inspire and stretch you. Have the courage to be more of who you already are a bit more each day. I dare you.

One final thought: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is resilience – it’s constructed moment by moment. This is yours – it always has been and will always be.

What’s your top smarten-up lesson?

Lean Learning

It first happened in 2010 and then everyday thereafter. Emerging from my Master’s Degree in Adult Learning & Global Change and leaning into social media, I couldn’t connect the dots between 40 pages of a training workbook and 140 characters on Twitter. What troubled me was that I couldn’t un-see it. I still can’t. What troubles me even more is that as workplaces and organizations, for the large part, leaders can’t see it to begin with.

If how we consume information is increasingly lean, why aren’t we Lean Learning?

We spend most of our lives talking about lean bodies and budgets. We’re obsessed with it. We Photoshop and save pennies for it. Yet when it comes to learning, we pack on the details and filler. And then we retweet, repost or simply repeat facts at dinner parties like “Goldfish have greater attention spans than we do today.” GOLDFISH. Think about it – but you won’t be able to for too long because. Yeah. So why are we still elevating excess information when simple is not just sufficient, it’s just right?

It’s Complicated

Exactly, it’s way too complicated. Anything complicated in the workplace is the silent killer of innovation, ideation, and productivity. Yet we celebrate unnecessary details. We applaud terms that exemplify complicated like “matrixed organizations”. Then we use them in job descriptions and hope we get talent that can disrupt the matrix with their novel ideas and velocity. Lean Learning is part of the entrepreneurial DNA. Complicated learning says you don’t want to evolve, that you’ll die fighting for the status quo. This may have been cool in the 80’s or 90’s, and although stonewashed denim, scrunchies and audacious prints are reemerging as fashion trends, complicated will never again be in style.

This is Your Moment

Lean Learning is here to stay. It’s about moments of truth, of thriving, of clarity. Moments that propel entire days of finding meaning at work, of creating value beyond the boundaries of our own imagination limited by company imposed models & frameworks. Today, in the social era of limited time and excess consumption, employees need bite-sized pieces of social and digital knowledge that allow them to learn in a way that fits into their skinny calendar slots. This is how I define Lean Learning. It is being on the go and in the know and at its core are four key elements:


Learner as Hero – Save the day and increase self-efficacy on your own terms.

Micro Consumption – Learning that is lean and meaningful: short podcasts, 140 characters, 30-second videos, one-pagers, two-liners.

Social as Catalyst – Ideation through curation within and across social, mobile and collaboration technology.

Conscious Disruption – Showing up authentically, being fiercely curious, and raising the game by choice vs. prescriptive design.


Learning must be be lean and meaningful so that we can quickly consume, digest and apply it in real time, in real life to make a real impact on people as well as profit. In the world of work largely guided by an end goal of creating shareholder value, we often forget the need to create human value. Until robots run the world, this matters.

Stay Curious… 

 

Why Learning Should Be Open Source

If knowledge is not open source, we are running a dangerous experiment with the collective intellect of humanity.

 

At times the sound of the rain seemed to be louder than the crescendo of voices inside the coffee shop during the lunch rush; an enlightened irony of my conversation with a colleague about noise. Not the noise we hear with our ears, the one we encounter daily with our eyes and minds when we devour (or attempt to), massive loads of information. Words, ideas, images and infographics are pouring down upon us and we aren’t even protecting ourselves from ignorance with an umbrella of purpose.

 

 

Open-Source Learning

With social media and collaboration technology, ideas can now be analyzed, debated, deconstructed and reconstructed in ways entirely inconceivable in the prior era of elite-only learning. Social technology enables intellectual crowd-sourcing at its best. The validity of an idea in a single classroom is being tested in workplaces and communities in parts of the world where access to the Internet is the only source of formal education. Where disruption is the difference between surviving and thriving. Where being born in a slum means living in an ecosystem of micro-entrepreneurs. If it truly is about who you know, then it’s time to talk about how to get to know those people where they live, work and play. Open-source learning is the meeting of the collective mind.

 

Open-Source Ideas

What good is knowledge if it is only shared in the name of monetization? Are we that greedy to hoard possibilities to ourselves because we cannot in our own simple minds conceive of ways to create additional value? Unfortunately, yes. What’s frightening is that some of the most poorly designed content, curriculum, blog posts command top dollar. Sure, anyone can put pen to paper or connect their words to a keyboard. Writing is easy. Writing for influence is not. This requires you to facilitate expertise through social engagement rather than being the expert as author. The skilful content creator is expert as curator, engager and author. The master communicator is the invisible orchestrator of human engagement with knowledge. This is the single element that separates a ruckus from a symphony.

 

Noise Cancellation

Did you ever think that the spa days, mental health days, vacation in the mountains, digital detox/diets/sabbaticals could be avoided by simply choosing to produce and consume knowledge as it is meant to — in small bite-sized chunks with all the flavour minus the artificial fillers that are hazardous to our mind? I call this Lean Learning.

Get Your Head in the Cloud with Disruptive E-Learning Technology

I’m excited to be collaborating with e-learning company Docebo, on a series of sponsored posts and guest posts on topics ranging from Business Process Humanization to Learning Design for Employer Branding, and this first post on a review of their latest product: Docebo 6.2 LMS.

The decision to collaborate on sponsored posts was motivated by a desire to get a more intimate look into the e-learning technology market. My curiosity was piqued as part of a broader intention to provide you, my community of HR practitioners, learning professionals and smart businesses, with more insight into the market. The opinions expressed in this post and all posts in the series are my solely my own. There are no affiliate links contained in this post.

Let’s Do This.

Docebo_Logo1

Docebo, pronounced “Do-Chee-Bo” is a Naples, Italy and Athens, Georgia based company that provides SaaS (“Software-As-A-Service”) based e-learning solutions. Established in 2005, it has partners in 29 countries and over 300,000 users. Docebo ranks among the top 20 Learning Management Systems (LMS) by Capterra and Craig Weiss’ 2014 LMS Market Report. Last month it released version 6.2 of its solution, which continues to disrupt the market.

But First Things First, The Why of E-Learning

As a former HR Manager leading 400 employees I was occupied with four key questions when it came to learning:

1. Is it cost and time effective?
Lean budgets and productivity targets require maximized knowledge with minimized disruption of workflow.

2. Does it serve compliance and creative needs of employees and the business?
Regulatory learning means we are engaging in the best interest of all stakeholders while protecting the company. Professional development opportunities show employees the company is investing in their potential.

3. Will knowledge live and breathe beyond the classroom?
Formal learning ticks boxes, informal and social learning where knowledge transforms into meaning through relationships & interactions is where the real magic happens.

4. Is it simple?
As the now famous meme says, “Ain’t nobody got time for that” level of unnecessary complexity. It’s all about “LeanLearning”In the know and on the go!

 

Effective e-learning answers “yes” to all of the above.

Here’s why:

EMPLOYEES CAN GET SMARTER ON THEIR OWN TERMS – self-paced learning modules allow different people with different learning styles to engage in alignment with their best selves, when and where their energy and lifestyle fuels it.

LEADERS CAN GET SMARTER ABOUT THEIR PEOPLE – personal and team progress tracking means it’s easier to see who needs a high-five versus human intervention.

THE COMPANY CAN GET SMARTER ABOUT LEARNING DESIGN – with 24/7 access to learning, delivery is consistent and feedback on the learning experience provides insight on the usefulness and effectiveness of the content for various teams, departments or project groups.

Compelling and comfortable learning experiences can lead to higher employee satisfaction, lower turnover, meaningful employee engagement and savvy employer brand ambassadors; all with the beautiful benefit of less costs and greater profit.

“Today’s workforce needs knowledge, skills and abilities that are aligned with business objectives, while managers need to track the effectiveness of learning programmes… we aim to transform the LMS into a ‘must have’ tool – like a CRM.”

— Claudio Erba, CEO & Founder of Docebo

These Folks Also Play in this Space

LMS Logos

With Docebo’s simple and comprehensive solution, it successfully competes and thrives in the same sandbox as these players.

The Big Idea Behind Docebo 6.2

Spend less time on the technical and administrative aspects of instructional design and more time curating content that will transform the way you connect and create.

“Our approach helps re-humanize business processes through e-learning as companies become more people-centric. That’s why we’ve allowed access to a package of Apps for mid-sized and large enterprises, such as the Enterprise Cloud Solution. In addition, our Classroom ILT App enables superior service delivery and cost-effective investment while leveraging the benefits and flexibility of a pure SaaS Solution.”

— Claudio Erba, Docebo’s CEO and Founder

E-Learning, LMS

I gave Docebo’s platform a spin. It was ridiculously easy to set-up and get on with it.

Docebo Screenshots

Overall, I was impressed by the ease, simplicity, functionality and user experience based on my mini adventure.

Docebo has some opportunities in refining graphics associated with their course offering gallery, both in terms of variety of images as well as diversity in gender and ethnicity reflected in the graphics. I’m also looking forward to greater social collaboration, content marketing opportunities from within the LMS (very cool!) as well gamification in Docebo 6.3. With Docebo’s TinCan API compliance, experiential learning through virtual reality, serious games and simulation may also be on the horizon.

Now you try it. Give Docebo a whirl with their 14-day free trial and let me know what you think about it for your learning and business needs.

Happy Learning folks. Keep it Lean and Meaningful.

 

5 Steps to Being Fabulous in the Workplace and Beyond

It’s been an interesting few months as I’ve reconnected with parts of myself that I had shelved in favour of what I thought I should be doing, how I thought I should be living and who I thought mattered (on paper). The funny thing is, I didn’t think I was THAT person. After all, I’ve been doing work with clients and in a community around Authentic Leadership for the last few years. While part of the work of emotional intelligence is knowing we’re all at difference places in the journey towards being more of who we already are, I somehow managed to go missing-in-action. To find my way back I had to call myself out. When it came down to the moment of truth, the moment I looked myself in the minds eye and said “time to disrupt yourself”, I realized that meant something entirely different than what I had imagined. Disrupting myself meant being myself. Period.

 

Step 1

Know it. Be it. Share it. Own it. Tyra Banks, a fellow ‘word wizard’, has come up with the concept of “Flawesome” – owning oneself as awesome because of and not in spite of flaws. I finally started living this by staking claim to my truth in this blog postThat was Step 1.

 

Step 2

Prove your intentions to your self. I did this by entering the “I Have Great Genes” Plus Size Modelling Contest. I have 240 votes as of now and there are still four days left to cast a daily vote. Two hundred and forty times in a single week, someone has thought of me with respect and taken great care in their life to vote, and in many cases to share words of encouragement and support.  240 times – Thank YOU.

 

FriendshipJimMorrison

Step 3

Gain more clarity on what you bring to every encounter, professionally and personally. As a consultant and entrepreneur, this awareness has raised the game . No wonder I had a challenge identifying my brand and finding my voice through a website and blogging! I was on the path to digital ventriloquism. There’s a silent club of folks out there that are mouthing what others are saying then clicking their own publish button. Not rocking the Member’s Only jacket helped me discover some powerful things about myself:

  • I breathe to ideate, design, create, share, reflect and write. My best decision has been to surrender to this rather than fight the battle best suited for the gladiators of detail. It’s a hustle to remain focused on where I can create value with the greatest amount of ease and joy.
  • Sometimes the best course is not staying it. Sometimes its getting a GPS so I can focus on the joy of driving my dreams and arriving at my destination ready to rock n’ roll (so I don’t veer off course and join the workplace circus as a ventriloquist ;).
  • I’m finding myself being less and less concerned about the mundane of the Ivory Tower jungle and losing myself in the conscious chaos of the creative world instead.

 

MembersOnlyJacket

Step 4

Make it Happen. This is about the intentional hustle of getting sh!t done. Doing it. Writing, publishing, writing, publishing, being a better writer. Giving – thanks, gratitude, knowledge, time, resources, stories. Asking…with integrity and humility. I have to ask because if I don’t, I’m choosing to take the long-way when I’ve already found the shortcut – meaningful relationships.

Let it Happen. This is a difficult one because it means letting go of the people, opportunities and relationships that are not part of the new design, by trusting your gut and going with ease. If there’s no ease, I’m merely trying to wade in the water at high tide. It’s also about allowing things to align and embracing a great thing instead of resigning to complacency. If I don’t let the magic happen everyday, I won’t know a good thing if it showcased itself to me in flashing neon lights.

Step 5

 

  • …is happening at this very moment. I hit publish, you are reading this and I am thankful you are taking the time to listen in and tune in to yourself.

 

When Fabulous Has No Fear….YOU are possible.

Now go be great and let me know how I can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

salimaname

#FabulousHasNoFear
#NoHustleWasted