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Learning

The Management Pocketbooks Pocket Correspondence Course

Pocketblog has gone back to basics. This is part of an extended management course.


  • Why do you need to learn?
  • What do you need to learn?
  • How will you learn?
  • What will you do with the knowledge if you do learn?

These four excellent questions put us in mind of Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT System for learning – a model that will help you answer the ‘How will you learn?’ question.  But let’s start at the beginning: Why?

The true answer to ‘why learn?’ will always be ‘because you can; because it is human nature to; and because learning is a joyous process.’  But I am guessing many readers will be more specifically career-focused.  You may be a new manager, perhaps hoping for a promotion, perhaps wanting a new role.

Exercise 1: Why Learn

Look at last week’s blog post, Career Development, and then ask yourself:  ‘What is my purpose in embarking on job-related learning?’  Write your answers in your notebook.

Exercise 2: What to Learn

To determine what you most need to learn, conduct a SWOT analysis.  Take a cold critical view of your personal strengths and weaknesses.  Then look at the opportunities ahead of you and the threats that may set you back.  Compare your strengths and weaknesses with the opportunities and threats and, from that, determine your learning priorities.

SWOT Analysis

Exercise 3: How to Learn

It seems likely that we all have our preferred learning styles: reading and analysis, experimentation and playing, reflecting on experiences.  Think about a time when you learned most easily and comfortably.  What were you doing then?  This is possibly a good starting point for designing a learning process that will work for you.

Further Reading

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Confirmation Bias: The Worst of Humanity

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation BiasWhy is the Pocketblog writing about ‘the worst of humanity’? Because nothing is fixed. But if you don’t know how Confirmation Bias works, you are powerless to deal with it.

Confirmation Bias is just one of many cognitive biases and thinking traps our giant, yet lazy, brains are prey to. But it is the one that is responsible for the most ills in the world. And it is also responsible for bad judgments in business, politics, and public administration.

So, we think it falls very much within the scope of our Big Ideas series. Unless you understand the big idea of what confirmation bias is, you cannot take it on with the simple tools that are available to you.

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Action Learning: L=P+Q

Action Learning

Action LearningAction Learning is, quite simply, the best way to learn. Especially if what you want to learn is less ‘learning that’, and more ‘learning how’.

Reg Revans started life as a physicist. His Big Idea was to apply the way scientists deal with problems to create a way for managers to learn. And he called his process Action Learning.

Let’s understand what Action Learning is, how it works, and why it is so good.

Continue reading Action Learning: L=P+Q

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Accelerated Learning: Learn fast & effectively

Accelerated Learning

Accelerated LearningThe world changes fast, and to keep up, you need to be learning new stuff all the time. And some of that needs to be from a large and complex body of knowledge. Yet, as a working manager, your time is at a premium. So is there any way you can create accelerated learning?

The answer is yes. Over many years, we have accumulated a broad and eclectic body of knowledge about how we learn. It combines experience, practical psychology, and neuroscience. And practitioners bring this all together under the banner of Accelerated Learning.

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Scientific Method

Scientific Method

Scientific MethodThere is no bigger idea than science. So, in this UN International Year of the Periodic Table, I want to celebrate what makes science so powerful: the almost equally big idea of the Scientific Method.

For managers, I’d sum up its utility with a quote from an old friend, Tony Quigley:

The alternative to evidence-based policy-making is policy-based evidence-making’

If you want your organisational decisions to carry heft and deliver results, you can do no better than to apply the scientific method to your management practices.
Continue reading Scientific Method

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TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design… and so much more

TED

TEDI am loathe to introduce you to TED, if you don’t already know it. It is like crack cocaine for the intellectually curious. That is, it provides a deep sense that you are awesome and can achieve anything. And it’s highly addictive.

Since the organisation started as a promoter of conferences, it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon and a fantastic intellectual resource base. You can learn about whatever topic or field of human endeavour interests you. TED invites some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners to give the talk of their lives – or sometimes a demonstration or performance.  And it records those talks and makes them freely available.

I❤️TED

Continue reading TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design… and so much more

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MBA | Master of Business Administration

MBA - Master of Business Administration

MBA - Master of Business AdministrationDo you want to give your business career a boost? If you do, one of the most obvious answers is an MBA, a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

The MBA is a globally recognised high-prestige business qualification. It’s offered by hundreds of universities in every part of the world. And MBA students aspire to leading roles in our corporations, public services, and not-for-profits.

In fact, providing MBA courses is now very big business indeed. So, why would you want one, what is an MBA exactly, and where can you go to get one? Those would be the questions a consumer guide would answer.

But this is not a consumer guide. Instead, we’re going to look at the MBA as a Big Idea.

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Learning at Work Week: 2018

Learning at Work Week | 14-20 May 2018

FREE ACCESS FOR ONE WEEK ONLY

To mark Learning at Work Week 2018, we are throwing open the doors of the Pocket Library learning portal.

For the week in question, from 14th to 20th May, anyone who has an interest in workplace learning and development can visit our online library of Pocketbooks free of charge.

Here’s the key to the door.

Free Access to our Online Library of Pocketbooks

The Key of the door to our online library of Pocketbooks
The Key of the door to our online library of Pocketbooks
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Training Needs Analysis -or- Learning Needs Analysis

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is now increasingly referred to as Learning Needs Analysis (LNA). This is a reflection of the far wider range of options for how we learn at work. But, regardless of terminology, just what is Training Needs Analysis, and how can you do carry it out?

At the heart of this Big Idea is a recognition that we all need to learn new stuff, to improve our work performance. Life-long learning is a good thing in itself. But as job roles change, and as we move through our careers, it is a necessary part of working life too. So, Training Needs Analysis does what its name implies: it is an analysis of the training or learning we need, to do our job (or our next job) as well as possible.

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Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences

The idea of Multiple Intelligences is the brainchild of Harvard Professor, Howard Gardner. As big ideas go, they don’t get bigger and simpler than this one.

Big, because the idea of Multiple Intelligences addresses something fundamental in all of us. It’s about our different capacities to excel in the full variety of human endeavours. It has a lot to say about how we should value the people around us, and the best way to educate our children.

Yet it is also disarmingly simple. There’s no single measure of intelligence. And neither should we reserve the label ‘intelligent’ for a narrow band of people who are simply intelligent in one of a small number of ways. Human potential expresses itself in a vast variety of forms. And so does our intelligence.

Continue reading Multiple Intelligences

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