Are we learning? Or just looking good?

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck made a great distinction between performance goals and learning goals. Performance goals are about “winning positive judgements of your competence and avoiding negative ones. In other words, when students pursue performance goals they’re concerned with their level of intelligence: They want to look smart (to themselves or others) and avoid looking dumb.” A person usually does this by playing it safe. Learning goals are ones that are about increasing your competence. “It reflects a desire to learn new skills, master new tasks, or understand new things—a desire to get smarter.” Both goals are common and can drive achievement. So there’s nothing wrong with either. “In fact,” she says, “in the best of all possible worlds, students could achieve both goals at the same time.” Unfortunately, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds. One is usually pitted against the other. “The tasks that are best for learning are often challenging ones that involve displaying ignorance and risking periods of confusion and errors. The tasks that are best for looking smart are often ones that students are already good at and won’t really learn as much from doing.” What she has … [Read more...]

Horrible Bosses…

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Stating the Bleedin’ Obvious…(unless you are policy wonk or their lackey…)

Not every small business or micro-enterprise owner needs a mentor. Mentoring is NOT the only helping relationship. Good mentors are rarely trained in 'mentoring', nor are they picked from a register. Successful mentors are usually selected from within the pre-existing network of the mentee.  They are spotted and developed as someone from  whom the mentee really wants to learn. Mentoring is an intermittent rather than a continuous relationship. Access to good mentors is usually restricted and respectful rather than a tradeable commodity. The success of the mentorship is usually down to the mentee rather than the mentor.  Good mentees know how to choose a mentor and manage the relationship with them to get the learning and the introductions that they need. The commoditisation of mentoring is not a good thing. Mentors are not coaches, advisers, consultants, counsellors or facilitators.  People looking to learn and develop themselves and/or their organisations should think carefully about the kind of 'help' they need. We should help people explore what they want to learn and how they are going to learn it - rather than prescribe yet another 'cure-all' that happens to be 'affordable'. We should focus our efforts on … [Read more...]

The Web Changes (nearly) Everything…and what to do about it…

The web has changed (nearly) everything. Bloggers, Tweeters, Patient Opinion, Fill That Hole and so on...the web is full of people's opinions, experiences, ideas and beliefs about you, your organisation and your products and services. It is far more likely that we will read about what you do in a piece written on the web by our peers than a piece written by your Press Office or PR agent on your website. We have learned to recognise and respond to authentic voices that want to converse.  We are increasingly immune to your sales pitches.... In this one day workshop we will explore exactly what has changed because of the web and how. This will not be a day for technologists and web geeks, but for communications professionals, service managers, business developers, strategists and others who are wondering how to manage perceptions on the web and use them to build a better business. We will not be looking in any detail at the specifics of particular social media platforms or web sites but we will be examining how the new information that it surfaces can either kill or cure an organisation. We will then look at practical actions and strategies that will help to re-position you effectively in the web enabled … [Read more...]

Progress School in Leeds

Just about to embark on a new venture in Leeds called Progress School, providing pay what you can professional and personal development.  Progress School offers: A confidential and supportive environment in which to plan your personal and professional development Time to develop a vision for the 'ideal you' and to learn more about the 'real you' - how you are perceived by others Recognition of strengths and gaps - those potentials that you have not yet fully realised A learning agenda - identify what you need to learn and how you are going to learn it to bridge the gap between 'real' and 'ideal' Access to a network of fellow Progress School members who will commit to helping you learn A chance to experiment - to try out new behaviours and skills - to see if they work for you Develop new practices that help you make progress Progress School is designed to offer you a flexible process to support your development.  The more you attend the more you are likely to get from it - but there is no curriculum to follow - just a process of reflection and action to engage with. Interested?  Book Your Place...Now Prices start from free.... … [Read more...]

Some thoughts on the Front Line

Front liners are capable of taking on far more responsibility than the boxes the system puts them in. Front liners are very modest about their own abilities and skills. Front liners want to do a great job for patients. Managers must learn to let go of more of the power they have thus allowing front liners to get on with the job. Managers must be there for support when front liners need it – they are well capable of judging when they need help. Sensible reflections from Trevor Gay's Simplicity blog I am sure that you will agree with much of it. But do you ACT on it? Or do you let 'the system' get in the way? … [Read more...]

Are You This Innovative?

Do you need to be? … [Read more...]

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose – the PMN Way

This TED video by Dan Pink provides some lovely support for the PMN approach to management.  18 minutes or so. … [Read more...]

Better Mentoring

Thinking of setting up a mentoring scheme?  Here are some top tips to improve the chances of success: Educate mentees in how to choose and use a mentor - this will provide a better return on investment than training people in how to be good mentors Offer a mentor matching service - but always encourage people to look for their own mentors first - this ensures relevance Always encourage people to check out a few potential mentors rather than allocating them one Train people who have already been approached to become mentors - avoid training a whole bunch of people who want to mentor, but for whom there is no demand Please do add more.... … [Read more...]

Progress School in Leeds

Looking to broaden and deepen your personal and professional development? Live and or work in Leeds? Check out Progress School Not in Leeds but like the idea of a Progress School on your turf? Get in touch! … [Read more...]


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