Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

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A faulty knowledge transfer metaphor

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 17, 2007
Filed in Communication

The conduit metaphor is a common way for people to imagine how information is passed from one person to another. This metaphor paints a picture of information passing as a message to a receiver and the receiver picks it up and pops it in their mind. I have even seen a keynote speech recently where […]

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The fine art of (not) lecturing

Posted by  Daryl Cook —December 7, 2007
Filed in Communication

I just read a great article over at the thestar.com about Nobel laureate Carl Wieman who wants professors to rethink how they teach. His message? In a nutshell: reduce the load; stimulate the brain. A lot of what he recommends is not just applicable to teaching science, it’s also relevant to anyone who presents information […]

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Social search – getting your community and colleagues to help improve findability

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 24, 2007
Filed in Communication

Why does Google work? Because on the internet people link between sites. Popular sites are popular probably because they are relevant and more people link to these sites. As a result Google ranks them higher than others and hey presto when you Google the most highly ranked sites are at the top. What happens on […]

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Most Significant Change – a primer

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 19, 2007
Filed in Communication, Leadership Posts

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” When Einstein uttered these words little did he know that he was stating the case for techniques like Most Significant Change (MSC). MSC is a simple process for helping senior decision-makers develop a gut feel for what an initiative has […]

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Mooers’ law

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 30, 2007
Filed in Communication

I was reading Ambient Findability this morning at breakfast and found this law posited by Calvin Mooers in 1959. An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information than for him not to have it. Technorati Tags: calvin mooers, usability

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Will Wright’s new game Spore and decision games

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 21, 2007
Filed in Communication

Have you ever played SimCity? I remember the first time I had a go at that game. It was 1990. I was amazed. Well, the creator of SimCity is getting ready to launch a new game called Spore which will enable players to evolve their own universes from a single cell organism right up to […]

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Steve Denning picks up on story-listening

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 21, 2007
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication

I was just reading Steve Denning’s latest newsletter and I noticed that he has picked up on the importance of story-listening in his latest book. He writes: Obviously, I’m a great fan of storytelling. And yet, I have to say, there’s also something basically wrong with the term, “storytelling”. If you take it literally, it […]

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Taking on new tasks

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 20, 2007
Filed in Communication, Culture

A few posts ago I described how you can delegate tasks in a way that informs people with what they need to know to do a job in a complex world. Now let’s look at what you might do when taking on a new task, project, or assignment that has been delegated to you. What […]

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Cognitive biases

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 9, 2007
Filed in Communication

Who said we were rational beings? Here is a multitude of cognitive biases we are all subject to such as the information bias (the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action), false consensus effect (the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them), and the halo effect […]

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Learning before…

Posted by  Mark Schenk —June 30, 2007
Filed in Communication

Our friend and colleague Amanda Horne sent us an e-newsletter with an essay about a brilliant networker called Catherine Fitzgerald. The essay describes some of the ways that Catherine networks by helping others and sharing her knowledge and experience. One of her activities is to to set up ‘Collegial Consults’ that described as follows: Catherine […]

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