How much fun will your three year old child have learning to ride a bike?

Training wheels don’t work

If you have a young child who will learn to ride a bike sometime soon, you probably have recollections of the bike that you learnt on, and the awkwardness of bikes with stabilisers (also known as: training wheels). Recently, I came across this article about training wheels and balance bikes and it reminded me of the very different experience with my youngest son.

Balance bikes are much better

Balance bikes are great, as this video (not of my child) shows!

In my experience, they are obviously a better way to learn to ride a bike and it’s very surprising that anyone buys bikes with stabilisers (training wheels) any more. On a more professional note, this is also one of the best examples that I have encountered of innovation applied to learning by choosing different disclosure sequences, but that is a much bigger story.

How it started Continue reading

Do now, or do later?

Whenever you think of something, do you always do it immediately?

It’s wonderful when you can, because you don’t need to remember anything. You can play around and improvise on a whim. It’s fun, interesting and might lead anywhere; and if the things that trigger those thoughts are well organised, then it is likely to lead somewhere.

On the other hand, it might lead nowhere. Continue reading

An application of storytelling

Practical storytelling

What is storytelling used for? Storytelling is always important and is particularly topical this week when there is a great conference on the subject.

Examples of practical uses of storytelling abound in the fields of training and elsewhere. One of the most practical uses is in aviation, a field in which storytelling is rife. This is driven by the general acceptance, in aviation culture and especially among pilots, that no one has enough time or lives to learn entirely from their own mistakes; it is important also to learn from other people’s mistakes. Continue reading

The value of a story

How often have you heard …

“Have you heard that … ?”

“Don’t forget the old saying: …”

“Did you hear the one about … ?”

The need to pass on “the one about …” is based on the urge to share a good story. This happens with jokes, mythical tales and real life stories. So why is that? What is it about a good story that  is  “valuable”? We will return to this question. Continue reading

“Safety is no accident!”

For some reason, I am thinking about safety, and this well-known slogan came to mind.

It makes you think

It is a neat double entendre. Not surprisingly, “safety is no accident” is a slogan that is widely used to convey the importance of taking a positive approach to safety, along the lines of: “our record of no accident did not happen on its own, you know!”. While this makes us smile, it also carries a serious message.

It keeps you awake

In areas of operation where safety is taken particularly seriously, it provides a useful focus on the need for continuous vigilance, effort and development. “Safety is no accident” is perhaps best known in the field of aviation. Writing this just before boarding a transatlantic flight, with “the world’s favourite airline”, makes me particularly mindful of this!

Continue reading

Liking LikeMinds 2010

A global local conference

How often does a great conference on an emerging subject attract local, national and global participants to a quiet corner of the UK? Not often, I suspect.

Nevertheless last Friday, 2010 February 26, it happened again at LikeMinds 2010! The first time it happened was in 2009 on October 16th. Back in February 2009, two people met having got to know each other using Twitter, the popular social media tool/service. Scott Gould is a Devon-based web and experience designer. Trey Pennington is an American social media and business consultant. They met in Exeter and set the date for a half-day event which became LikeMinds 09. A local conference centre was the venue. People came from far and wide to became part of the inaugural gathering. Afterwards, they knew that they’d started something and felt the need to repeat it.

This time, just over four months later. More came to LikeMinds 2010, in the same relatively small venue. The same loyal bunch of social media specialists came back and brought more with them. There was more buzz and activity. This time, it lasted a full day and was followed by a business-oriented summit event at a prestigious location.

It was good to be there. It was good to meet new people. It was good to get a real sense of what is going on in human social communication. And all of this in my local city of Exeter, Devon, England.

There is more to come on this conference! But to give you a flavour, here is the talk by Chris Brogan … after I’d had lunch with him!

And, I am sure, more LikeMinds conferences to come.