Archive for January, 2008

List of Developmental Assignments 2.0

January 29, 2008

Developmental Assignments 2.0 

This is one of my favorite topic in development. Seminars, books, self study are not as effective as doing it, trying it out, putting it into action. Developmental assignments are the best way to leverage your development. 

There are plenty of possibilities to choose a developmental assignment for inside or outside of your job or while you are in between jobs. This book lists quite a number of assignments: McCauley, C., Developmental Assignment, ISBN: 1-882197-91-7 

Nowadays a lot of great assignments can be found on the internet. My intention is to collect them here. In order to better group these assignments I have chosen to list them against the MBA Core Curricula’s. I think this offer as good way to identify an assignments that would develop you further in the respective area.Another way to list assignments is against global competencies. Whilst this is an interesting way to structure development assignments yet these competencies vary from company to company.I took this MBA Core Curricula’s from the book “What the best MBAs know”, Edited by Peter Navarro, McGraw Hill 2005, Page 7

I would be happy to receive any suggestions around assignments in the commentary box. Thank you very much for your support in advance.

The list will be continuously updated. 

1. The Strategic and Tactical MBA
1.1 Management Strategy
1) An Archive of successful and failed business plans. (Business Plan Archive)
2) Vote on the best business plan. Get an eye for the winning plan. Another contest where one can vote.
3) Evaluate Business Models or submit your own. Click here to go to the site Ideawicket.
4) Web 2.0: “The next step is to start a planning process with a comprehensive map of your innovation ecosystem that positions your value creation and assesses the interdependencies that will determine the flow of benefits and your ability to capture a share of them. this is not a traditional competitive landscape or value-chain analysis but an analysis of the participants creating knowledge pertinent to your existing and future buiness. While this includes business partners and competitiors, it extends to academia, public research institutes, think tanks, creative communities or communities of practice, and contract research organizations. The map needs to be global and cover all relevant disciplines that intersect with your strategy.”Tapscott,Don; Williams Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 277 f.

1.2 Macroeconomics
1) Manage a virtual fund on Marketocracy. More about Maretocracy in wikipedia.It has several benefits to run a fund or participate in a club. It let’s you wear an investor’s head for some time and you need to take the macroeconomical situation into account. This is an interesting assignment for future leaders who will be involved in investor relations or who are going to run a business. 

2. The MBA Toolbox
2.1. Quantative Analysis (Statistics, Decision Analysis, and Modeling) 

2.2 Managerial Economics 

3. The Functional MBA
3.1 Operations Management 
3.2 Marketing
3.2.1 Public Relations
1) Be an editor on the community Digg. More about Digg in wikipedia. An opportunity to see what news in a democratic editorial environment makes it to the top.
2) A longer term assignment is to create your own blog and attract readers to your blog. 3) Colloborative Product Development and Design. CrowdSpirit.
4) A Rapid Prototyping Platform. Create an idea and sell it. Ponoko

3.3 Financial Accounting 

3.4 Managerial Accounting 

3.5 Corporate Finance 

3.6 Information Technology
1) Participate in a crowdsourcing project. Cambrian House. This one is IT related. 
2) Create a mashup. Paul Rademacher (Picture) created the mashup housingmaps. This got him later a job with Google.

4. The Organizational and Leadership MBA
4.1 Organizational Behavior and Leadership
1) Build your own community. Ning is platform where you can create your own social network. More about Ning in wikipedia.
2) Online Brainstorming. Brainreactions.
3)  Participate in a crowdsourcing project where you take the lead or support the leader. 

4.2 Human Resources Management
4.2.1 Learning & Development
1) Deliver Online Training. If there are no opportunities at your current company the option is to teach via the online learning community WiZiQ. You will also need to understand the technology in order to deliver your training. It prepares you to deliver your message to virtual teams and or give virtual presentations or trainings.
2) Career Planning or Planning your Development. The first step is self assessment.Here you find links to free Self-Assessment tools. (for example Myers-Briggs Personality type test) 
3) Leadership Development: “The starting point for any mager is personal use of the new collaborative technologies, preferably in conjunction with a Net Generation youngster. Ask your college student son or daughter to show you Facebook. Join MySpace. Edit a page in Wikipedia. Create a video clip for YouTube. Get a taste for how these open communities work.” Tapscott,Don; Williams Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 277.

5. The Political and Regulatory MBA
5.1 Business and Government 

5.2 Corporate Ethics Still verifying:

Second Life. This online game offers interesting opportunities to develop a number of the areas. One could be marketing, but I have not yet looked at it.

I looking for to list other successful collaborative assignments/projects here:
1) www.katarinalist.net is one of my favourite examples. Tapscott,Don; Williams Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 185 ff.

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Edublogs.org the largerst education community on the web

January 24, 2008

I have opened a new blog Continuous Learning & Development at Edublog.org.

Fantastic place for this subject.

For the time being I will stop posting here.

Thank you.

See you in Edublogs.org.

Your First 90 Days

January 24, 2008

Watkins, Michael: The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, Harvard Business School Press, Sept. 2003 

This is one of the books I need to recommend to anyone who is about to get a new job. And even as this book is targeted to leaders I would recommend it to anyone starting a new job.

One of the main mistakes new joiners can make is to focus too much on learning the business than learning about the organization.

In my personal experiences it is the first 90 days that build the foundation for each personal successful development and therefore good preparation is key.

More on this book please click here. This is the author’s blog.

List of quotes from the book:

“You can do a lot to compensate for your vulnerabilities. Three basic tools are self-discipline, team building, and advice and counsel.” Page 27

“Acceleration Checklist:
1. What has made you successful so far in your career ? Can you succeed in your new position by relying solely on those strengths ? If not, what are the critical skills you need to develop ?
2. Are there aspects of your new job that are critical to success but that you prefer not to focus on ? Why is that the case ? How will you compensate for your potential blind spots ?
3. What do you need to do to ensure that you make the mental leap into the new position ? From whom might you seek advice and cousel on this ? What other activities might help you do this ?” Page 31 f.

“Effective learning calls for figuring out what you need to learn so you can focus your efforts. Devote some time to defining your learning agenda as early as possible, and return to it periodically to refine and supplement it. Efficient learning means identifying the best available sources of insight and then figuring out how to extract maximum insight with the least possible outlay of your precious time.” Page 37

What are the five essential questions to ask in a new organization ?
“1. What are the biggest challenges the organization is facing (or will face) in the near future ?
2. Why is the organization facing (or going to face) these challenges ?
3. What are most promising unexploited opportunities for growth ?
4. What would need to happen for the organization to exploit the potential of these opportunities ?
5. If you were me, what would you focus attention on ?” Page 46 f.

“How people answer can also tell you a lot about your new team its politics. Who answers directly and who is evasive or prone to going on tangents ? Who takes responsibility and who points fingers ? Who has a broad view of the business and who seems stuck in a silo ?” Page 47

When should your learning have the primary focus ?
“…learning should be a primary focus of your plan for your first 30 days on the job.”

My ideal training ? – My Life in the era of Web 2.0 Education

January 24, 2008

If I am in not so goood mood than  I call a one day up to a five day training a shot in the arm. It is a quick fix with happy, tired faces at the end and two days later probably 70% of the aquired knowledge is lost.

How often have I been to trainings where I suffered the death by Power Point Presentations and with little or no real planned networking sessions. Or I have been to trainings with lots of excercises but still when I look back I ask myself how much do I remember and how well did I network with the other participants.

Here today we have now all the possibilities to improve the blend yet these options are hardly used.

Training could be made so much more effective and sustainable if the different methods are used well.

My ideal training consists of face-to-face meeting(s) where the focus is on networking and collaboration and group exercises.

My ideal training also consists of virtual methods that will prepare or follow the face-to-face meetings. For the Presentations I would like to use interactive engaging Webinars.

My ideal training looks at collaboration during the total training phase.

I would like to have a place where the learners connect during the extended training period – such as a virtual classroom management system (e.g. Moodle).
Where they find resources and excercises and where they can start there own learning journal blog. 

My ideal training does not stop here. There should be a non-directive coaching process following the training which will help to sustain and apply the knowledge.

My ideal training is a journey and not a short holiday which connects people with the same learning goals.

My Life in the era of Web 2.0 Education – Continue 1

January 23, 2008

My vision is to use Web 2.0 for continuous learning & development and find new ways of collaborative learning and development. More in my recent post.

Today I am still around Edublogs and what widgets I can use to build a community who shares the same interest than myself.

I want to have an RSS Subscriber link on my side.

Virtual Learning Environment

January 23, 2008

Main Questions:

Are there any open source LMS where learners can manage their learning history and add courses to their learning plan ?

Are there any free answering machines in the internet for students to leave messages for the teacher or for their colleagues ?

Which free web conferencing software to use to deliver webcasts to students ?

How to build a free university ? 

The Key Factors For Successful Learning – Continued 1

January 23, 2008

I have already written one post about the key factors for successfull learning. Learning is a process. And to run a process at optimum yield (speed, outcome,etc.) the best is to focus on the leveraging factors that influence the process most.  In the last post I mentioned the recreation factor to be far more influencial than focusing on the action. Sleep is probably the key recreation factor before anything else. I will write about other recreational factors in another post.

Now what is second most important for the Learning Process ? I call this the learning filter. It is most effective to filter out the noise before learning anything useless. The noise is the information you do not need to learn. Also information that you could retrieve on time when needed (Example Wikipedia). Now how do I build a filter ?
To build a filter seems to be difficult task to do especially if it is a new subject you want to learn.
So how would you know this filter is not filtering out the information you need ?

Steps to build your filter:

1. Analyse

2. Determine the main questions

3. Define your learning outcomes.

4. Build an agenda or a table of content.

1. Analyse 
For every subject there is are the so called standard book, website or experts. This is one of the first steps to take.  I will write a post in more detail soon about this step.

2. Determine the main questions
For every main topic in the book or on the website create the main question that this topic is going answering.

3. Define your learning outcomes
Identify based on the main questions what is the outcome you need.
Example: Question: How to I create a pivot table in Excel 2003 ? Your intended outcome is: Create a pivot table in Excel 2003. Now to get to this outcome there are also certain steps to take – which you would identify and list in step 4.

4. Build an agenda or table of contents
This is now actually the filter. Here you list based on your questions and outcomes what resources you need to identify and collect in order to achieve your outcome. In the above example it would mean to read a certain chapter in a book for example. Also to find an example on the internet or to ask a specific question around pivot tables in a usergroup.
But before you start running first build the agenda. Going of to usergroups to ask a question before you have an overview of the subject will only confuse you as these questions are too specific and often recieve different answers depending on the person who answered understood the question.

The Key Factors For Successfull Learning – Continued 1

January 23, 2008

I have already written one post about the key factors for successfull learning. Learning is a process. And to run a process at optimum yield (speed, outcome,etc.) the best is to focus on the leveraging factors that influence the process most.  In the last post I mentioned the recreation factor to be far more influencial than focusing on the action. Sleep is probably the key recreation factor before anything else. I will write about other recreational factors in another post.

Now what is second most important for the Learning Process ? I call this the learning filter. It is most effective to filter out the noise before learning anything useless. The noise is the information you do not need to learn. Also information that you could retrieve on time when needed (Example Wikipedia). Now how do I build a filter ?
To build a filter seems to be difficult task to do especially if it is a new subject you want to learn.
So how would you know this filter is not filtering out the information you need ?

Steps to build your filter:

1. Analyse

2. Determine the main questions

3. Define your learning outcomes.

4. Build an agenda or a table of content.

1. Analyse 
For every subject there is are the so called standard book, website or experts. This is one of the first steps to take.  I will write a post in more detail soon about this step.

2. Determine the main questions
For every main topic in the book or on the website create the main question that this topic is going answering.

3. Define your learning outcomes
Identify based on the main questions what is the outcome you need.
Example: Question: How to I create a pivot table in Excel 2003 ? Your intended outcome is: Create a pivot table in Excel 2003. Now to get to this outcome there are also certain steps to take – which you would identify and list in step 4.

4. Build an agenda or table of contents
This is now actually the filter. Here you list based on your questions and outcomes what resources you need to identify and collect in order to achieve your outcome. In the above example it would mean to read a certain chapter in a book for example. Also to find an example on the internet or to ask a specific question around pivot tables in a usergroup.
But before you start running first build the agenda. Going of to usergroups to ask a question before you have an overview of the subject will only confuse you as these questions are too specific and often recieve different answers depending on the person who answered understood the question.

My Life in the era of Web 2.0 Education

January 23, 2008

I have always been excited about learning & development.
What always intrigued me was to find the right tools to support and enhance my learning & development.

Now what drives me is a vision.

A vision where it is easy to have access to education.

With the web 2.0 there are new opportunities to build engaging learning environments. Learning environments where people throughout this world collaboratevily learn and educate each other.

When I joined the internet there were just more than 100 000 users and no visual front end to use but somehow already a place where people learned and collaborated.

Now 17 years later we see the wonders of the so called web2.0 unfold.

My vision is to be part of this fascinating change. Helping people to be competent to use the web to learn or train others.

I want to experiment with many freely available tools around the net to build engaging learning worlds or even universities. Places that are created through collaboration and bring about new professions, new wealth, new ideas and give access to education to people who had not had the opportunity before.

If you want to join me on this journey I would happy to meet up with you and start collaborating.

Hello world!

January 23, 2008

Welcome to Edublogs.org. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


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