Chasing the Goldfish

My last four blogs have covered: Why we’ve got a lot of competition for people’s attention (Waving at Concorde) Why we can’t assume we’ve beaten that competition, even when people are looking right at us (Lights On, Nobody Home) What’s actually going on inside people’s heads when they’re trying to pay attention (Posner and Petersen)... Continue Reading →

Offensive Tackles

I’m not a particular fan of American Football, but it offers a great metaphor for the brain’s inhibitory system, so I’m suspending judgement for the next 600 words.  Anyway Hunter S Thompson liked it so it can’t be all bad. When we’re trying to focus on something – trying to focus on somebody talking to... Continue Reading →

The Posner and Petersen Model

The brain has no off switch.  The people trying to pay attention to you, or to your material, simply cannot switch off all the scanning systems which are likely to distract them. But delving a bit deeper: what is going on in those brains, and can we use it to our own advantage? Michael I... Continue Reading →

Lights On, Nobody Home

Seven Ways to Preach a Lousy Sermon is an article by Pastor Ken Collins.  He talks about the attention span of a congregation.  He puts it like this: “You don’t need to put your watch on the pulpit to see if your sermon is too long—just watch the congregation. How many people are looking at... Continue Reading →

Waving at Concorde

When you stand up in front of a room of twenty people – to give a lunchtime talk, or a seminar – to give opening remarks, an informal speech, the fire safety instructions or a quick session on Buddhist philosophy – you might feel like you’re being watched closely by 20 pairs of eyes.  But... Continue Reading →

Learning & Deliveroo

As a thought experiment, what would organisational learning look like, if we became Deliveroo? There are some similarities in the ambition.  We want to deliver: learning "in the workplace" - we go to them, at their convenience, they don't come to us.  Same as Deliveroo. "just in time" learning - we provide it exactly when the... Continue Reading →

Sharing Skills plus 7 Top Tips on Blogging

This blog is about "sharing skills". I'm not talking about the sharing skills of children - "you've got to learn to share" -"be nice to your little sister, give her some as well" - although to be fair my own children did develop a good sharing methodology based around two crude methods: Rock, Paper, Scissors "You divide in... Continue Reading →

One single piece of advice

At one of the afternoon sessions on Day One of the CIPD L&D Show, a workshop participant put up their hand and asked panellists Anne Parker (Booking.com) and Peter Kay (Tarmac): "What's the one piece of advice you would give to somebody starting out in L&D?" The summary of the response was "Treat people as... Continue Reading →

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