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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ericast 264 - Explore South Dakota!

I was on vacation - a good old fashioned American roadtrip. So this podcast episode is basically a travelog of the random highlights. Curious? Here's your show.

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Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

Growing up, I didn't travel outside of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I did "Study Abroad" in Iowa and crossed to Illinois while visiting Dubuque, and did a side-trip to Thunder Bay, Canada while on a ski trip with Ruth and some of her friends. That is, until the RV road trip to Yellowstone through South Dakota, Wyoming, and touched just a bit of Montana.

So, that's what the family road trip was this year.  On the way out to Rapid City we encountered Rushmore Shadows - $39.95 for two nights in a "cabin" (single-wide 1/2 length).  Bear in mind that when we were first married, Ruth and I did time-share presentations for sport.  90 minutes was actually two hours, which threw a kink in our schedule, but that's part of the game.  Their offer is a great deal for someone; just not us.

  • Lead, SD (with impromptu tourguide Sky)
  • Devil's Tower
  • Wind Cave
  • Hot Springs and Evans Plunge
  • Badlands
  • Minuteman missile tour (at Ellsworth AFB) and museum

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ericast 263 - Certificate vs. Certification

Is there a difference between recognition that you did something, and recognition that you're equipped to do something?  Here's your show.

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Everyone: Call 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

Yes, I realize I have lots of "vs" episodes, but "differentiation is good".  However, lawyers speak of a "distinction without a difference" so we have to make sure that we're not doing that.  And I don't think that's the case here.

We were talking about faculty motivation.  Tangent: I don't view "motivation" as having connotations of a deficit, but some do.

Badges vs. Awards.  In Eric's world...
  • An award is for a past act; a medal or a ribbon
  • A badge - think a sheriff in the Wild West - is something you actively wear in order to give authority to act moving into the future

Badging is a hot topic in academic technology:

Jeff Sanders had a great blog post entitled "How Playing an iPhone Game Made Me More Productive" and in it he summarized the key points of the Bunchball article, "What Is Gamification?"

  1. Fast Feedback: receiving immediate feedback or response to actions towards a goal.
  2. Transparency: always knowing where you stand in relationship to the desired end result.
  3. Goals: having short- and long-term goals to achieve.
  4. Badges: showing evidence of accomplishments through visual awards.
  5. Leveling Up: always knowing your status within your community.
  6. Onboarding: getting up to speed through engaging and compelling methods.
  7. Competition: knowing how you are doing compared to others.
  8. Collaboration: working with a group to accomplish a goal.
  9. Community: sharing the achievements of others to build group rapport.
  10. Points: using tangible and measurable evidence of accomplishments.
Even here, note that "Badges" are equivocated with "Awards" and I think there's a difference.  The Bunchball summary is:

Badges: Evidence of accomplishments

An indicator of accomplishment or mastery of a skill is especially meaningful within a community that understands its value. Often used to identify skills and expertise within a group.

Again, while "mastery of a skill" is more "beneficial" to the community than merely commemorating an accomplishment, I think that we need to be clear that a "badge" means that you can and should act to improve your community with the skills you've acquired, and should be respected for those actions -- not merely for your accomplishments in the past.

Thoughts?  Call 206-339-3742 and let me know what you think.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ericast 262 - "Providing" isn't Purpose

"My purpose is to provide for my family!"  That sounds good.  But I'm not sure it's right. Intrigued?  Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
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Everyone: Call 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

Yes, I'm way behind each week, but I'm putting this in last week's queue, under-the-wire. Hang in there with me!

So....  What's my "purpose"?  Here's a quote:  "My purpose isn't to provide for my family. Insurance can do that."

(That was stolen from someone.  I hope you can tell me who!)

Here's the point: What are you uniquely qualified or positioned to do?

And... How do you evaluate that?

Could you just as easily say, "My purpose isn't to be a role model for my kids; the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization can do that!"

Sure, the question/framework isn't perfect.  But it's useful to break out of the mold.

By the way, I have an Evernote process.  But it failed me here.  I felt bad about this kind of thing until P. Desmond Adams said the same thing happened to him.  So, nobody's note-taking or memory is perfect.  Moving on...

Speaking of, check out "Hours" for time-tracking on iOS.  Free for a limited time!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Ericast 261 - They Don't Care

Have you ever run in to a situation where you know something really important, and you're trying to convince someone - boss, family member, whatever -- that they really need to step up and pay attention to that issue?  Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) and comment!

Aside:  I love doing this show.  Studio A moved over the years… but the feeling of sitting down in front of the computer and recording an episode?  I love it.  It's work, but I'm a happier person every time I do it.

Despite the show title, people do care; we close this show with a call from listener Chad, renewing the old tradition of "listener feedback in the last episode of the month".

But that didn't motivate me; it was the thought that P. Desmond Adams from the once weekly Mental Mastery Moment, now daily podcast series might listen.

May has been a busy month - when you work in higher-ed and your spouse teaches High School, that kind of thing happens.  There’s been a transition at work with a new CIO (the vice president of technology; Chief Information Officer is our industry term) which is why I kept running into "Listener Chad".

And it was there that I was talking to another colleague, explaining this upcoming episode and noting it had nothing to do with work.

Those who know me know that if I have an example, it's coming from Work or Church. Those are my two “leadership circles".  And this one doesn't come from work. Draw your own conclusions from that.

Caveat: Pondering this episode is like parenting, in that I can't dump 30 years’ worth of knowledge into the girls' heads.  And I've told Candela and Chloe that directly, because that's how I roll.  I know what I know because I learned it by personal experience.  Learning from others' personal experience is great -- it's what all "education" is based on.  But I worry that it might short-circuit the learning process.

So I say now that I wish someone had explained this to me -- that podcasts had been invented 15 years ago and I had listened to this one from someone else.  But now I'm that someone else, giving this message having learned it personally, and that might not have happened otherwise.

The topic:  Not everyone has your passionate about an organization’s need.

That's reality.

Reasons: They don't understand. Or, they understand but don't care as much as you do. Throwing more data won't solve issue #2

Caveat: Is it a moral or safety issue? (Be honest; is it really?)  If so, then you need to keep working ad making sure the right thing happens.  But is it, really?  Really?

So, this is an episode encouraging mental stability, and letting go of the fight when you need to.  But if everyone in the your organization jumps to the casual acceptance, that's bad too.  Fight, but fight while accepting reality... maybe?