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Learn Constantly. Become Future-Proof.

Fortnightly Links no.20

We believe that to always keep learning is the best strategy a person, group or organization can adopt and live to remain effective, active, relevant and, well, happy. Every two weeks we send the most relevant articles in becoming better learners. We look at how people learn from and with each other.

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In this issue, we have articles from consultancies with the Center for the Edge’s Hagel and internal learning practices from Eden Spiekerman. We also have a couple of good overviews of research on the brain, negative bias and differing mindsets. And don’t forget hybrid jobs in the extras.

Harnessing the Full Potential of Platforms (8 min read)

John Hagel of Deloitte’s Deloitte Center for the Edge gives an excellent rundown of what is a platform, presents various types of platforms, including learning platforms which have the advantage of “second level of network effects.”

Their primary unit of organization is a small team or work group that takes on particular performance challenges and where participants work closely together to come up with creative new ways to address the performance challenge.  The emphasis on small teams or work groups is essential because the focus is on a powerful form of learning that involves accessing tacit knowledge. This in turn requires the formation of deep, trust based relationships.  These relationships evolve quickly in small teams or workgroups but are very challenging to scale.

As with social platforms and mobilization platforms, learning platforms critically depend on the ability to build long-term relationships rather than simply focusing on short-term transactions or tasks. Unlike the other platforms, though, learning platforms explicitly do not view participants as “static resources.” On the contrary, they start with the presumption that all participants have the opportunity to draw out more and more of their potential if given the right environment.

A Method a Month (2 min read)

Creative agency Eden Spiekermann have some pretty well developed knowledge sharing practices, including their ‘Method a Month’ (above) where “Everyone is invited to contribute their own topics and moderate workshops themselves.” And their brainfood talks about anything that will tickle our brains.

The goal is to foster our creativity and methodological thinking; we want to learn from each other and, most importantly, use the theoretical models in a practical way, so that they’re understood by everyone. The format also underlines our transdisciplinary work approach and team building, allowing everybody to work with colleagues they don’t usually have the chance to work with.

How to Get Past Negativity Bias in Order to Hardwire Positive Experiences (5 min read)

A look at some of the science behind “self-directed neuroplasticity” and how we can counteract the brain’s built in bias to pay more attention and remember more acutely negative experiences and feelings vs positive ones.

It’s helpful to know that the brain is plastic and can adapt to challenges. And when it comes to learning new things, we can build up mental resources through intentional effort. People can get better at realizing self-regulation, executive functions, a sense of perspective or meaning, positive emotions like gratitude, a sense of strength and the feeling of being cared about.

25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset (8 min read)

Don’t let the listicle title fool you, although there is one at the end, it’s also preceded by a good quick look of Carol Dweck’s research on the benefits of a growth mindset over a fixed one.

What’s so valuable about the latter world is that it’s marked by a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. People with a growth mindset have a voracious appetite for learning, constantly seeking out the kind of input that they can metabolize into learning and constructive action.

Why we think peer learning is the best way to learn about startups (4 min read)

An interesting service where you can join a mastermind group in the startup world but where they also provide help in selecting the group, how it’s lead and by whom.

The competitive nature of many founders may make the idea of collaboration inside a group impossible. And sometimes some founders refuse to believe that they can learn something valuable from others. But we choose groups carefully and the chair’s role is to help even the most introvert members express their knowledge offering value to the group.

From our magazine: Do Textbooks Still Matter? (about much more than “just” textbooks)


Why 2016 is the year of the hybrid job (4 min read)

The best advice for job seekers is to stay nimble and keep learning, says Cordes Larson. “Take courses that interest you, even if they don’t pertain to your major or your current job,” she says. “Continuing to developing new skills will make it easier to adapt to changes later on in your career. The future learning curve won’t be as steep if you continually immerse yourself in the learning process.”

Learning spaces | in between (6 pages PDF report)

In between these destination sites are loun- ges, hall-ways and other informal areas that can be so much more than transition spaces. They can be flexible, friendly learning spaces for individuals and groups – all smart ways to better leverage valuable campus real estate.

Header image by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.

Patrick Tanguay

Editor-in-Chief for E-180 Publications. Obsessively curious transdisciplinary thinker and learner. I help connect people and ideas.