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Fortnightly Links No.34

Reflection • Pickings • Unlearning • Friction • Open Mind

We’re back from a very productive and inspiring two day retreat with the E-180 crew. A good reminder that unplugging, breathing some fresh air and conversing with some smart people should be done as often as possible. And speaking of smart people, our feedback poll is still open, we appreciate all your input.


The Missing Key to Productivity Is Reflection

Jocelyn K. Glei • 4 min read

It’s not only about “getting shit done” nor just practice. Productivity, growth and learning also need reflection. Looking back on what we’ve done boosts performance, understanding and self-efficacy.

The study tackled the question of what really drives learning: Is it, as we’ve been taught for years, the idea that “practice makes perfect”? Is experience—or the act of doing—the key to learning? Or is it that we learn through reflecting on that experience?


10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings • 8 min read

Maria Popova, a very eclectic learner who shares profusely on Brain Pickings, updates her Learnings tradition with a tenth edition. On top of her own insights, there are hours and hours of interesting reading in all the linked resources, especially “ten of the things I most loved reading and writing about in this first decade.“

It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.


Why the Problem with Learning Is Unlearning

Harvard Business Review • 4 min read

On the importance of unlearning, of questioning assumptions, stepping out of our mental models and as it applies not only to individuals but also to organizations. Closes with a three part process for unlearning.

Unlearning is not about forgetting. It’s about the ability to choose an alternative mental model or paradigm. When we learn, we add new skills or knowledge to what we already know. When we unlearn, we step outside the mental model in order to choose a different one.

++ A related read: Meredith Whipple Callahan on Mindsets



Meeting Learners & Strangers

E-180 Mag • 6 min read

My interview with Kio Stark, on the lessons we can glean from her two non-fiction books on independent learning and talking to strangers, and how they connect together.

Strangers have an un-earned reputation for being scary, but they also have a history of being the source of new information and new ideas.



Making a Masters

Medium • 7 min read

As he looks for his next steps and directions, Steve Marshall will be using the writing of a book as the structuring element. It helps him set the agenda and serves as a mechanism in picking courses.

My hope is to use the framework of this book to guide and materialise and concentrate my learning. Already I have noticed a big leap in what I have been able to get from self-initiated courses. Rather than taking in the subject matter as a whole, I have a defined agenda as to what I get out of each area.


Flows, Fragility and Friction

Edge Perspectives • 5 min read

Business today is organized around flows of knowledge (instead of the previous model of holding stocks) but what if too much flow makes our systems more fragile? Hagel proposes the addition of friction, to accelerate learning instead of just expanding data.

If the goal of expanding flows within our society and economy is to accelerate learning rather than to simply expand data flows, we might create a more useful framework for optimizing both flows and friction.


The Open Mind

Aeon • 11 min read

Straying a bit further away from our usual paths; fascinating article on a vision of the brain / mind / thinking that is top down and bottom up, conduit and constructor. How we perceive our self and surrounding, how we construct our understanding.

Language emerges from this observational flow, and wording the world can make us more distant still from the sensory richness that surrounds us. We then move further in a top-down mode to narrating what we are witnessing and observing. This is how we OWN an experience, as we observe, witness, and narrate an event.

 

Header image from the Aeon The Open Mind article.