Internet Time Lab – Internet Time Blog Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:35:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gazing at Nature Improves Performance Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20:16:06 +0000 Continue reading Gazing at Nature Improves Performance ]]> hbr
HBR, September 2015

Gazing at Nature Makes You More Productive

The research: University of Melbourne researchers Kate Lee, Kathryn Williams, Leisa Sargent, Nicholas Williams, and Katherine Johnson gave 150 subjects a menial task that involved hitting specific keystrokes when certain numbers flashed on a computer screen. After five minutes the subjects were given a 40-second break, and an image of a rooftop surrounded by tall buildings appeared on their screens. Half the subjects saw a plain concrete roof; the others saw a roof covered with a green, flowering meadow. Both groups then resumed the task. After the break, concentration levels fell by 8% among the people who saw the concrete roof, whose performance grew less consistent. But among those who saw the green roof, concentration levels rose by 6% and performance held steady.


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Learning my work Thu, 30 Aug 2012 09:10:23 +0000 Continue reading Learning my work ]]> I’m having a great time writing white papers and articles for companies. It’s fun distilling complex issues down to essence and then discovering the right metaphor to render them easily understood.

Given enough time, I enjoy writing like a novelist, taking flights of fantasy and letting my characters tell the story and sometimes duke it out. Then I’ll rein myself in, dump most of the text, and sift for nuggets, occasionally finding a zinger sound bite or several paragraphs worth saving for the final paper. This limbers the mind. Good writing requires jumping through hoops.

This evening I was writing about how managers can make the most of the 70 and 20 of 70:20:10. My inner Gordon Gecko shoved me off the keyboard and began writing…

“”The world of business is undergoing a phase change.”

“We’re the frog that doesn’t jump out of boiling water because we started with tepid water and increased the temperature verrrry slowly until we had a boiled amphibian. Similarly, earth-shattering forces have snuck up on us humans, answered some of our wishes, and that genie is never going back in the lamp.”

“Work and learning have merged. Few people have noticed although some have complained of warmer weather this year.”

“Complexity rules. Nothing is predictable. Information is spewing out of control. Network connections gird the earth. The denser the interconnections, the faster the cycle time, and things are evolving, morphing, and changing shape so rapidly that everything’s a blur. Work has evolved into keeping up and taking advantage of connections, both learning tasks. Thus working is learning. We learn on the job to do the job. In an era of warp speed, learning is as vital as breathing. To stay ahead and create more value, you have to learn faster, better, smarter. Learning is working. This is the big change: WORKING = LEARNING and vice-versa.”
Patting myself on the back, I thought. Wait a minute. These aren’t new thoughts. They’re a dog’s breakfast of residual thoughts going back years.
The phase change in business haunts me. It is a rare opportunity or a chance to fail really, really fast. That’s always threatening to burst out because it’s a total game-changer.
The frog thing is a video I’d like to shoot but PETA would probably burn the house down.
The WORK = LEARNING; LEARNING = WORK appears on page 226 of my book on Informal Learning. I’ve been playing around with a relevant quotation from Picasso: “I do the things I do not know how to do in order to learn how to do them.”