The Weary Optmist

wearyI am half way through reading a novel entitled The Weary Optimist, a novel of Bad Bosses, Bad Jobs, Bad Sex and “The 36 Reasons To Be Glad You Don’t Work in Human Resources” by Dale Dauten. I’m ROTFL.

We would try to create training designed for the very people who made the crack about getting out of training classes. We developed online training experiences, and if they watched the videos and answered a few questions about htem, they could skip attendance at the classroom session.


It works so well that we were able to greatly reduce the number of classroom sessions, which saved a fortune in Danishes and bagels alone, not to mention staff hours. Genius, no?




It turns out that very few people who work in Training are interested in ways to eliminate people who work in Training.

The unhearing monolith


Amazon emailed me that they’d cancelled all my Christmas present orders. Something wrong with my credit card. No middle initial? I’ll never know. The monolith is top-down, never bottom-up. Amazon doesn’t give a reason… or a phone number to ask.

Once upon a time, we got to interact with merchants. We would uncover what wasn’t working and fix it. No longer. Now it’s take it or leave it. We’re right and you’re wrong, and we’re not going to tell you why. The email from Amazon said, “We’ve cancelled your order,” not “Please fix your credit card information.” Too bad it’s so close to Christmas.

Don’t you hate it when a company sends you a notification that they’ve decided to change their policy around privacy or to impose new fees, and the return address is DO-NOT-REPLY?

Here’s an opportunity for high-minded merchants: treat your customers like people.

Merry Christmas, Jeff.


Glühwein — hot, spiced wine — is a staple at German Christmas markets. Each market has its own glühwein mug; we have a collection.

Here’s my recipe:

Put a 1/4 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of OJ, a cinnamon stick, a sliced orange, 10 whole cloves, nutmeg, and allspice in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour in a bottle of red wine and heat just to the boiling point.


The year’s top posts on Working Smarter

2013 is over for everything but the holidays so I’m posting this list of the top 50 blog posts on Working Smarter this year. Here’s how they were selected.
Working smarter draws upon ideas from design thinking, network optimization, brain science, user experience design, learning theory, organizational development, social business, technology, collaboration, web 2.0 patterns, social psychology, value network analysis, anthropology, complexity theory, and more.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Here it is: The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

‘The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 list was compiled from the votes of over 500 learning professionals from 48 countries. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s list. For a fuller analyis, visit Analysis 2013 Twitter retains its no 1 position for [.].

MARCH 10, 2013

Group work advice for MOOC providers

The most valuable aspect of MOOCs is that the large number of learners enables the formation of sub-networks based on interested, geography, language, or some other attribute that draws individuals together. With 20 students in a class, limited options exist for forming sub-networks. When you have 5,000 students, new configurations are possible.

APRIL 11, 2013

Exploratorium: Mapping the Experience of Experiments

‘We’re huge fans of our soon to be San Francisco waterfront neighbors, the Exploratorium. They don’t have docents, they have Explainers.

JANUARY 27, 2013

PKM in 2013

“The basic unit of social business technology is personal knowledge management, not collaborative workspaces.” ” Knowledge.
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