This Week in MakingBetter (5 February, 2014)

Things to think about:

It's not so much that schools are broken. It's that everything in society is.

— Audrey Watters (@audreywatters) February 5, 2014

…and that no one minded the Red Hot Chili Nipples.

See these links here?

  • We’ve written on the blog about how you do content strategy for people who don’t work for you yet, because the people who work for you already have tacit workarounds for routing information. Jason Fried takes this notion to the higher level: you don’t hire who they are — you hire who they’ll become:
  • What a company’s most effective managers do? Answer: engage in intensive coaching. Go figure: “Work groups in which employees report that their supervisor (or someone else at work) cares about them as a person, talks to them about their career progress, encourages their development, and provides opportunities to learn and grow have lower turnover, higher sales growth, better productivity, and better customer loyalty than work groups in which employees report that these developmental elements are scarce.”
  • What could’ve been just an ordinary rant about a group of kids who are faking historical pictures without attribution while blurring the lines between what’s real versus what’s not, lands a pretty stunning indictment: “…History is not a toy. It’s not a private amusement. And those of us who engage with the past know how important it is and how enjoyable it can be to learn about it and from it. These accounts piss me off because they undermine an enterprise I value.  Historical research—indeed, humanistic inquiry as a whole—is being undermined by the constant plugging of economic value as a measure of worth, the public defunding of higher education, and the rampant devaluing of faculty teaching.”

 What we did last month

The month of January was really exciting for us. We put up this here site, we did real work, and we made the trip to ASTD’s TechKnowledge Conference.

What we’re reading

Aaron finished Nudge last week and is now in the throes of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto.

What we’re doing this month

With no major travel plans this month, we’ll write about experience design, job skills, standards and open source. We’re getting closer to a first release of Learning Locker and with the IEEE activity around the Experience API — specifically the kickoff meeting — we have more than enough going on. We might blog a little less often in February but when we bring it, it will be well worth it.

Will we bring you more Montell Jordan or Genius/GZA? Probably not… there are so many other classic beats to lay down.

All that said, we’re working on one-upping (maybe double-upping?) the magnitude of what got started in January. Stay tuned — Up to All of Us is coming in March and we have so many more tricks up our sleeves.