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July 09, 2008

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Michelle,

This is the from-the-heart observation that I love hearing from you, and it is what you practice here at Bamboo. And I strive for as well.

What is assumed is that people, the individuals who are developing, are working on synthesizing or integrating the many spheres of their lives. Knowledge they gain there informs action here; experience informs analogy, etc. In folks who are growth-minded, yep, it's a good and achievable goal. In work settings in which innovation and fresh thinking matter - as values or necessity - yep, it's fertile ground. But a synthesizing take on life and exercising it in a setting in which fresh thinking is valued are prerequisites, don't you think? It's pretty easy to think of people who would develop very narrow and private skills and use them as a lens through which to enrich their work.

Speaking obvious common sense, though, when leaders model those two attributes and tolerate some wild-hare ideas without judgment, that sends a strong message about what you can do with what you learn.

I love this post, Michele!

Have you read "Mavericks at Work"? There's a chapter in there that talks about Pixar University--an internal learning program at Pixar where all staff can take courses on filmmaking, sculpture, writing, and all sorts of other things. All Pixar staff (even those who aren't working as "creatives") are encouraged to take up to 4 hours a week of Pixar University classes to further their own development. I wonder if the development of Pixar University was inspired by Steve Jobs' experience with that calligraphy class ...

Bill Taylor, who was one of the authors of "Mavericks at Work," has a recent blog post up that talks a little about Pixar University. I'm not sure if you allow links in comments, but here's the URL: http://discussionleader.hbsp.com/taylor/2008/07/pixar_rulessecrets_of_a_blockb.html

I look forward to your next post!

Michelle,
This summer I am leading a group of teachers through the 23 Things on a Stick project. Designed primarily for Library staff in Minnesota, the project takes items from the Learning 2.0, now . It's personalized learning, in that there is flexibility in which things they choose to learn about that is in line with what you are saying here.

Michelle,

No deep intellectual thoughts here, just a few tears while watching the whole video. This was a GREAT post and one I will be sharing with my admin. friends. Thank you for this it made my day and gave me a smile.

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