Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Tools

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Philadelphia and attend the Educause 2011 conference. Educause is perhaps the biggest conference for higher education and technology, both in terms of quantity of presentations and also quality. While there, I attended an excellent half-day session on Instructional Design presented by Ed Bowen. Here are some new tools that came up during that session:

Glogster This is a tool for making interactive posters. Think collage meets Web2.0. I think this could be very interesting for elementary school teachers to use with their students.– is a SAAS (software as a service) for educators, students, and developers to create, manage, distribute, and monitor interactive themes and content.  We are passionate about revolutionizing education through our platform and realize there’s lots of work to be done.  We’ve created the foundation and now we’re opening it up for the world to start working together to make it great.”

Splashtop –  “Travel light and have full access to the computing power of your main PC or Mac. Access your files and multimedia content on a remote computer with exceptional audio, video, and real-time interactivity all from a Mac.
• Connect from anywhere via local network or across the Internet
• Access important files or photos on another computer without worrying about syncing, converting, or compatibility issues
• Use MS Office, Silverlight, and other Windows software without having to install it on a Mac
• Play HD movies and music from your central media libraries without the hassle of transferring files
• Run graphic-intensive PC games on a powerful machine and play them from a portable Mac
• Save energy with Wake-on-LAN”

Wall wisher – “Wall Wisher is a web tool that allows you to have an interactive cork board. Imagine the ability to post notes with reminders about class trips, even the PDF file for the permission slip, as well as photos and other great items for your peers and students. Wallwisher is simple to use and can be shared or kept private. It is an easy way to share a workspace either with students or colleagues.”

Poll Everywhere –    “Poll Everywhere replaces expensive proprietary audience response hardware with standard web technology. It's the easiest way to gather live responses in any venue: conferences, presentations, classrooms, radio, tv, print — anywhere. It can help you to raise money by letting people pledge via text messaging. And because it works internationally with texting, web, or Twitter, its simplicity and flexibility are earning rave reviews.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lead with the Why

I've wondered why I do so well when I interview for a job. I'm not good looking, only average smart, have had only average experiences. I am hard working, and creative, but so are a ton of other people. But somehow, if I interview for a job, I get an offer about 80% of the time, and almost 100% of the time if I actually ask for the job. Why is that?

Today I found out why. I saw an 18 minute TED video by Simon Senek. Simon Senek presents a very simple idea that he calls The Golden Circle. It's a simple idea -- three concentric circles. The outside circle is "What".  The next circle in is "How". The inner circle is "Why". Simon Senek says the what are the features of your product, or perhaps the facts of your resume.  Everyone in the company knows What the company does. Most of the people know How the company does it. But maybe very few know the most important thing, the Why.

Simon Senek says that the conventional way to sell something is to start with the what and move in. So we describe the features of the product. But the exceptional people start with the Why and go from there. People are attracted to the why.

I know this is true from my own experience.

When I interview for a job, I have naturally focused on the Why I do what I do. At this point in my life, that seems to be the most important part, maybe the only important part.  I don't care so much about the money. I don't care so much about the fame or the power-- but I do care a whole lot about what the Buddhists call "ending suffering" -- my mission. And that's what I talk about. I figure at this point that if the company and I don't share the same mission, then there is no point in me working with them at all.
Think about your own Why and when you are interviewing or selling or leading. Start with the Why and see if you don't experience greater success. I know you will.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sharing the Dream

Watch this video, and think about how we can use this idea to develop better business skills content.  To see the video with subtitles in English, please go here.