Lifelong Learning

Covid Deaths in U.S.:  966,000         Get Vaccinated! Stop the War in Ukraine!

After two years of reading a lot of escapist mystery novels to survive Covid isolation, I decided it was time to get back to learning. I’ve been spending a lot of time researching notes taking and personal knowledge management in general and in the context of what makes a powerful software product development team.

I love the diversity of learning options that have blossomed over the last twenty years. Here are a few of the things I signed up for:

  • Shreyas Doshi Twitter Superfollowing – I love the advice that Shreyas shares about product management and decided I needed more in depth understanding of his experience until he gets his book published.
  • Harold Jarche’s Personal Knowledge Management Course and his Perpetual Beta ebook will get me back to understanding how PKM has evolved over the last ten years.
  • Matt Giaro‘s course on note taking – the free 7-day email course turned into a month long course and an hour of consulting
  • Steven Johnson’s Adjacent Possible newsletter – Johnson is one of my favorite authors and I am loving his views expressed in this newsletter
  • Since so many articles I am reading and courses I am taking keep pointing back to the Harvard Business Review, I have re-subscribed to this news letter.
  • In preparing for a lecture on product design and strategy for an Indiana University graduate course guest lecture, I came across Taylor Pearson’s “The Ultimate Guide to the OODA Loop”. It is one of the best summaries of John Boyd‘s work I have come across so I signed up for Pearson’s newsletter The Interesting Times.

In addition to the above I continue to read my Kindle books on my iPad with lots of note taking in Goodnotes.

  • Lila by Robert Pirsig. In researching Zettelkasten as a notes taking method, I realized that I had encountered something similar before in Pirsig’s book. Pirsig’s pursuit of the Metaphysics of Quality provides a rich context for creating trays of slip notes to keep his thoughts organized.
  • On the Problem of Empathy by Edith Stein recommended to me by Sharon Stanley. Empathy is showing up a lot in my product management and UX news feeds so I thought I would go back to some of the classic works on empathy.
  • Red Notice by Bill Browder. I read Browder’s book before the Ukraine War started. Browder provides a rich context to the lengths that Putin will go to with lying and stealing. Browder was behind the push to pass the Magnitsky Act. If you are looking for a deeper understanding of Putin and want to follow the money behind the Ukraine war, it is worth following Bill Browder on Twitter (@billbrowder).
  • The Innovation Journey by Andrew van de Ven. Here are some notes from Innovation Journey.
Goodnotes on the iPad
Core Innovation Concepts and Relationships for Tracking in Product Development

In addition to the content learning associated with the above electronic media, I am trying to learn new methods of note taking. Today, I have notes scattered through out many different apps. In Giaro’s free course he asked us to do the following exercise:

​Do you see how every lesson start building on each other and how this course starts finally making sense?

Most of us are champions when it comes to adding more and more notes in our system, without really thinking if the ecosystem we’ve built can support all this information.

It’s like building a 10 storey house on foundations that can only support one floor.
Don’t be astonished if the building collapses.

It’s exactly the same thing with our note-taking.

Stop using multiple apps.

What apps are you currently using?
Hit reply and let me know.

Matt Giaro

My response was:

Email response to Matt Giaro

As you might imagine, Matt Giaro had a good laugh at my notes taking and shared that he had a course for me.

My challenge with learning is not the consumption phase, but trying to turn these disparate pieces of information into learning and hopefully applied knowledge.

I will keep you posted on how the courses progress and how my behaviors change as the result of the learning. More importantly, I look forward to seeing if this learning and behavior changes result in business impact.

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