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Fast Learning

March 12, 2010
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I don't need to extol the value and importance of learning to the audience of blog readers at HCI. You get it, or you wouldn't be here. There's a whole generation of us now, who routinely pop over to Google to quickly find "what's up with Kaizen," what's the latest on the Toyota recall," or "how do I get MicroSoft Office 2010 to stop grouping conversations." That said, it's often not fast or easy enough for us to learn in this crazy, rapid paced world, with our crazy, rapid paced lives. With that in mind, I recommend three sources for insight I have recently found useful: 1. Amy Edmondson's The Competitive Imperative of Learning, here. I found this 11-page article so insightful that I read it twice, and found some useful wrap-around content. She makes the point that doing things as fast as possible, aka optimally, may be counter to constant improvement. See the associated graphic. The other concept that she elaborates is the critical role that trust plays in learning. Highly recommended, especially in healthcare management contexts. 2. Daniel Pink's audio interview here ( is worth a listen, or click on the graphic and watch the short video. Pink is talking about his new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. He talks about learning from the perspectives of the roles it plays in feeding our needs for a sense of autonomy, mastery, and improving our ability to "give back" to our community. He relates these both to being an effective manager, as well as a more effective parent. 3. Gary Rosenzweig does a series of audio and video podcasts to help viewers better exploit their Apple MacIntosh computers. A list of recent video podcasts is here ( I appreciate that this "insight" is more of a trade school than a graduate school thought in nature. The bottom line is this - part of healthcare information technology we talk about here is solely IT. How do we learn to best use IT? For most of us, once we've learned to logon and do a few basic things, the learning slows or stops. Having a daily or weekly publication that opens our eyes to additional possible IT functionality can be useful, especially if it's brief, well done, and topical. Gary's MacMost podcasts do that for me with respect to learning to use one of my computers more effectively. These are a few resources I've recently found interesting and useful. As always, your comments and feedback are welcome.

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