Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Year of the Network

I've been thinking about Janet's post - Five Ways I hope NOT to screw up 2009.

In the shower
On the couch
At the grocery store

Wracking my brain to come up with 5 things I wish I didn't f*** up. 5 things I wish I did "better."

For the first time... the first year... I can comfortably say that I am really happy with how I handled things this year. Wouldn't change a thing about the past and wouldn't call anything I did a mistake. Thought about problem situations. Nope, wouldn't have handled them much differently either.

Actually - I find myself rather pleased with my progress:
- Didn't freak about shrinking deadlines

- Made a more concerted effort to involve stakeholders early in the process

- Provided drafts early during each project - which dramatically cut my development time and allowed the stakeholders to SEE what I am talking about.

- Caught any sticky political / project problems early and worked with my bosses to find constructive solutions (rather than freaking and whining).

- Got out and socialized with my eLearning colleagues more. So happy to finally meet some of my heros.

Not that there isn't room for improvement. So instead of focusing on how not to f*** up 2009, I want to focus on improving certain WorkLiteracy skills.

For me, this year is the year of the network. How to better cultivate and use my network to help with professional issues.

Some of the concrete steps I'm taking:

- You may have noticed that I have become more active on Twitter. As I mentioned to Mark O in the comments to his Micro v. Macro post, the increase in conversation between the Tweeters and the retweets /links provided by people I follow have made the space more valuable to me. And no, Mark - I am STILL not going to fully take off the editor to show people how dark I really am. :')

- I am also paying more attention to my Facebook account. Partially because my Twitter updates (which feed directly into my Facebook status) are attracting comments from my friends in Facebook. Also because, looking at my network, I've discovered that folks I've known for years have established some really cool careers for themselves and have been opening themselves (and their networks) up to provide help.

- I will be participating in at least one MMORPG this year. Mostly to look at how these spaces build communities and what elements can be used for online learning. I figure since I am not a "natural" gamer I am a good guinea pig. Plus - as I've admitted before, these things intimidate me. So the trick is figuring out how to get folks like myself involved.

- A harder goal - to get more involved in the eLearning Guild and ASTD. I'm attending the ASTD conference in DC this year (which, sadly, is at the same time as the Innovations in eLearning conference). I am also attending a vendor conference this year (which is going to prevent my attending the eLearning Guild Annual Gathering - should make the fall conference). I am in the process of thinking through exactly how I want to contribute this year beyond my conference blog posts.

- Do a better job of being a friend to my off-line buddies. More sociable people (like my SO) are very good at keeping in touch with people and inviting them to things. Me - not so much. Maybe it's that fear of rejection thing (never mind that these folks have tolerated me for up to 20 years). Because it's not just about maintaining the "on-line" network. Gotta maintain the "off-line" network too.


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain on that last one. Reaching out to old friends.

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who thinks about these types of things in the shower, on the couch, and in the grocery store.

Wendy said...

Yeah - I've tried meditation techniques to shut that off. To no avail....

At least the blog lets the monkey run rampant in a directed sort of way :')

Thanks, Janet. I've been kicking around a resolutions / goals post for 2009 since December and you encouraged me to pull the trigger.