Het in kaart brengen van kennis (mindmappen)

November 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Het in kaart brengen van kennis is een hulpmiddel om op een gestructureerde manier met kennis om te gaan. Het laat niet alleen zien wat er al is, maar geeft ook aanzet tot het leggen van verbanden die er nog niet zijn (leren).

Een kenniskaart  bestaat grofweg uit 2 elementen:

1) Begrippen: woorden die een regelmaat weergeven in objecten of gebeurtenissen
2) Stellingen: uitspraken die 2 begrippen met elkaar verbinden door middel van een woord.

Een kenniskaart heeft daarbij ook nog de volgende eigenschappen:

1) Er zit een hiërarchische volgorde in de begrippen. Om te weten waar de hoogste waarde is kun je de vraag stellen: “Wat probeer ik (aan) te tonen met de kennis kaart?”.
2) De aanwezigheid  van kruisverwijzingen (stellingen). Deze verwijzingen leggen een verband tussen kennis op verschillende delen van de kaart. Deze kruisverwijzingen zijn cruciaal  in het creëren van nieuwe kennis.

Het maken van een kenniskaart kan uit de lossen pols op een organische manier. Een andere aanpak (handig in het begin) is alle begrippen eerst onder elkaar opschrijven en daarna op hun plaats zetten. de flexibiliteit van bijvoorbeeld een mindmap programma kan dat versimpelen.

Na het maken van een eerste (ruwe) kaart probeer je de kruisverwijzingen te zoeken om zodoende het inzicht te vergroten. Wees wel selectief immers alles is op een manier met elkaar verbonden.

Bij het zoeken van stellingen is het belangrijk om heldere formuleringen te vinden, dit zorgt ervoor dat je de stof goed begrijpt.


Vrij vertaald uit: Novak, J.D. ” The theory underlying concept maps and how to construct them”, Cornell University, CMAP-Tools


The Seven Secrets of the Turtle

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment

The seven secrets of the turtle is a fable writen by A. Schwarz/ and R. Sweppe about a wise turtle Kurma who has found the seven secrets to a hapier life. Short stories about animals repressenting some of peoples bad habits are followed by serious talks on how to change your life to become a hapier person. These secrets are:

1) Stay calm: things are not rarely as important as they seem.
2) Slowly does it: don’t be in a hurry to accomplish life goals, take a detour now and then.
3) Constancy: Make sure you finish what you start and only start things that are really worth it.
4) Flexibilty: Adept to situation and keep learning, don’t be enprisoned by a closed mind.
5) Soberness: The less you want, the bigger the change you’ll get it.
6) Peacefullness: Open your hart to those you meet.
7) Focus on the here and now.

The book is filled with examples and paraphased examples to help you figure out how to put these secrets in to a workable form. It also has some clear excersises to help you on your way. The animal intermezzos help in making the book light reading.

I tried to translate them to business versions:
Stay calm and don’t always take the fastest route. Make sure you choose the right goals and follow through. Stay openminded to changes and new ideas. Keep you wishes in tune with your budget. Don’t get into a fight, but try and create a win-win as much as possible. And be effective doing thing in the right order (first things first), don’t get distracted about thing that were and things that might be.

From Business Project to Your Project (Part 2)

February 25, 2011 1 comment

DRAFT: I will try to finish it after de FD Career challenge

So your manager and you need to know how to make you happy and get the project done! This post is the second part of the story. In the first part I tried to show how you might identify the tasks in a project which need some attention to make you happy. Now how can you go about changing the things that need changing, for you to get happy. Sometimes you can just say, I’m not the man for the job, but most of the time this solution is not available (for the extreme cases: Worry and Apathy, do ask though!). So now you have a problem, I will describe a technique which originates from psychology, solution focussed thinking and try to give some handles to accomplish your goals.

How?…the magic question!

First thing to teach yourself to ask solution focussed questions, for example:

  1. How can I do it?
  2. What is going well, and how did I do that?
  3. What does work?
  4. How did others do it?

It will make you look into the future, and open the door to solutions. Sometimes these solutions come without you ever knowing the root cause of the problem. Example: you see a kid that’s sad, and you decide to buy the kid some ice cream, the kid is happy. You didn’t know the original cause of the sadness yet you were able to fix that fact that he was sad.

In his book ‘Solution focussed management: Simple works the best’ (dutch), Louis Cauffman, mentions 6 tools to help people in a solution focussed way. I will briefly discuss two which I like:

1) The miracle question:

‘If I would wake up tomorrow and your problem is gone (as by a miracle), but you don’t know its gone. What would be different, what would you do different, how would you notice the miracle has happened?

It’s a strange question and a lot of people might think it stupid, but just give it a try. Make the answer specific with good detail. Focus on what is changed for you. This question will help you find sub objectives your after, it will also give some guidance in what will be enough and it will also let you focus on the future.

2)The scale of change:

To make a scale of change draw a line divide it up in from 0 to 10, 0 for example being unskilled and 10 being skilled enough. Now ask your self: Where am I on this scale? And what in that number, what goes well? Next question is ‘How can I go 1 step up the scale, what is changed then?’. This technique advantages: it will help you visualize your going somewhere, and will also help you take smaller steps (and get you into the flow).

Next step is to pull in some resources, to speed up the process:

  1. Did I solve the problem in a different context?
  2. How did other people do it? What can I learn from that?(By the way don’t try to copy a best practice, make it your own best practice)
  3. Develop sub-solutions.
  4. Look for exceptions, when did it work? How did that work?

One way to pull in some of these resources can be facilitated in the new world of work. In a next post I will focus on how the new world of work can be used in a company consisting of scientists and engineers.

A manager should help you in getting your focus on the solutions (‘what does work?’, ‘What goes well?’,’How will we reach the goal’). And unless he is very certain he can find and take away the root cause very quickly, he should stay away from questions like: ‘What’s wrong?’, ‘What doesn’t work?’, otherwise you might end up with more problems than you started with in the first place.

I’m not to happy about this post yet, please comment and make it better!

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Network: Twitter: 17 followers, LinkedIn: 56 connections

From Business Project to Your Project (Part 1)

February 20, 2011 1 comment

Ok this piece took me a bit longer to write. I had to think about ‘The Flow’ a lot. The theory behind the flow is off course not mine, but the ‘how to make it into a tool’, is! So here goes, (please comment so I can make it better).

Last post I finished writing, I would write something about aspirational targets, I might get back to that, but first of all I would like to tell you how to change a business project into the project, that makes you happy. I found a way which works for me, and I would like to share.

This is me, I am a reasonably skilled control engineer and my skill matrix looks something like in the next figure (I only filled in one skill per box, don’t worry I have more).

My skill matrixSo what would it take for me to get from one box, like ‘No skill’ to another box like ‘Some skill’. It will take some learning! But what I’m skilled over skilled to do the job? I go into automatic, I don’t need to learn I just need to do the job. So, Remember the challenge vs skill picture from the last post from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi? I would how would I feel when a task is x steps out of reach/over skilled? I made a matrix out of that:

Now I made a picture that which summarizes that. Please mind that the steps are the step you are forced to take, not the steps you would want to take!

Happiness and the flowSo now let us look how do you use this? Well, lets say you have a smart business project. It has clear tasks to fulfill the goal set by the business and it is up to you fulfil all those tasks. But it’s not fit to your skills, it fit for the business objective! Some task are not within your grasp, some skills are much to easy. The figure below shows the business objective and your objective (feel good and ultimately: happy). The task that will make uncomfortable/feel bad need to change. You need to discuss this with your manager, it’s in his best interest as well!

So your manager and you need to know how to make you happy and get the project done! My next post, the second part of this story, is about solution focussed management.

Please comment, How can I make it better?

Feedback:  wordpress:1, FD site:5, Twitter: 1, Yammer:2, Email:1 LinkedIn:0, WhatsApp:1, In person:5

Network: Twitter: 14 followers, LinkedIn: 56 connections

Need motivation?…Experience the flow!

February 18, 2011 4 comments

Ever had someone calling you up and asking: “Are you still at work, do you know what time it is?”. And you found that you lost track of the time, and were fully consumed by your work. Now then, you might have experienced ‘Flow’.

Flow is concept advocated by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and it lets itself be summarized as:

Flow is a subjective state that people report when they are completely involved in something to the point of forgetting time, fatigue, and everything else but the activity itself.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was doing research into the fact that some people do time-consuming, extremely complex and even dangerous tasks without receiving an external reward (ex. Mountain climbing). The reward might therefore come from within the person. His studies showed that people had a very similar experience that they enjoyed so much the were compelled to experience it again. This is the experience we now call the flow.

So how do I get into that state, what trigger me to do so, well the three ingredients are:

  1. A clear set of goals, to channel your attention.
  2. A balance between perceived challenges and perceived skills
  3. Clear and immediate feedback, this removes doubt on what to do next.

The balance is particularly of  importance, since it can give you handles on how flow could be obstructed by your goals.  The following figure show the balance between skill level and challenge level and which states it holds:

The balance between skills and challengesFor me the best places to be is either arousal or flow. So how will I get into those states? I plan to do that by choosing my goals Aspirational! Won’t you end up in Anxiety then? No, I’m convinced I won’t, to convince you readers I finally have to go into one of the subject of my essay ‘Solution Focussed Management’. This will be the subject of my next couple of posts, so stay tuned.

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Network: Twitter: 11 followers, LinkedIn: 56 connections

(Please tell me, How do you keep motivated? )

Asking for feedback

February 17, 2011 1 comment

Today I’m looking into asking for feedback, which contrary to giving/receiving feedback is a subject not must talked about (at least in the courses I’ve been to). But asking for feedback is vital for learning.

First off I read an article with the title: ‘You don’t give feedback, you ask for it!’ found at Geuzinge & Groeneveld( in dutch). The document is advocating that the new feedback is not about changing someone, but about people wanting to change. This is a strong mindset, and connects well with to my essay, which by the way I translated to…well.. kind of english (next to the about button).

So, how do you go about asking feedback? I found 2 articles one by Cynthia Morris and one by the UNC writing centre. I’ll give you the things I liked:

  1. Think about why you want the feedback.
  2. Where in the process to you want feedback (idea, draft, final version).
  3. Design your feedback, make it specific (Asking for a general opinion, might not be that helpful).
  4. What kind of feedback do you want? (idea vs Assignment, content, grammar, style).
  5. Think about whom to ask, everybody has a different perspective!
  6. Make very clear when you need the feedback!

Now comes the most important part of asking for feedback, to doing something with it. So here are some tips:

  1. Read ALL your collected feedback, and see if you can discover a trends.
  2. If you don’t understand the feedback ask for clarification (ask for examples).
  3. Choose! Feedback is about suggestions, in the end your responsible.

Feedback:  wordpress:1, FD site:1, Twitter: 0, Yammer:2, Email:0 LinkedIn:0, WhatsApp:1, In person:2

Network: Twitter: 7 followers, LinkedIn: 50 connections

(Please tell me, How do you ask for feedback? )

Building the network I need!

February 16, 2011 1 comment

Day two on my quest: filling in the gap in knowledge and skill on both web 2.0 and solution focussed management. To accomplish my goal of writing a good essay in the FD Career Challlenge(in dutch).

Looking on my stats down below it’s not going very well is it. So today I’m looking into social networking (big part of Web 2.0). I found a great article on networking: ‘The 10 Secrets of a Master Networker’, from back in the days when networking using a phone meant texting and talking. It gave me ten tips on becoming a great networker:

  1. Don’t network just to network – Well My Goal is clear.
  2. Take names! – Need some more.
  3. Build it before you need it – Flunked that one! Then again, without the internet this seems harder to do.
  4. Never eat alone – With two kids who am I kidding.
  5. Be interesting – Hmmm, getting back to this one.
  6. Manage the gatekeeper – Today’s social networks don’t have secretaries, or do they?
  7. Always ask. ‘Boldness and it’s genius, is a gift’ – Well for me it’s not a gift, so working on that one.
  8. Don’t keep score – Indeed
  9. Ping constantly – PING! back in 2003, nice I’m not very good at this, How can I develop this?
  10. Find anchor tenants – Ok, not working on that for now.
The ones I work on are 2, 5 and 7.
Take names!
I follow the article/blog/twitter trail. I think of knowledge as of water coming down from the top of the mountain, just follow the stream and you will get to the source. But, do stop and look at the river as well, it might be beautiful.
Be interesting
I’m doing this by creating a pitch to introduce myself (both links are to an excellent site by Lisa B. Marshall). The result is on my about page and was the ‘hello world’ post yesterday.
Always ask
Just being connected is not enough you need to ask, and tha’s tough. I tip I ones read was to not ask all, people won’t give you all, but don’t ask to little either, people need challenges. And belief in the fact that ‘No’, doesn’t hurt you or your relation.

Feedback:  wordpress:0, FD site:1, Twitter: 0, Yammer:0, Email:0 LinkedIn:0, WhatsApp:1

Network: Twitter: 6 followers, LinkedIn: 50 connections

(Please comment on anything you want, make your point and give an example or donate a question)