Thursday, November 18, 2010

Be the Change

"Be the change you want to see in the world" is one of many power sound-bites provided to us by Gandhi. And it's power is really found in it's simplicity.

I have been at the CSTD annual conference for the bulk of this week. It's the major conference in the field of training in Canada. This is my second year in attendance, and I am so overwhelmed and excited by what I have had the opportunity to learn.

One of the underlying themes this year that I feel keeps cropping up (intentionally or otherwise) is about the power of informal learning. Informal learning is defined as learning that was not formally structured. A common example would be when I need to use a new functionality on my computer, and I may ask someone near me, or google my answer, and learn how to use this new functionality.

One of the things that keeps coming up to hit me in the head with what feels like the subtlety of an anvil is the notion of "stop trying to convince others of the value of your belief, just take action."

This is kind of a scary principle: don't worry about getting the buy in up front, use the momentum of your conviction to drive your behaviour. The idea being that you are modeling the behaviours you want to elicit in others, and thusly drawing them out.

The scaredy-cat inside me can't let go of the fear. The fear of non-conformity; the fear that my conviction was in fact not supported by reality, and I will fail; the fear of always being alone on my side of reality.

There's another little part of me that keeps pushing the line in the other direction. How much potential am I ignoring? Where is the value in turning a blind eye to the possibilities?

I've also heard the adage "The greatest rewards come from the the greatest risks".

At this stage in the process, I have no idea which way I am going to go. Actually to be more accurate, I have no ability to predict with any level of certainty which way I am going to sustain.

Until then, I'll be busy weeding through the newly acquired knowledge, old habits, road blocks and possibilities in my head.