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Serendipity. The happy accident. Things you didn’t plan to happen, but when they do, in a random kind of way, it actually turns out a lot better. Serendipity has happened to me professionally on numerous occasions, usually during teaching sessions. But it also happened recently as I was preparing a presentation for a conference.
For my invited presentation at the Learning Technologies Summer Forum (#LTSF19) in London recently, I spoke on the topic of ‘People, Personalisation and Personal Learning.’
I deliberately used alliteration in the title as I often do, to emphasise my points. But the serendipity happened when I was putting my slide deck together. The second slide was meant to say ‘People are important’. But my word processor had other ideas, and when I looked up, it had been corrected to ‘People are impotent’. I decided to keep it there, and used it as a little light relief during my session, but it was also kept in as an important message – that people can be impotent if they feel forced into situations at work, especially in learning and development contexts, where they feel powerless to change anything, or cannot exert their autonomy.
Self directed forms of learning, especially those within personal learning contexts, I said, can be similar – where people find they don’t know where to go next, or lose impetus as they attempt to navigate through particularly complex passages of learning on their own.
By far the most important message of the day though was that we should treat people as highly valuable within organisations. The slide on this post shows a quote from my latest book Digital Learning in Organizations, that people are the centrally most important asset any company can own. Let’s treat them that way, and provide them with the best possible environments and opportunities to develop themselves and improve their performance.
Happy accidents by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.