Blog and News
February 22, 2018

I am surprised… and disappointed

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Well over six years ago, a friend asked me what to pay attention to in her new more senior role in Learning and Development. She had already spent some time in HR and L&D, so what she was really asking was what was new, what were people not doing that they should be doing, and

October 3, 2017

Article: Informal learning – critically important, but neglected by Paul Matthews

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This article on informal learning and learning transfer was written for and originally published on and has been published here with TrainingZone's permisson. Informal learning is a big thing now in learning and development. The 70:20:10 model, and others, tells us that informal learning is vastly more important than you’d ever think given the

June 1, 2016

Multitasking – Myth and Mystery by Paul Matthews

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Can you really multitask efficiently? There are many people who swear that they can, and just as many studies that say they are fooling themselves, and that efficient multitasking is impossible. So what is the truth of it? First, we need to take a look at what we mean by “multitasking.” The idea arose in the

March 9, 2016

Article: Learning & Development – An evolution or revolution?

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Learning & Development – An evolution or revolution? In a recent poll the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) posed this question and the result was unequivocally undecided with the following result: Evolution – 50% Revolution – 50% In this article Paul Matthews shares his thoughts in relation to the question: Neither and both. It reminds me of the old

November 9, 2015

Jay Cross – RIP

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Jay Cross, a leading thinker in the Learning & Development world. Of course, he was so much more than that. If you followed his blogs he was interested in so many other things and always seemed willing to experiment and learn. Although I never met him,

July 5, 2015

Ozlearn – July 2015

Your organisation, or the client you are working for, does not care about learning. There, I’ve said it! But why would an organisation pay for something they don’t care about? While those of you who earn your living getting paid to provide learning services laugh at what is obviously a dumb statement, let’s explore why

February 20, 2014

The link between leaders and learning

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I was asked to contribute to a super little booklet by our associates at Reed Learning: "The Little Book of Inspiration" contains inspiration from "pioneering thinkers from the Learning & Development world". I was really chuffed that they considered me a pioneering thinker, and also to be published alongside people who I have looked

December 22, 2013

The real challenge of 2014

From all of us here at People Alchemy, we wish you a most enjoyable and relaxing Christmas and New Year. And then what happens? 2014 happens. Are you ready? William Gibson said "The future is already here - it's just not very evenly distributed." How does this apply to you? What trends are starting that

November 30, 2013

Our friends in the swamp

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Paul Matthews shares impressions from his tour to the rain forests of Indonesian Borneo with the Orangutan Foundation a few years ago: I was lucky. The rains had been light this season and the swamp was only up to my knees, not my waist. This meant the leeches couldn’t get to places I would rather they didn’t

July 3, 2013

Kindle Freebie on Amazon

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Just in time for the summer holidays Amazon are running a special free Kindle promotion for Informal Learning at Work: How to Boost Performance in Tough Times from 10-14 July Dr Peter Honey summarised it well in his review. “I smiled my way through Paul Matthews’ book and I very much hope it will have

June 27, 2013

Google reader demise

You have probably already read about Google Reader being switched off on Sunday 30th June, so if you use it for your RSS feeds and have already made alternative arrangements, you can ignore this. If you receive my weekly management tips via RSS using Google Reader you will loose the feed together with all your

June 13, 2013

Social media did not create social learning

I have been fascinated by the number of articles and blog posts I see which seem to equate social learning with social media. There are many who seem to think that social learning didn’t exist before Twitter. Of course it did. It has been a predominant form of learning for the human species since we

April 9, 2013

Get Rid of Job Descriptions

I read a rather provocative blog post the other day titled “get rid of job descriptions and you’ll hire better people”. Lou Adler, who wrote the blog, advocates a performance profile rather than a job/candidate description. For him a performance profile is a description of the work that a person needs to successfully accomplish in

March 13, 2013

Tips for your learnscape this spring

The term learnscape was coined during the 1970s to denote areas set aside in schools where pupils could interact with the environment and learn from that interaction. It could have been a special plot in the grounds where they planted seeds, a frog pond to observe the frog’s life cycle, or an ant farm in

November 15, 2012

Does practice make perfect?

Actually, it is not the practice that makes us better at things. Let me explain. If we practice something, that is, we do it repeatedly, we reinforce the neural networks that support that action. It gets easier for us to do. What also happens is that each time we do it, we notice the results