Learning is messy

by Adrian Segar

Johnnie Moore wrote about this sketch: “I think it captures very succinctly the perils of retrospective coherence – the myriad ways we tidy up history to make things seem more linear.” And: “I think learning needs to be messier; amid all those twists and turns are the discoveries and surprises that satisfy the participant and help new things stick.”

Great points, Johnnie, and I’d like to add one more. Models of success and learning like the one on the left lead to tidy, simplistic conference models (with those deadening learning objectives). When we embrace the reality of messy and/or risky learning, embodied by the sketch on the right, we become open to event designs that mirror this reality and provide the flexibility and openness to address it.

Sketch attribution: Babs Rangaiah of Unilever (“& learning” added by me)

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Adrian Segar has literally written the book on low-tech audience engagement—The Power of Participation is a field guide for getting people moving around, brainstorming and, above all, participating in a meeting or event, with little or no technology involved. It includes advice on room setups, voting techniques and even ways to display complex information such as graphs and charts using zero PowerPoint slides—just the bodies in the room. Any company or organization looking to break the bonds of the same old boring meeting should definitely give it a look.

— Brandt Krueger, Top Tools For Audience Engagement http://planyourmeetings.com/top-tools-for-audience-engagement/
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