Open Thinkering


Month: July 2010

3 ways to influence people.

I can think of three main ways that people influence other people into being more productive. Here’s two:

  1. Emotions – appeal to fear, pride, happiness, etc.
  2. Admiration – person B thinks person A rocks, therefore listening to and acting upon what they say

The third way is, however, the most important. It’s making other people think the idea you gave them was their own. This lends ownership and increases self-confidence.

Doing so can raise other people’s productivity levels significantly. Some methods:

  • Email a link to a third party’s blog post/tweet/Facebook update.
  • Lend a book.
  • Suggest to a someone’s friend that they could do with hearing some advice.

In the film Inception, they have to travel to a third level of the subconscious to plant an idea to make it seem like the person’s own. In a similar way, to change behaviours and influence others, you often have to deflect attention away from yourself towards other things to give an idea some traction!

The sublime and the ridiculous.

There’s a fine line between the sublime and the ridiculous. Take the following in response to a retweet I made about potentially giving learners Google-like ‘20% time’ to pursue their own interests:

My initial response?

Ridiculous. That would never happen!

And then…

But perhaps as a vision statement for 2020 that could work.

Which got me thinking:

So what would we need to do to make that reality?


  • Mobile phones seen as learning equipment.
  • Availability of secure GPS-enabled school environment.
  • Learner autonomy.

So actually, an offhand statement can serve as a vision to work towards. It’s good to mix things up sometimes. :-p

Weeknote #12

This week I have been mostly…

I flew to Cardiff for a JISC Advance internal comms meeting on Tuesday and then went to London and back (Wednesday-Friday) on the train. The thing that seemed to take longest was walking and getting the tube around London. I remain baffled as to why anyone would want to live or work there; I feel like I need to take a shower after travelling one stop on the Underground.

Being inspired
Google Teacher Academy UK more than met my expectations. I’m going to save my reflections for a series of blog posts over the next couple of weeks. Suffice to say, however, that from the first lesson on ‘Search’ I was challenged, inspired and enthused in equal measure. The team that organised #GTAUK were legendary: both friendly and awesome!

Watching Toy Story 3
My thoughts? Great film – probably my favourite action/jailbreak film actually. Still, not as good as Toy Story 2 and I found the attempt to make the audience cry at the end a bit cynical. It was Ben’s first trip to the cinema – he was tired by the end but enjoyed it!

Being reminded of the importance of sleep
I know how much I need to get a good night’s sleep to be productive. That has never been brought home to me more forcibly than this week. Man cannot live on caffeine, sugar and adrenaline alone…