Many years ago, I met a guy who worked for Apple. They were allowed to have their own job titles, and his was “Intellectrician”. I thought that was a very nice turn of phrase. And, as I just ordered new business cards, I put Intellectricity as the tagline instead of “Learning & Performance Strategy” or other permutations with Technology and such in the title. Why?
The goal, of course, is to have a phrase that folks will read it and go “what’s that about?”, as some of my colleagues helped me remember. If you can spark a conversation, you have a chance to do a little evangelism/education. (And maybe some business interest?) Also, I think it actually captures what I believe and like to do pretty well.
You’ve likely heard or read me harp many times on how companies aren’t well aligned with how we think, work, and learn. The cognitive violations are many, from how we design our learning, to design our workplaces, policies, tool use, and culture. If we redesigned what we’re doing, creating strategies to get better practices in place, we’d be unleashing the organizational intellect! Hence, ‘intellectricity’.
And this is pretty much what I’m on about, in several ways:
- knowing what formal learning really looks like, and designing our design processes accordingly
- recognizing what facilitates informal learning in the short term (the ‘solve this’ type of problem-solving’)
- facilitating long-term informal learning by practices and tools suites
- fostering a culture where innovation thrives
This is a partial list that goes fractal really quickly with practices and principles around each area. The point is that these elements are key to organizational ‘thrival’. Overall, they’re about optimizing the intellectual activity of the organization, learning quickly to be agile.
We’ll see if this tactic works to generate conversations and then new thinking. As Jay Cross used to say “conversations are the stem cells of learning”. Practicing what we preach. So here’s to Intellectricity: more conversations and more learning.