In my post last week on engagement, I presented the alignment model from my Engaging Learning book on designing learning experiences. And as I thought about the post, I pondered several related things about labels, models, and drives. I thought I’d wrestle with them ‘out loud’ here, and troll (in the old sense) to see what you think.
Some folks have branded a model and lived on that for their career. And, in a number of cases, that’s not bad: they’re useful models and their applicability hasn’t diminished. And while, for instance, I think that alignment model is as useful as most models I’ve seen, I didn’t see any reason to tie my legacy to it, because the principles I like to comprehend and then apply to create solutions aren’t limited to just engagement. Though I wonder if people would find it easier to put the model in practice if it had a label. The Quinn Engagement model or somesuch?
I’ve also created models around mobile, and about performance ecosystems, and more. I can’t say that they’re all original (e.g. the 4Cs of mobile), though I think they have utility. And some have labels (again, the 4Cs, Least Assistance Principle…) Then the misconceptions book is very useful, but the coverage there isn’t really mine, either. It’s just a useful compendium. I expect to keep creating models. But it’d led to another thought…
I’ve seen people driven to build companies. They just keep doing it, even if they’ve built one and sold it, they’re always on it; they’re serial entrepreneurs. I, for instance, have no desire to do that. There are elements to that that aren’t me. Other folks are driven to do research: they have a knack for designing experiments that tease out the questions that drive them to find answers. And I’ve been good at that, but it’s not what makes my heart beat faster. I do like action research, which is about doing with theory, and reflecting back. (I also like helping others become able to do this.)
What I’m about is understanding and applying cognitive science (in the broad sense) to help people do important things in ways that are enabled by new technologies. Models that explain disparate domains are a hobby. I like finding ways to apply them to solve new problems in ways that are insightful but also pragmatic. If I create models along the way (and I do), that’s a bonus. Maybe I should try to create a model about applying models or somesuch. But really, I like what I do.
The question I had though, is whether anyone’s categorized ‘drives’. Some folks are clearly driven by money, some by physical challenges. Is there a characterization? Not that there needs to be, but the above chain of thought led me to be curious. Is there a typology of drives? And, of course, I’m skeptical if there is one (or more), owing to the problems with, for instance, personality types and learning styles :D. Still, welcome any pointers.