- Would you love some tips for taking good notes at work?
- Do you want to be able to take good notes when you are trying to solve a problem?
- How about when you are trying to make a difficult decision?
Taking good notes allows you to organize your thoughts, capturing important information. The ability to take effective notes also helps you to become more skilled at problem solving and decision making, and it allows you to tap into your creative juices. I’ve written a lot about taking good notes, now it’s time to demonstrate what I mean.
Introduction: Tips for Taking Good Notes: Why an Example?
Show, don’t tell. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. I know I’ve written that countless times. I write about the importance of taking notes. And I also write about reading books for specific reasons.
I thought I would let you look over my shoulder virtually, to see what that looks like. I have written several posts on effective note taking techniques when reading and listening. But what I haven’t done is to show you what that looks like.
Tips for Taking Good Notes: What is Your Purpose for Taking Notes?
It’s important to have a compelling reason for taking notes. I am taking notes because I want to have a record of important information that I glean from reading the book, Gaming to Innovate.
I decided to read Gaming to Innovate for two primary reasons – to get information and further my knowledge on how to make the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge more valuable to participants.
Then I want to use what I learn to update the reading challenge, so that it’s as valuable as it can be. I have been thinking about this for a while now. As you read my notes below, you will see what information in Gaming to Innovate I am focusing on.
Tips for Taking Good Notes: Problems with the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge
Most of the people who sign up for the reading challenge, who are part of the Facebook group, Read the World, are not actively participating. Most of them are not actually doing the challenge. Some of them started the challenge, but have stopped because they are busy. The other problem is that I haven’t done a good enough job of selling the reading challenge. And I don’t have strong enough incentives for completing the challenge.
Tips for Taking Good Notes: Why I Am Reading Gaming to Innovate
I’m reading Gaming to Innovate solely for the purposes of getting ideas that I can apply right away. So that’s the kind of information that I’m focusing on, even though I am reading the entire book. I am only taking note of information that can help me to address the issues I am facing with the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
Tips for Taking Good Notes – Information to Make Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge More Valuable
As mentioned previously, I am zeroing in on information in Gaming to Innovate that I can use to improve the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
Functional Fixedness: What are the different uses of something. Let’s look at the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. What is the function of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge? What other functions could the reading challenge have: Its function is to:
- Help employees accelerate their careers.
- Help employees develop cultural awareness to compete in a global marketplace.
- Allow employees to develop new skills to compete now and in the future. Allow them to develop the 10 employability skills to thrive in the future.
- Train employees in areas important to them.
- Enable professionals to find big ideas as well as merge big ideas to form something new. To generate that one big idea that will transform their lives.
- Enable employees to secure continuing education credits.
- Enable employees to complete stretch assignments or other important projects.
- Enable employees to secure a promotion.
Note to Avil: For the functions that are not yet a part of the Read the World Challenge, such as getting continuation credits, how do I make that a reality? What steps do I need to take? Follow-up with conference attendee who went through the process to give continuing education credits for her program.
Structural Fixedness: If you look at the thing as a whole, then it’s very difficult for you to innovate. Therefore, if I look at the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge as a whole, I will have blind spots. How can I break the reading challenge into its parts?
Tips for Taking Good Notes: Questions I Have Related to Structural Fixedness
- How do I break out of fixedness with the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge?
- How can I make it less like a typical reading challenge?
- What if it was structured like a course with continuing education credits?
- How can I break down the reading challenge to its basic elements to get rid of fixedness to innovate?
- How can I create a reading challenge with no competitors?
- How do I increase engagement in the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge?
- How can I use the reading challenge to have an impact on the bottom line? Perhaps a structured approach to idea generation.
- How will the reading challenge impact a participant’s business and career?
A major outcome of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge is that it has to make participants more valuable and marketable. At least 10 times more valuable and marketable. This is a goal, but how can I have this outcome in a world with constraints – resources, budget, and structural constraints?
Note to Avil: There are specific skills that people need to succeed in work and life. I need to figure out how to work these skills into the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
Rewards: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Motivation: How would I be able to assign points to each person as they progress through the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge? How can I create a leaderboard, so everyone can see their accomplishments? Is there a way to do this that’s not too time intensive?
Extrinsic Motivation: Is a trophy and shout out in the Facebook Read the World Group enough of an intrinsic motivation? People love the acknowledgement, but obviously that’s not enough since so many people have dropped out. Would continuation credits make a difference? I’m not sure because I haven’t tried it yet. It may work, since in some professions, people need the continuing education credits.
Usefulness, Immediacy and Impact. Is the idea viable? Can we use it now? How much impact will we have? Below is my interpretation for the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
Monthly Big Ideas Scorecard
Taking Notes: Innovation Tools and Techniques That Can Make the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge Better
Subtraction: What essential component can I take away from the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge? What are the internal components? The internal components are the monthly requirements.
I want to eliminate the read a Chick-Lit in Month 8, but I want to replace it with reading a book about happiness.
Questions to Ask if I Subtract a Component
Looking at what’s left:
- “What is it?
- What would you name it?
- What would be the benefit?
- Who would benefit from it?
- Who would be the market?”
Taking away the requirement of reading a Chick-Lit in Month 8 wouldn’t affect the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. But adding a book on Happiness would enhance it, aligning it perfectly with one of the reasons why I started the challenge in the first place. Truly happy people do not kill others. If people were happier, there would also be less violence in the world.
Multiplication: Which element of the reading challenge can I multiply? I didn’t do a good enough job with onboarding to the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. For the first month of the reading challenge, should it be more about preparing for success and not reading the books? Also being tech savvy is required these days, how can I feed into that? Technology changes rapidly, so reading books is not necessarily the way to go. How about each week, I have participants read an article about new technologies? I think that could work. But it would be from journals that they are unlikely to read. Very credible journals such as MIT Sloan Management Review and MIT Technology Review are two good ones.
Division: Divide production along physical or functional lines. Can step 10 become step three and so on? How would this be relevant to the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge? Perhaps there could be a separate challenge that’s career focused that would run only three months? This is worth thinking about.
Task Unification: This is using one component to do the task of another. Assign an additional task to the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. The reading challenge has been referred to as not for the faint of heart. I would add reading one technology article each week. What am I missing with task unification?
“You make a list of the essential components of the product or process, select a component from the list, and assign it an additional task by using one of the following three methods:
You can choose an external component and use it to perform a task the product is already accomplishing.
You can choose an internal component and make it do something new or extra.”
Attribute Dependency: Remove or create dependency between elements of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
- How does this relate to the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge?
- As it stands now, each of the months stand alone? What if the months build on each other? What would that look like? What if I switch the components from one month to another to make the flow of the reading challenge smoother?
Tips for Taking Good Notes: Innovation Tools & Techniques
- Task Unification
- Attribute Dependency[/color-box]
Note to Avil: The best way to effectively use the innovation tools mentioned above, is to list the components of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. This will allow me to look at each component objectively, then decide what I can subtract, add, contract, or substitute. It will also allow me to move the components from one month to another, so that it is more logical and flows better.
Tips for Taking Good Notes: Action Steps from Gaming to Innovate
I have a tendency to get on with things. The Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge is no different. Participants jump in and start reading, but there needs to be an onboarding process. Even if it is only for a week. To make the reading challenge work for participants, there are certain things they have to do first:
- In the Welcome Email for people who sign up for the Extreme Reading Challenge, ask them to join the Read the World Facebook Group right away, before they forget.
- Let them complete a learning needs assessment to identify some of the books to read. Note to Avil: Create a competency based needs assessment.
- Recommend that participants of the reading challenge choose the books that align with the results of the competency based needs assessment.
- Let them assign books months based on monthly requirements.
- I have to change the order of the requirements of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. For instance, writing, presentation, negotiation and problem solving skills are core skills that professionals need to have. These should be in the first months of the challenge. Now that I have thought about it, the book about happiness should be in either Month One or Month Two, not Month Eight.
- Redo the weekly email alerts, letting them be more specific. Give more meaningful instructions. Have complementary resources that people can read. Have people read a specific type of book for each month based on the requirements for the month. Tighten up the reading challenge.
- Consider having a webinar, so people in the Facebook Group can talk about the books they read and learned from. Get people involved, so it’s not on my shoulders. This will build engagement. I would have to develop a format for others to follow.
Books Mentioned in Gaming to Innovate
- Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.
- Inside the Box by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg.
- The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor (Note: This book was mentioned to me while I was at the conference in Dallas).
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the TimeInside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough ResultsHappiness Advantage: 7 Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
Conclusion: Tips for Taking Good Notes Using Gaming to Innovate
This post is not a review of Gaming to Innovate. I came across the book and it seemed like the content would help me to solve problems I am having with the Read the Word Extreme Reading Challenge. I decided to read the book for information and to further my knowledge on how to run a better reading challenge.
And while taking notes, my focus was on solutions to my problem. But if you have a system or process that you have to revamp, this book can help you.
I want to say that going through the process of taking notes, so that you can virtually look over my shoulders has been beneficial to me. It helped to crystallize my thoughts. This is how I take notes, often writing notes to myself. You’ll see, “Note to Avil” quite a few times.
And I usually record the names of books that are mentioned in the book I am reading. Whenever you are reading a book for information or to further your knowledge on a topic, try taking notes this way to see if it makes a difference. I hope you find this post helpful. Life is busy, so focusing on the information that’s important to you can save time.
UPDATE: First Published August 2016