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Fred: The Key Indicator of “Gone-to-Muchness”

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Fred: The key indicator of “Gone-to-Muchness”

I think Fred is trying to tell me something!

Granted, Fred usually gets pretty upset when I get the suitcase out and start packing.  But, this was the first time he actually sat in it!  Animals have great instincts, and he is sharing an important message with me.

It has been a busy couple of months and it is now time to do some “Spring Cleaning” of life, which includes my home, office and vehicle!  I need to clean out the old so I make room to invite in the new.  An all around freshening up of my Inner Leader is in order!

How do you go about “Spring Cleaning” your life and work?  How do you Spring Clean your Inner Leader to make room for innovation in family, work, business and life?

Go Wild with Spring Cleaning Life!

-Dr. Connie

 

Future-Focused Leadership: Cooperation, Creativity and Purpose

Interestingly enough, the hottest jobs at Facebook require a “human touch.”  Why?  They are looking for people who can close sales because their revenue relies heavily on ads (Anders, 2014).  Perhaps the most future-focused distance learning administrators should consider blending “high-human touch” with “high-tech” in new and interesting ways that holistically add value to the lives of learners.

Future-focused leaders in distance learning are using technology to change the game of education and life. One person cannot do it alone in a world that continues to change at an increasingly rapid pace; rather, distance administrators should innovate in teams with a spirit of cooperation and creativity.   Together, with a common purpose, distance leaders can examine megatrends, utilize emerging technologies, develop content, streamline design and monitor analytics while creating meaningful educational experiences and innovating the world of distance education in ways not yet imagined.

Thanks for following and celebrating this blog series focused on the future-focused leadership in distance learning.  Keep those ideas and trends coming!

Go Wild with the Future of Learning!

-Dr. Connie

The manuscript, Future-Focused Leadership:  Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning (including references used in this blog series), can be downloaded online by visiting the Kimmel Education and Research Center’s Digital Commons site:  http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/kimmelfacpub/24

Mom's Birthday Cake
Thanks for following and celebrating the AskDrConnie.com blog series on future-focused leadership in distance learning! And, a Very Happy Birthday to a Special Someone in my family!! 🙂

Megatrend 3: Decentralized Global Marketplace

Distance learning is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer-Learner” who has a buffet of educational choices.   The empowered consumer-learner decides what educational experiences and knowledge they need, when they need it and how they want to experience it.  The wide-array of non-credit and for credit choices makes for a very competitive marketplace but also a field of new opportunities.

Venture capitalists continue to invest in distance education because of the return on investment potential.  Big Data is being used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns.  It is also being used to examine various areas of teaching and learning.  Data can help create bite-sized, customized courses and programs that are both personalized and interactive (Koller, 2012). Technology enables the delivery of information and education anytime, anywhere and from anyone in a way that makes sense to the learner while adding value to their lives.

It’s no longer necessary for people to enroll in college, formal classes or workshops to learn.  They are learning what they want to know from their networks and resources they find on the Web, through Apps or in iTunes.  People will increasingly be able to create and print their ideas from wherever they choose with 3D printing.  Technology, combined with the continued growth of self-expression and meaning, will continue to change education at a rapid pace.

Value is becoming less about college credit and more about meaningful outcomes and self-expression through enhanced skills and evolving abilities.  The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything, including educational experiences.  Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed.  Many of these same individuals are transforming distance learning in new and innovative ways.  Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.

People are choosing how to meet virtually, when, where and whether-or-not to meet face-to-face and connecting over common causes.  Education, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized.  Savvy consumers seek and create the value they crave to transform their lives.   They are choosing whether or not they want a badge, certificate, credit hour or degree, and their demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends.  The Empowered Consumer-Learner wants a unique experience that adds value to their life.  Future-focused leaders who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.

Innovation Retreat: New Ideas and New Dollars on April 29!
As educators, what is the value we can add to a lifetime?

Megatrend 1: The Rise of the #GigEconomy

The rise of the entrepreneurial individual, and what is currently referred to as the Gig Economy, will create new challenges and opportunities for distance learning administrators.  How can institutions of education help learners create value for traditional employers and for their individual brands?   If not as many people are investing in education to land a full-time job, what does this mean for higher education?

An emerging trend, the rise of global joblessness (International Labour Office, 2014), is supporting the growth of the Gig Economy while creating a need for the marketing of talents and skills in new and meaningful ways.   The number of large employers is predicted to shrink in the future causing people to find new and inventive ways to make a living.  The ability to sell, purchase and promote goods and services as well as individual brands on the Web has created a need for education to add value to the lives of learners in innovative ways.  People are increasingly defining success for themselves, which does not always include a college degree and a 9-5 job.  In many ways, it is now much cooler to be a successful start-up entrepreneur, famous blogger or YouTube sensation than a person working in a full-time job.

One common denominator will remain the same:  People need to be found on the already crowded World Wide Web.  They have to build their brands and levels of influence to strengthen both credibility and success.  Educational institutions should keep a close eye on the rise of businesses like Fiverr.com and the use of Twesumes (Twitter + Resume = Twesume = a resume in 140 characters or less) to land jobs or gigs (thus, the #GigEconomy).

Leaders should also consider building their brands, as well as those of students, faculty and alumni.  The rise of social networks and technology has enabled people to both learn and teach at anytime from any place.  These same tools have helped people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, which supports the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend.  Life purpose is shaping everything from healthcare to education.

Future-Focused Leadership: Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning

My most recent paper, Future-Focused Leadership:  Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning, will be published in the conference proceedings of the 2014 Distance Learning Administration Conference (Woo Hoo!). I am also preparing a keynote for the North Central Leadership Conference (to be held in Omaha, NE next month).

Both the paper and the keynote will focus on the future, so I am going to publish a series of blog posts on a few mega trends shaping distance learning.  Examining diverse insights is one of the best ways to study trends. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts, ideas and future thinking!  I would love to hear from you!

Go Wild with the Future!

-Dr. Connie

Now (drum roll please), for the first entry on Future-Focused Leadership:  Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning

While many continue to question the skyrocketing costs and value of a college education, future-focused leaders are recreating learning experiences by blending technology with the human experience.  What does the future of distance learning look like, taste like and feel like? It can be difficult to predict the future of education as the world continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace; however, distance learning administrators can use a future-focused leadership approach, which includes examining megatrends, to plan for the future.  Megatrends are global shifts that influence society, the economy and the environment. This series of blog posts will touch on three megatrends shaping the future of distance learning: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and 3) The Decentralized Marketplace.

Jag eye spy
Leaders (at every age) should keep an eye on the future!

Future-Focused Leadership Paper Accepted!

Received this great email today…

“Congratulations! The Conference Committee of the DLA2014 Distance Learning Administration Conference has reviewed your proposal “Future-Focused Leadership: Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning Administration” and accepted it for presentation. We received a record number of quality proposals for this conference, and are most pleased that you are among our presenters.”

Yes!!!  Now, I have to get to work and write a smashing paper!!  This is one of my favorite conferences for a number of reasons.  The first paper I submitted to this conference, A Framework for Entrepreneurial Learner of the 21st Century, earned a Best Paper Award in 2005. The atmosphere is great, and I always learns a lot from the other attendees.

I would love to hear from all of you.  What mega-trends are shaping distance learning and education?

I am planning to celebrate this great news with my family this weekend with some fun…not in the sun but possibly in the snow!  🙂   The sun will have to wait until the conference!!

I know my Friday has been awesome, and I hope yours has been too.

Go Wild with Learning!

-Dr. Connie

PS:  Thank you Distance Learning Administration Conference Committee!

Child's Shovel and Pail at the Beach

 

The Science of Fun

When I asked about the key takeaways from a leadership workshop yesterday, one of the participants said, “we had fun!”  I heard the same thing after a coaching session last Friday.  This theme keeps coming up and it is an important one.  Why?

Fun is good! Fun brings people together, helps them feel better and even builds businesses and communities.

My husband told me he thinks we are in a “Fun Emergency” and I agreed.  It is pretty easy to put fun on the back burner so we can get everything else done.  Like many of you reading this, we have careers, kids, dogs, parents, etc.  Fun tends to come last when it should come first!

I have been interested in the science of fun for the last few years. So, I am going to make fun the new focus of this blog in 2014.

Continue to follow AskDrConnie for ways to incorporate fun into your life with a special focus on families, finances, faith and the future!

Add your thoughts and ideas to the conversation on fun!  What role does fun play in your life?  What do you do to add more fun to your world?  I would love to hear from all of you!

Go Wild with Fun!

-Dr. Connie

 

 

Fun Blog pic

Starting the New Year with True Intentions!

 

It’s the perfect day for writing.  The snow is falling and the new year is full of positive energy and gratitude!

If you are contemplating your resolutions or goals for 2014, my updated SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals Coaching Guide may be of use.  It is designed to help get you started or to help you refine what you may have already established.

Intentions influence our actions and behaviors.  If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people oftentimes do not achieve their goals.  Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent.  It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.

Intentions have the power to strengthen your Inner Leader and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience.  Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.

What we truly intend will happen, so I use this coaching guide to encourage my clients to create SMARTER Intention Statements that support their personal vision.  So, what exactly are SMARTER Intentions?  They are statements designed to help you achieve your vision while holding your accountable and having some fun along the way because they are Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded.

The SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals coaching guide can easily be downloaded via the web by going to the University of Nebraska Extension Kimmel Education and Research Center Digital Commons site.  Simply click on: SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals.

Go Wild with your SMARTER Intentions and have a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Dr. Connie

 Happy New Year

Have Fun this Holiday Season!

Have Fun WOF Card 2013I know we are counting down the days until Christmas at our house, and I am sure many of you are doing the same.  It can be a very busy time, so make sure to take some time for yourself and actually enjoy all the wonders this time of year has to offer.

Today marks the 15th Anniversary of “The Proposal.”  Nope, not the movie-the biggest proposal of my life-when my husband popped the question!  It was a wonderful day, and the last 15 years have been quite a thrill ride!  Our fun ride on the Viking Voyage at World’s of Fun this summer was a great moment.  The picture was snapped at just the right moment, and is a wonderful reflection of our life together.  Life is full of so many wonderful emotions and experiences.  I have the good fortune to share all my ups and downs with loving and supportive family members and friends.

My husband and I have built a wonderful and full life together.  Thanks for all of your love and support Honey.  Most of all, thanks for being my partner and for building a family together.  Our little people (and doggies) add a lot of extra cheer to the holidays and each and every day!

Go Wild with Fun this Christmas!!

-Dr. Connie

 

E2, Pam Grout and 9 New Energy Experiments

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am going through a transition.  I am doing this personally, professionally and in my business.  Thanks to Ali Brown’s Elevate program, I am transforming my work at the University and in my coaching firm, Wild Innovation.  Now, thanks to Pam Grout, I am experimenting with my mind!

It’s time for a change, so I am experimenting a bit.  I found Pam Grout’s new book, Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality, and have decided to put it to the test.

Join me as I take on all nine of Pam’s experiments as one tool to create my new reality!

“When we are born, every possibility exists.”

-Pam Grout, Page 9 of “Nine-Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality”

Pam’s book is available on Amazon:

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality
by Pam Grout
Link: http://amzn.com/1401938906

Raquel in her shades!
My kids show me new possibilities every single day!

Going Wild!

-Dr. Connie