Archives for posts with tag: communication

This infographic from MainPath shows how the brain processes different types of content such as written, graphic, interactive, and video. “The way the brain processes different types of content affects a viewer’s emotions and impressions.”

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This infographic that was done in 2013 by Oxfam International is a beautiful example of the power of visualization and how imagery can help make complex information easy to understand. As Kate Ryan writes in Good Food:

So whether you’re looking to stock up on anything from orange soda to latte-flavored potato chips, Mondelez, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Unilever own just about everything you could hope to buy. It seems that six degrees of separation theory has been proven after all, if only because we all drink Diet Coke every now and then…In order to visually elucidate that point, Oxfam International created a comprehensive infographic that reveals the extensive reach of the “Big 10” food and beverage companies.

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Photo by Adam Przewoski, via Unsplash

Mindshift’s Ki Sung reports on an interesting partnership between librarians at the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), which is an online education nonprofit organization. The article starts out with the statistic that about five percent of those enrolled in massive online courses (MOOCs) actually complete the course. Perhaps if online students had access to more support from others also taking the course, there will be greater success with completion rates.

Enter an innovative partnership that offers a Learning Circles program which, with the help of a facilitator, brings together people taking an online course for six to eight weeks. “Learning Circles add a social element to what is otherwise a solitary learning experience.”

As stated in the article, libraries are a perfect fit for Learning Circles because:

  • they already serve the local community
  • they are equipped with meeting spaces
  • many have computer stations
  • librarians know how to help people find answers

In the partnership, librarians, in their facilitator roles, promote discussion and help learners use research tools.

How can something so great not produce positive outcomes? These were mentioned (directly quoted) in the article:

  • CPL’s outreach efforts helped a new population of learners take advantage of MOOCs — 90 percent of those who attended a Learning Circle heard about it through the library and 65 percent of those had never taken an online course before
  • Retention rates were around 45 – 55 percent… [and] students were more compelled to take online courses on their own after the guided experience and continued to do work outside of the learning circles
  • Learning Circles also helped librarians interact with patrons in new ways. They found themselves forming friendships and building community through repeated interactions

Erik Devaney, Editor of HubSpot’s ReadThink, has written an informative post on corporate jargon, or,“Why do business-people talk like that?”

It is easy to think light of corporate jargon. There is, however, a serious side to consider when performing research. Being aware of what the current day jargon is, even though it can at times be silly, can be helpful in retrieving results that are current and relevant. One search strategy to consider when you are retrieving irrelevant results (we’ve all been there) is to use terms that you think the author might use in his or her writing, not what you think the author should use.

This article is filled with wonderful little nuggets such as:

“…the word jargon dates back to the Middle Ages and originally referred to a sound that birds made.”

“’Thinking outside the box,’ for example, is a reference to a logic puzzle, which requires that you connect a 3×3 ‘box’ of 9 dots using four straight lines or fewer — without lifting your pen or pencil off the paper…The trick is that you need to drag your line outside of the box in order to complete the puzzle.'”

“The term aboveboard, meanwhile, was likely born out of the requirement that card players keep their hands above the table as a way to discourage cheating.”

Perhaps the most interesting section focuses on the theories for its use, even though users know it can be incomprehensible or vague: Here are a few of the leading theories:

  1. It’s a power move. 
  2. It reinforces belonging. 
  3. It makes it easier to talk about uncomfortable topics. 

McKinsey’s Jacques Bughin, in his article, “Taking the Measure of the Networked Enterprise,” reveals two points that stand out in their latest analysis on the “adoption by companies of Enterprise 2.0 tools, a cluster of web-based social technologies first popularized by consumers.” The first finding is that the adoption of these technologies, such as wikis, blogs, social networks, podcasts, and video sharing, “appears to be leveling off after a decade of rapid growth.” The second is that “enterprise 2.0 tools follow power laws.” The companies that McKinsey identified as power users “reported an incremental 5 percent in value added in 2010 and of up to 6.5 percent in 2014…That seems plausible: power laws should naturally skew performance benefits toward heavier users.” They also found “that even incremental use among employees could significantly increase the value added for each technology.”

Sara Goo, writing for Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank, reports on findings from Pew’s recent results from a national sample of adults asked to select among a list of 10 skills: “Regardless of whether or not you think these skills are good to have, which ones do you think are most important for children to get ahead in the world today?…The answer was clear. Across the board, more respondents said communication skills were most important, followed by reading, math, teamwork, writing and logic. Science fell somewhere in the middle, with more than half of Americans saying it was important.” Read the full report here.

What Skills Kids Need to Succeed
Also interesting: “While all Americans were most likely to cite communication and reading skills as most important for today’s kids, women were more likely than men to say this…On the other hand, men were more likely than women to say that science and math skills were most important.”

Strategy+Business blog contributor David Silverman complies his 2013 edition of business words and phrases he hopes never to see again. Some are new and others have been around for a while. Click on the full post to read descriptions of each of these worst words:

Utilize

Tooling

Face time

Utility player

Deck

Road map

Maturity curve

Model

Privacy policy

Hold the pen