Acton University Reflections

It always surprises me that, after a week of incredible sharing, thinking, and reflecting, I’m exhausted. That week was also a changing point in my doctorate from despair to inspiration. The week ended with my learning how to use all four positions on the cello and watching an enlightening talk about embracing uncertainty by Dan North. Topping that week’s experience is going to be difficult, but frankly, I’m not sure my brain is up to it anyway at the moment! … [Read More]

Intentional Silo-busting

It’s always a joy to get insights into another industry that has an effect of silo-busting. Any time we experience interdisciplinary research or practice, that is also a great silo-busting experience. A big scale example is how neuroscience has been positively impacted by several disciplines for ground breaking discovery of how our brain develops. A more immediate example for me is how agile methodology and lean systems for software is the inspiration for  the curriculum design model I developed. However, … [Read More]

Agile Experience Reports: Writing vs Reviewing

One year ago I wrote my experience report about applying agile methodologies to the curriculum design process I use in my university. Tim O’Conner was a great shepherd providing insight on what the community needed to hear from me. Something that he recommended to me was to provide a “giving back” section. Granted, there should be strong implication of how the experiences are in the article can apply to other situations. However, this extremely intentional bullet pointed section was extremely … [Read More]

Time Management: Perspective, Balance, and Flow

My career is rather ever-present in my life, and since it’s mixed with family working at home with a husband on the road quite often, time mastery was quickly moved up the list of priorities. Recently, I discovered something that I’ve always known, but at the same time, never completely clicked. My guilt was always pretty high when I would focus 100% of my mind on my job, yet be so mentally exhausted after 4-5 hours. Yes, I did Pomodoro’s … [Read More]

Being Effective in an Interruption-Rich Environment

Having both worked in a cube farm and remotely from home, reflection of the types of interruptions and ways to mitigate them are completely different for each environment. Regardless of the environment, however, the question is how to be effective in an interruption-rich environment…which, by the way, is pretty much everywhere given social media, smart phones and tablets at constant arms reach. My discovery has been to not fight the situation in order to put into place what I assume … [Read More]

Managing Deadlines in Kanban

The word deadline is an ugly one. Creativity and innovation, in my experience, come from my free moments when I do not have the black cloud of deadline over me. Either that or the deadline is so upon me that I have to come up with an innovation in order to make it in the first place because I procrastinated so magnificently. However, the stress involved with that type of innovation usually results in post-success distraction due to either celebration … [Read More]

ASTD TechKnowledge 2012 Learning Reflection

The attendance of this conference provided a great deal of perspective of the direction for our university’s online team and curriculum in the crucial next year or so as we realize a new growth through our two new masters degrees and now bachelors of science in nursing for current RNs. Undergraduate degrees have become patterned for us to develop quickly, but the BSN-RN provides a new challenge with a special practicing field that has an audience with much more specific … [Read More]

Articulating the Message

A challenge to every speaking experience is to reach your audience. We create buzz words and phrases, images, and other artifacts to ensure that the message is clear, but cross-industry communication is challenging. As an educator, I am in a unique position of applying agile methodology to formal academia both as an administrator and in the curriculum design process. This unique position is that the Agile community knows little to nothing of my efforts in formal education while formal education … [Read More]

Personal Kanban Planning at Different Levels

Experimentation is a constant learning process, and one that I have had very positive results from in 2011 regarding my personal kanban efforts. It is extremely difficult to let go of “I’m right” and develop a mindset of “discovering right”…and even further, understand that the discovery process is a continual one with no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. As my Tae Kwon Do instructor said at the beginning of each meditation, we must strive for perfection … [Read More]

Agile 2011 Learning Reflection

The sessions and conversations gave me tremendous insight into future improvements for my own life and team. Agile 2011 in Salt Lake City was a ridiculous amount of fun and learning, two things that should always be synonymous.

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.