off at thRee

I work for a very progressive company that has telecommuting privileges and flexible work hours.  Despite this, I occasionally hear, “you’re leaving at three?” as I am packing up at 3 p.m.    Yes, I’m leaving at three, but let’s dissect my day, shall we?

On office days, like today, I’m up at 5 and on the road by 6.  I’m at the office by 7 and in my first meeting at 8.  In between meetings, which occur off and on – mostly on – until 3, I am jotting notes and finishing up designs and architecture for my next meetings.  Yes, I sit for an hour at lunch with my learning professional co-workers and laugh about things like “boffice wear” (bed to office, i.e. questionable office wear) and boys who pimp out their trucks.  I’m on the road at 3, home by 4, taking a call until 5 and designing again until 6.  I sneak in a sandwich while I design and change into my running clothes and run from 6 – 6:30.  I check emails quickly before heading out to visit a friend at 7:30.

And I’ll check email and work a bit more when I return at 9:30.  My husband, clearly, is working evening this week.  Normally, I’d be offline by about 6 or so and checking email before bed at 10.  Even so, it’s a long day.

On non office days, I’m up at 6, working by 6:15, and usually keep working until 4, 5, or 6 o’clock.  The ID life is a busy life – and I’m a mom and wife and pet-owner and friend outside of work.

So yes, I’m leaving at three today.

cReative stRuggLes

There are times when creativity flows out of me like water over a dam – it’s beautiful, strong, and has its own direction.  There are other times when I’m sitting at my desk, like I am right now, and cannot come up with a single, creative thought on a project that so desperately demands it.

As I watch videos and review graphics and read content, I keep waiting for the creative ideas to start coming.  I know the ID I am partnered with is good for coming up with development ideas, but I’m working on the architecture and storyboard to support it.  I don’t want to write a script that’s flat and boring – I don’t want to tell them what they need to know – I want the learners who see the video to be inspired to go and find the information themselves and put it to use on the floor.  I want this piece of training to be a catalyst of behavioural change.

But.. how?

One of the drawbacks of being known for your creativity is being known for your creativity when you’re not feeling it at all.

But maybe this post was enough to help me find it.

RAMPing up the conveRsation

So, the more I investigate the benefits of the gamification, the more I am convinced that that the “game mechanics” I should be inserting into training look less leader boards and badges and more like good design:  storytelling, contextual scenarios, choice, increased difficulty and an ability to provide feedback.

I think the leader boards and badges are hype and silliness that appeal to a very small segment of most companies.  And I think with so many IDs coming from a graphic arts background, it’s an appealing link between their former and current selves.  But for those of us from a more learning centered background, the more subtle mechanics of games – context, stories, scenarios, choice, difficulty and feedback – feel more likely to increase RELATEDNESS, AUTONOMY, MASTERY and PURPOSE than collecting badges and competing against other people making near minimum wage for virtual currency.

I wish I could talk to someone who has “gamified” their learning with some degree of sustainability.  I feel like those people don’t really exist.