News and articles

Multitasking – Myth and Mystery

Man with multiple arms doing many things at once
Date: 4 Mar, 2020
Can you really multitask efficiently? There are many people who swear that they can, and just as many studies that say they are fooling themselves, and that efficient multitasking is impossible. So what is the truth of it? First, we need to take a look at what we mean by “multitasking.” The idea arose in the world of computing, where a computer that’s designed to multitask can run more than one program at the same time. For example, it can be running a backup task at the same time that you are writing a document. From a tasking point of view, the way our human minds work is surprisingly similar to the way a computer works. The computer runs an extra program to manage the multitasking. It switches the central processing unit from one task to another, depending on the priority that has been assigned to a particular task and its current need based on what the user is doing. So in reality, it’s not really multitasking but task switching, d...
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Informal learning – critically important, but neglected

Boy copying man repairing a shed
Date: 25 Feb, 2020
This article on informal learning and learning transfer was written for and originally published on https://www.trainingzone.co.uk/deliver/training/informal-learning-critically-important-but-neglected and has been published here with TrainingZone’s permission.   Informal learning is a big thing now in learning and development. The 70:20:10 model, and others, tells us that informal learning is vastly more important than you’d ever think given the way we usually carry out learning, training and staff development. Most people will say they learn by doing things. Think of your own experience and ask yourself: how did I come to...
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Social media did not create social learning

People around neolithic campfire
Date: 22 Jan, 2020
I have been fascinated by the number of articles and blog posts I see which seem to equate social learning with social media. There are many who seem to think that social learning didn’t exist before Twitter. Of course it did. It has been a predominant form of learning for the human species since we became human a long, long time ago. There are many theories about why Homo sapiens replaced the Neanderthals. Most of them include the idea that homo sapiens won the day through its superior ability to collaborate, innovate and learn. The fundamental ways that we learnt in our early cave-dwelling days are still the same ways that we learn today. These are experiential learning, observational learning, and social learning. And these are the primary components of informal learning whether it is taking place in our personal lives or at work. Evolution has hardwired us to learn this way and we are very, very good at it. To be sure our modern way of life and the ...
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Why Alchemy?

Beach in New Zealand
Date: 1 Jan, 2020
People often ask me how I chose my company name… so here is the very short story on how it came to be: The name People Alchemy came to me many years ago as I watched the waves on a beach in New Zealand. Beaches are good places to think. The company at that time was focussed on coaching and training people to be more effective as managers, and as people. I liked to think that some of what I was doing was akin to magic and so the hunt for a company name turned up with the word Alchemy. This combined with People seemed to describe my aspirations to enable significant change in people. Alchemy describes both a philosophy, and the ancient practice of seeking to transmute base metals into gold, to create an elixir that would cure all disease, and to achieve ultimate wisdom. It enabled the spiritual and intellectual development of the Alchemist from ignorance to enlightenment. Later when we developed the online products it was a natural extension to again use...
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