When I was at my former corporate job, a colleague said they thought “I was earning too many badges”. Huh? I thought learning was a good thing. In an era of continuous learning, this is something we should do every day. Asking me if “I was earning too many badges” is like asking me if “I was learning too much”. Ridiculous! Note: I’m not the “Badge King”. See who that honor applies to: Badge King with 272 badges (and counting)!
Another thing I’ve heard is that the “badges I’ve earned don’t directly relate to my current role”. Really? I have several badges that relate to my learning role, but I’m also interested in Data Science and have pursued badges in that field. Why? Because I think one day soon, we will all have to be Data Scientists in our job. We will need to use Data Science tools and analyze large blocks of data to provide our insights — no matter what field we are in. If you’ve ever analyzed data in an Excel Spreadsheet and provided insights from that data, you are performing the work of a Data Scientist. For more information watch this Youtube video “We’re all Data Scientists“:
One of the hallmarks of being an innovative thinker is learning and applying principles learned from other domains. “ Innovators are also intense observers. They carefully watch the world around them — including customers, products, services, technologies, and companies — and the observations help them gain insights into and ideas for new ways of doing things.” (“Innovator’s DNA” by Clayton Christensen and Hal Gregersen).
Don’t you want to be innovative? Check out this blog post on Soft Skills for Success.
Badges give me that additional motivational goal to hang in there when on previous learning activities I might have given up. If given the opportunity to take some learning and one had a badge to earn and the other didn’t, I’d pick the learning that came with a badge. Why? Badges represent some training that I have taken and stays with me. Unlike a learning transcript which is relevant for the current year, badges represent something more permanent and visible to whoever I want to share it with. And my badges stay with me, no matter who my current employer is.
Isn’t earning Badges a form of gamification? YES!
Badges (done right) are very motivational. Whether you earn badges in a game (like Pokemon Go), in the military and yes, even in corporate training, humans have a desire to improve and collect things to complete a set. Why not tap into these psychological needs to improve our learner’s experiences?
This morning I read an article that confirmed what I was thinking. It had this opening paragraph that caught my eye – “Why waste time fighting your learners, and trying to get them engaged with a dull training experience? Wouldn’t it be easier to give them something exciting, that makes them feel like they can achieve their goals? Keep reading to find out what you need…” (Source: LINK )
I can’t do justice to the entire topic of badges in this post, but I have written a 30 page eBook on Badges if you are interested and it includes a free Python and Data Science Course with 26 hours of video: http://bit.ly/uc-opportunity
To learn more about my personal badge journey, check this out: “Badges: Are you Ready for What’s Next?”
I know this might be controversial, but I would also highly recommend putting the TV remote down and spend an hour every evening after work learning. Over the course of a year, you’ll get the benefits from over 300 hours of training and this valuable habit will improve your performance at IBM and you’ll earn badges along the way.
Join our community of “badge earners” who are passionate about learning, collaborating and encouraging others to reach their career goals. Click the JOIN NOW! button below.
If you want to learn, teach and collaborate with “Upskillers”, we’d like you to join our community. Just click this button to join today!