It’s March Madness, with all its high flights of basketball prowess on display, which always takes me back to Ray Allen, the NBA’s most prolific three-point shooter of the past 20 years. I play in pick-up games whenever I can, and the long shot from behind the arc is my specialty, so of course, I study the masters, like Ray, who picked up a championship ring with the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat before retiring last year.
Ray was well-known for his three-hour practice sessions before games, focusing on his mechanics for every shot at every spot on the floor. When Malcolm Gladwell wrote in “Outliers,” that anyone could become an expert in anything if they devoted 10,000 hours of practice, it seemed to fit Ray.
But then, Anders Ericsson spoke up. Dr. Ericsson is the Florida State University psychology professor whose decades of research into the science of expertise was the basis for Gladwell’s claim.
Ericsson’s response, “Well, not exactly.”
It’s not the time spent practicing, said Ericsson, it’s the way in which you practice. Whether it’s hoopsters, memory champions, chess players, violinists, actors, or software architects, the key to expertise is in always pushing yourself beyond your limits. Ray Allen became the best because his practice drills focused on extending his skills. Once he mastered shooting from a foot behind the line, he moved back to two and three feet behind the line; to shooting with his left hand; shooting while falling out of bounds; shooting with a hand in his face, and so on.
As a student of human nature as well as basketball (I studied with coach Charley Rosen who argues they are the same), Dr. Ericsson’s work on “Deliberate Learning” is fascinating. There is something universal about wanting to master something. It feeds our personal pride and confidence, engages our mind, gives mission to our life, and if we are an expert in a field of business, increases the likelihood that we will make a living.
In the Age of Disruption, if you can become proficient in innovation, the business world will always find a seat for you at the table. Keeping this in mind, IBM ECM approached its annual Content 2017 roadshow with deliberate learning in mind. This year, we have extended the event to accommodate two-day workshops on Datacap and Case Manager/Content Platform (FileNet). This is your chance to increase your understanding of ECM technologies, strategies and best practices, so that you can go back to your day job with the expertise you need to design and deploy content-centric business applications that push your organization to the front of your industry.
I interviewed the workshop leaders for both Datacap and Case/Content workshops and put together this short video clip called “What’s to Learn at IBM Content 2017”. It is well worth your while to check it out – and then make plans to join us this spring in Minneapolis, New York City or Chicago. As Dr. Ericsson makes clear, there are no short cuts, yet if you put in the effort, you will be rewarded!
Register here for one of our Content 2017 events!
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