Active Learning Digital Initiatives - Open Space Technology Breakout Group

Posted by David Marshall

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Thanks to Pam Gordon, our scribe for this session.  Here is what we discussed.  See attachment as refresher on my shareholders meeting presentation.  Please contact me for more information about this.  David

2012-07-20, Round one, position 7

Original (related) challenge.  We can’t count on everyone participating digitally.  Was asked to set up Community dialogue with scribe in each session, so all groups as they convene can go back to and see everything.  We’re gong in fits and starts into digital ways…this is a hybrid approach (taking notes and emailing them to David Marshall).

Quick Hello by those in attendance:

  • New ideas of Marilyn (head of ADIC, Vermont-based distributor – pdf e-books)
  • Just developed an on-line learning on design for environment (Pam Gordon)
  • New ways to work on-line
  • Used to face-to-face; want to explore other ways
  • Grad school, on-line learning
  • On-line learning is my passion
  • What questions should I ask
  • Passionate about making e-books of my books
  • Have an e-book; what to figure out what that means
  • Developing our webinar presence based on our book
  • BK’s acc’t manager at ADIC; how will this help us host
  • On the BK board; want to learn more – it’s an important part of the business

David’s purpose

  • BK is looking at when books come in from authors; is there a learning opportunity as well?  Perhaps an integrated cross-media product.  In the future more will come this way.  E.g., an MIT group in Presencing put forward a package with a book (paper) integrated with on-line learning.
  • As a company, we need to know how to prioritize these projects. Which do consumers want to have to augment their learning?  We’re small pub co with limited capital and we can’t do it all
  • Have so far done 5 mini-self assessments (code in back of book; sign in for 1 yr subscriptions – take 5 tests or 1 year (which either comes first).  75% of our books in BK Life and BK Biz readers learn new skills for which assessments make sense.  Could be 30 of our 40 books/year. 
    • Book might cost $20
    • Assessment might cost $10 (ADIC developed engine for us; we can snap them out in 30 days)
    • Courageous Follower was the first; others Leaders Make the Future, What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do, Managers Who Hate Managing.  Potentially Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace.
    • Enhanced e-books.  Done 3 so far; building 2 more this year.
      • Of our 40 distributors only 2 sell these (Apple and BN Nook; later perhaps Amazon Fire and new Google Nexus 7 tablet)
      • It’s text of the ebook, but with embedded video, audio and animation – but not interactive saving the work like a self assessment (no simulations, etc.).  In a few years this will be possible in this media.
      • Mobile apps  -- have only done “free mobile apps”; want to do paid apps as well.
        • The above two categories are for pay, with royalties going to authors, etc.
        • Did a separate app as a viral marketing piece pointing to the product
        • Did one for Repacking Your Bags.  Repacking Journal – doing the work in the book in a questionnaire, as an app; AARP in New Orleans in Sept.
        • These are portals to buy the product
        • App products are usually under $5.  Want to experiment with these starting 2013.
        • Do have 2 BK author examples of having productized apps on the market now – with their own rights (Creative Backpack; paid $10K to develop it; making money from it now.)  Eat that Frog app for time management—substantiates what Brian Tracy wrote in the book.
        • Apps vs books:  apps facilitate the “do”; the “Practice” – e.g., using it to become more creative every day.
        • What do you authors want with this regard?
          • Gary M:  topic is music.  Wants to give people an actual experience, see videos snippets of uses of group music making in organizations, or an interactive jam sessions.  I’ve been waiting for this moment.  It’s one thing to think about a book’s narrative and development, but another to consider what elements are central or peripheral. I’d like to understand what the palate of possibilities are to build an eco-system of connections comprising followers and leaders – both to flesh out my proposal but also more broadly to know what the possibilities are before starting the proposal.  Help authors to know what’s the upgrade path for active learning.
          • Jay:  I’m anticipating that this will change the way we approach writing: I can deliver a shorter book that’s more inviting to read.  So give them half the length and they’ll really read the whole thing, then fill in the rest of learning with videos, etc.  Perhaps I’m a year too soon with my book – want to jump on this.
            • David says Help the Grow or See them Go is much shorter (100 pgs) plus videos.  Easier to digest than the big (long) bible Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em.
  • Jay again:  what about the $20K-$30K expense to create the video? 
    • David says:  Not every author has a large consulting firm that can handle the expense.  BK isn’t ready yet to take investment in books and apply them instead to videos.  Plus, cost is coming down dramatically.  Eg., $12K for 1-2 minute animation; then after a couple of years came down to $2K!
  • Our clients are asking us for tools.  Trust Tools --- mini modules on how to practice the principles from the book and using them daily.  An app for a condensed version of what we’ve created couple feasible.  Clients say, “Give me something I can use each day that take the principles off the page and put into practice.”  A condensed version could be for the masses of the organizations.

Comments, Q&A

Q. Can you paint a picture of what it will be like 3-4 years down the road?

A.  e-books is only stage 1:  html 5 is the next stage – gives all the goodies right on the internet (like Wikipedia).  In the future, all of our books may be on our website with hot-links to everything.  Subscribers to the e.g., Meg Wheatley Reader; I’m basically subscribing to a 6-book combo, and from there I can annotate concepts so that it’s a dialogue btwn readers.  When authors think about writing to this model, it changes the way authors conceptualize books.  Experimenting with this on BKconnection.

Q.  If the author creates the app, does the author own it? 

A.  Some rights are excluded in the contract or if BK has the rights and is not prepared to exploit them …

David asked about our openness to revenue sharing for ancillary services -- now and in the future

  • BK now has more revenue streams in collaboration with the authors
  • Do we want the publisher to get into our business?  What is the right way for BK -- a publisher with expertise in the book market – to be in partnership with the author to break into new business (to act as a feeder with a 5% referral fee).  Moving up the value chain from BK
    • Speaking engagements
    • General consulting
    • Conferences / workshops / seminars, B2B services
    • Electronic methods:  self assessments / games /simulations
    • Pam Gordon likes the idea, so long as it’s not exclusive
    • BK now reimburses the author by $1K for the author’s investment in the videos, and BK gets non-exclusive rights.  ADIC programs them and gets paid, BK paid, author paid.
    • Tomas:  when a supplier moves up the value chain, the originators become more specialists; some authors will like that but the generalists could feel threatened.
    • Dennis:  building on Tomas’ concept.  Workshops don’t transform culture, so we do a deeper diagnostic analysis with customized solutions – deeper work with fewer clients over longer period of time.  Perhaps BK could handle the “Trust 101” level (much less sophisticated).
      • David:  we can offer an upgrade path from $10 self assessment tools to the author’s higher-ticket assessment.
      • Christina.  I can’t see how to transform my work on circle practice to online.  Have a group of BK authors who are more dialog based; want help in upping the dialog but not being consumed by this (in-box madness).  Can BK create a platform for the author to plug into it (with abuse filter), hosted by BK.  Could be thousands of people practicing what they learned in our books, but they don’t know about each other.
        • David:  built  Build your circle around this and link into other like communities.  Amy and I can talk with you
        • Dede.  Redefine authors.  Readers will become our authors.  Then huge problem to define who owns the content.  Hard to stay 1 step ahead of tech (what if all our books were on floppy discs?).  Costly and time consuming to dialog with our readers, but exciting.
          • David:  Meg W. wants to ensure she can distinguish between the readers’ and author’s voice (distinctly, not mingled).
          • Amy:  Participatory culture.  Can even distinguish with font or color.
          • Dennis:  Or different picture of the face.
          • Julie O’Mara:  as more voices add in it’s a murky IP.  “You used it and didn’t give me credit!”
          • Amy:  consider attributions.
          • Juan:  How do you know we’re going in the right direction.  We’re already saying that people are too busy to read a full book; how do we expect them to take the time to dialogue?
            • David:  some people only want the video.



Amy Lenzo
Amy Lenzo
October 31, 2014

This was a wonderful break-out, and built on the excellent presentation David gave in the Shareholder's Meeting. I love how BK is really looking out for its talent and the future of the company by taking a leading role in seeking to understand and implement the digital solutions of the future, today. Thanks so much for your great vision and work on our behalf.