3 Ideas in 2 Minutes on Starting Something New
The Novelty Effect, SWOT Analysis & Beginner's Mind
I. The Novelty Effect
The Novelty Effect describes a student’s tendency to perform better when new learning technology is introduced — at least initially:
While it is possible that higher attention spans can be attributed to novelty effect, […] even after the initial novelty wears off, the level of interest in the automated workbook is still greater than that in the regular workbook. The increased attention by students sometimes results in increased effort or persistence, which yields achievement gains. If they are due to a novelty effect, these gains tend to diminish as students become more familiar with the new medium. This was the case in reviews of computer-assisted instruction at the secondary school level, grades 6 to 12.
II. SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a classic long-term planning technique used in business and intel communities. It helps gauge the factors to achieving a set goal:
Strengths: What are internal attributes supportive to achieving an end-state?
Weaknesses: What are internal factors detrimental to reaching the goal?
Opportunities: What external conditions are supportive of our objective?
Threats: What external factors are detrimental to our efforts?
A SWOT analysis can be used for both to examine your own organisational structures or that of a competitor.
III. Beginner’s Mind
Zen monk Shunryū Suzuki on the importance of always acting as if you did something for the first time:
In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means "beginner's mind." The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner's mind. Suppose you recite the Prajna Paramita Sutra only once. It might be a very good recitation. But what would happen to you if you recited it twice, three times, four times, or more? You might easily lose your original attitude towards it. The same thing will happen in your other Zen practices. For a while you will keep your beginner's mind, but if you continue to practice one, two, three years or more, although you may improve some, you are liable to lose the limitless meaning of original mind. […]
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few.
—Shunryū Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Have a great week,