It is coming up to the end of week one on Seth Godin’s Inaugural AltMBA. It has been an intense, stretching, exhausting, exciting, terrifying, challenging, anarchic, productive, moving and inspiring experience. The AltMBA is a revolutionary way of working, learning, collaborating and expanding your perspectives. It offers a glimpse of the future.
We are one week in. I’ve been working with a learning group across Singapore, India, Malta and Ireland. I have shipped my first two projects with support from my learning group, guidance from my coach and feedback from dozens more on the course (third assignment in progress):
1. How to make better decisions: https://altmba.com/miteshsheth/make-better-decisions-in-5-minutes/
2. How to achieve your goals:
I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my experiences of this revolutionary way of learning at the end of the first week.
What challenges have I faced?
- To get to know my learning group of 4 strangers overnight, to understand each other’s stories, ambitions and fears and to be vulnerable so that we can help each other perform and succeed.
- To produce work at short notice, that feels incomplete, send out publicly for anyone to read, review and criticise.
- To receive the feedback given openly without getting defensive and to honestly reflect on it in order to learn.
- To see the incredible work produced by such talented people without feeling insecure or inadequate.
- To keep on top of the discussions, comments, emotions and inspirations of 100 people across the globe.
- To manage my work schedule and family commitments with the intense workload of the AltMBA.
What have I learnt
- That decision trees are a really powerful way to de-emotionalise decision making and shed light on options you may not have considered.
- That goals need to be specific, with clear identification of obstacles, requirements and a clear plan.
- That it is far easier to give advice to others on how they should do their assignments than it is do apply that advice yourself.
- To read, reflect, discuss, share, debate, write and publish at speed (every 48 hours).
- To not judge others but to work hard to understand their story, background and perspectives so that you can see their best self and identify the value they can offer.
- To receive constructive feedback as a gift and to invite criticism to learn more and faster.
- To add a P.S. to my work 24 hours later to capture any lessons learnt, feedback, follow up thoughts and ideas. Doing it this way allows you keep a record. You can also see your progress.
- To use new online tools for effective communication: Disqus, Zoom, Slack and Digg.
- That I am not as good at managing my time as I thought I was.
- That I am not as good a writer as I thought I was (plenty to learn).
What has been surprising?
- How quickly you can learn and absorb an idea by prototyping and submitting in a short timeframe.
- How quickly strangers can come together and collaborate effectively when driven by a common goal.
- The importance of vulnerability to open up a group to work effectively.
- How you can work together effectively with different people, with different work situations in different time zones.
- How valuable it is to ask for and receive constructive feedback.
- How much time, energy and effort we spend coaching, guiding and helping others on the course
- How many hours there are in a day.
I can’t believe that it has only been one week. I wonder how I will feel at the end of this process. I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what this process and network is capable of achieving and illuminating.
I am looking forward to getting to know my new learning group next week, as well as the next three new assignments.
This weekend’s we are studying Business Models to come up micro-business plans for 99 new businesses (let me know if you have any ideas).
Wish me luck!
Here’s a link to my first two AltMBA assignments if you’d like to learn more about decision making and goal setting:
1. How to make better decisions:
We make decisions more than we make anything else. We make so many decisions of such importance, with wide-ranging implications everyday. This is true for our person life and in our professional life. The truth is we desperately need a disciplined, systematic and simple process for making decisions, in every aspect of our life.
2. How to achieve your goals:
We know that to make your dreams a reality, you have to be SMART: write down your goal as clearly as you can; put a date on it
list all the obstacles you’ll have to overcome (external & internal)
identify the skills, knowledge, the people and groups that can help you; spell out a detailed plan of action; you need to remember “why” you are doing it and what your purpose is as this will get you through the rough patches.