Better every day

Eric van de Graaff, Growth Hacker :-)

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Learning Analytics adventure…

One big goal: How to apply analytics to support success! Now that the MOOC is almost to an end, I want more practical experience!

How did it start?

The first week of the MOOC Learning Analytics Unraveled  curated by Maastricht University (also source of above pictures) starts with “…an introduction on ‘What is Learning Analytics’ and how could it be applied in different organisations. Week two has focus on why we should be interested in Learning Analytics and for which kind of purposes it can be used. Third, in week three we look into different ways of applying Learning Analytics, always keeping in mind the purpose you are heading for. Finally, we zoom into pitfalls when doing learning analytics…” There is still time to participate!

What did I learn?

I am now in the fourth week and my expectations were surpassed, already.

  • Data’s power can drive human performance and business results. “through the roof” May be wishful thinking, but substantially improving outcomes is just a moderate expectation.
  • With power comes trust, privacy or backlash issues.
  • There is a vast amount of usable KPI’s already existing in organisations.
  • KPI’s and proxies can be used to determine the relation between learning and output.
  • I also learned that I am curious to learn all about it.
  • In my humble opinion the middle way forward is to provide employees with their individual data and performance support tools, while anonymously analysing the data at company level and supporting initiatives at scale.

What do I want to do next?

I am looking for an internship at a company that is currently connecting business performance to learning proxies. I want to contribute to improving business performance and at the same time learn and extend my experience in this area. I am currently enrolled in a MBA on start-up funding, company valuation, entrepreneurship and online learning. It’s is the first cohort and it is different, innovative and online and it takes two days a week. I am looking for synergy here.


I am a Learning and Development manager, changing to a new adventure. I believe everyone want to be his/her best and I believe Learning Analytics holds the promise to support strategies more strongly. I have knowledge in statistics and Organization Psychology and I want to improve human skills and performance more effectively.

What is your connection to learning analytics?

Do you work with analytics or do you personally know people at companies that are in the forefront of data analytics? Usually High Tech, Telecom, Financial or Service providers. Think Call Centers, Microsoft, NASA, NASDAQ, Vodafone and alike. Also think local tech start-ups in financing rounds 2 or 3. What is learning analytics to you? Do share!

And if you know someone who may benefit from an Internship on applying Learning Analytics, please forward my info to them! Or just let me know and I will follow up.

Enjoy the reading, thank you for your time!

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7 Sources of Personal Power

Every battle is won before it is ever fought.

-Sun Tzu

How to build Personal Power: In this episode we will discuss how to identify the sources of Personal Power. For my travel to Nepal I packed my backpack with clothing and gear, to discover I did have a lot of t-shirts, but I was missing some essential medical supplies. Now you will see what you already have in your Personal Power “backpack”.

From their practical experience, David Gershon and Gail Straub wrote the book Empowerment. It outlines that the inventory of your life consists of 7 vital aspects. These 7 aspects of life you can shape and or create the way you prefer.

These seven aspects are: emotions, relationships, sexuality, the body, money, work and spirituality. From each of these aspects we will discover what it is that we most desire. Ultimately the goal is to live life the way you and I want to.

So take a couple of breaths and relax while you pause reading after each question, so that you can take notes. The exercise helps your relax and focus.

Take three breaths, funneling the air to your stomach. Then slowly focus on the air and trace it from your stomach to your nose. Then focus to breath in through your right nostril and out through your left.

I know it sounds out there, but trust me; try it. Do this three times and notice that your world quiets down. When it does your are ready to listen to your answer on the first question. Just read it out softly and let your mind wander and work to come up with your answer:

1: Which qualities of someone else do I find most important in a relationship? And what do I have to offer? Please pause and take notes. After you completed your answer, please repeat the breathing exercise till you are ready for the next question.

2: What is one thing I can do to create more love, more sensuality, more passion in my life? Please pause and take notes.

3: If my body could speak to me, what would it say to me about how it is being treated? Please pause and take notes.

4: If I had as much money as I wanted, what would the first five things I do with it be? Why? Please pause and take notes.

5: If I did not have to work for money, what kind of work would I do? Why?Please pause and take notes.

6: Which emotion is easiest for me to express? Why? Which emotion is the most difficult for me to express? Why? Please pause and take notes.

And question 7: What three things can I do to get in better contact with the miracle and mystery of life? Please pause and take notes.

I hope you enjoyed this episode on how to identify your sources of personal power. Feel free to share these insights with people around you and remember I made all the mistakes in growing up, and developing personal so you dont have to! See you in the next episode!

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“How to complete 1 online course”: my top-5 tips

With the current pandemic and the need to work from home as much as possible, staff are shifting to working and learning remotely. Online learning providers offer many of their courses for free, so students stay at home and stay safe.

I have been working from home for years and have taken many online courses. I humbly believe I made all the mistakes you can make: from falling asleep on my desk to missing a class because I forgot about the switch to summer time. I share this top 5 so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Top 5

1: Relevant: Select a course topic that is really interesting to you and that you can apply in your life within 3 months. A topic that you cannot apply quickly is unlikely to have enough motivation for you to complete.

2: Realistic timing: View the schedule of the lesson and estimate the time you need to reserve by adding an extra half hour before and after each session. You will have to organize and manage your activities after class.

3: Commitment: Announce that you are participating in a selected course and what hours you will be spending so that you commit publicly to complete. This may feel uncomfortable, but it will help you build peer pressure and home support.

4: Social Learning: Find two or three friends in the group of participants and find a way to know their situation and reasons for participating. You can set up a Slack channel or WhatsApp group for that communication.

5: Experiment and have fun: try to have regular zoom meetings with the three of you and discuss your situation, your life stories, your progress, setbacks and dreams and make the interactions fun.

With this Top 5 I hope to prepare you on your first steps to a successful course completion. Class Central did an excellent job of bringing over 100’s of free courses from Harvard, Standford or Udemy together. My humble first course (Better Every Day) is also free.

I hope you enjoy the learnings. Do share your tips, mistakes and successes below! Stay safe and learn from home!

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Jungle of Chitwan

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” 

― Mahatma Gandhi


““The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” 

― Albert Einstein


Sitting in the seat on the back of Pawankhali and Champikhali, the Asian elephants, we view life from a spacious position. I get rocked back and forth a bit and the jungle of Chitwan passes by. Based on the idea that this spacious position is inviolable, we go on safari every morning and afternoon in search of tigers. 

The camp is open. All animals can walk in and out without having to pass gates. This makes it all the more exciting to go outside in the morning. 

There is a disturbance because there is a rhino walking nearby. Everyone stands on the 4-meter-high porch looking at the rhino. He doesn’t care too much about the curious eyes. 

Nevertheless, the open design of the camp is disturbing. The wild animals can enter the site unnoticed on all sides. Then we are not talking about the trip that we make in the evening when we return from the campfire to our house. 

Is that exactly the house that is furthest away, exactly on the edge where the safari starts? No tiger to be seen and we are sitting on an elephant in the jungle and life is relaxed. We see everything, deer, pigs, birds. In the presence of this giant, they feel unthreatened and show themselves up close. 

Suddenly the guide points to traces in the sand. A fresh print of a tiger, approximately size 48. Very large. A few meters away the elephants start trumpeting and stamping. 

They let pee and poo walk. They no longer listen to the stick commands. Moreover, they make a kind of hum sound, as loud as a drumming on a hollow tree trunk. I feel it throughout my body. 

The elephant clearly shows its presence. In addition, I also sense fear. My fear? Is this search for the tigers so sensible? What if the elephants panic? Or we? Or all? In a basket on the back of a beaten elephant right through trees and under branches, is suddenly less relaxed. 

The behaviour of Pawan and Champi makes it clear that the elephants do not like to contact this predator. Just when I think I have everything under control, I am introduced to the real jungle. 

Corporate life

And how does that work in the Netherlands? Not much else! Starting as a young psychologist at a well-known training agency is particularly inspiring. What a new business world, what an energy, what a pleasure, what personal contacts. It actually feels like family. 

For example, later on I also want to have my own villa with a large garden together with seven trainers / advisors who prepare their next training sessions in the garden or in the attic and then develop one, two or three days people in a hotel. After years of distant scientific studies, I suddenly learn how to speak effectively and above all listen. 

Knowing the importance of real attention. Knowing with which questions I get the right information, knowing how I determine the course of further contact in the first 8 seconds. Being able to show my interest. Jokingly I do business in humming, nodding and summarizing. 

The most important skill for having a good conversation is listening. Active listening, which means that I show that I listen to you both verbally and in behaviour. 

Research shows: “People who speak in conversation about 60% of the time have the feeling that they had a good conversation afterwards. Give it a try. Let your conversation partner tell you something before you share part of your entire story. 

Click me for more …

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Daily Habit of Learning

With the Talent pool being more sparse than ever, companies feel the need to close the skills gap internally. As productivity is vital, learning may not carve out productive time. If learning is to take place during working hours, it has to be as efficient and focussed as possible. 

The new kid on the learning block is called “On-Demand learning” or “Learning In The Flow of Work”: closing the skills gap at the moment of need. This is when the learner is most motivated to learn. Small snippets of content, focussed on the task at hand, ready to be accessed On-Demand. This content is created from available materials, processed with AI. Learners are enabled with the availability of PC’s, laptops, tablets and phones. Maybe even with e-watches, e-glasses and VR-goggles? It may seem like the perfect learning solution, but is it really? Do employees take the time to learn?

I think the future of learning is here, but it is not spread evenly. Providing assistance at the moment of need is a helpful and an effective tool. I believe learning is more than just that and I will strive to provide On-Demand learning also outside the direct scope of a task. People are at their best when they are learning. Learning and discovery are fun also. It is where the magic happens, where new solutions are being developed, where discovery leap-frogs. And this discovery may include some failures too.

So On-Demand learning should have content that really drives you forward. Conten based on topics selected by yourself, based on your view of your future. I believe your success depends on being able to form a daily habit of learning. I believe in daily learning to be your best!

You may jumpstart this habit forming with some help from Psychology. In Psychology Today habit formation is described as the process by which new behaviors become automatic. Key roles are played by three elements: Trigger, Behavior, and Reward. Trigger: Everyday after starting your computer, search for new content on a topic of your interest. Behavior: Spend 5 minutes to read it. Reward: Reflect: “What did I learn?” and “How can this benefit me/us?”.

I allowed the app “Coach Me” to create a trigger moment for learning and I allowed the app “Degreed” to present me curated content snippets. I am enjoying the daily learnings.

I am curious to learn how this works for you. Do let me know what you think!


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Secret to commercial success!

(Vertaling hieronder)

Would you think, like most business leaders, that commercial success is about relationships? You would be wrong. Relations are important, but they do not drive behavioral change most effectively. Research shows it is more important to provide surprising and very relevant insights. Instead of asking questions to find out what keeps them awake at night, open up conversations with your insights on “What should keep them awake!”. Your customer wants to save money and needs to make more money! On top of that, to build a long term effective sales relationship, you must go one step beyond. Ignite his passion and enable him to fulfill his purpose! If you do that, you will just hit the mark.

You want to tune your customer approach to your specific market? Bring the latest insights to your key stakeholders. Research their views and opinions on key company values, customer expectations and excellent behaviors in customer contact. Build on the skills of consultative selling and add the insights of “The Challenger Sale”. Understand you want to influence your customer to a behavior change and apply “To sell is Human”. Realize that for a long term change your customers need to be inspired and apply “Start with Why” and “Drive”. Think about a shared purpose and a sustainable future and let “Theory U” inspire you. You will feel proud with the results you and your customers get.

Guides to commercial success: Simon Sinek’ s Start with Why, Daniel Pink’s Drive To sell is Human and Otto Scharmer’s Theory UDo let me know what you think!


Denk je dat, net als de meeste bedrijfsleiders, commercieel succes gaat over relaties? Je zou het mis hebben. Relaties zijn belangrijk, maar ze sturen gedrag niet het meest effectief aan. Onderzoek toont aan dat het belangrijker is om verrassende en zeer relevante inzichten te bieden. In plaats van vragen te stellen om te weten te komen waardoor klanten ’s nachts wakker blijven, open je gesprekken met je inzichten over “Wat zou je klant wakker moeten houden!”. De klant wil geld besparen en moet meer geld verdienen! Daarbovenop, om een ​​effectieve verkooprelatie op lange termijn op te bouwen, moet je een stap verder gaan. Vind zijn passie en stel hem in staat om zijn doel te vervullen! Als je dat doet, raak je gewoon altijd de juiste plek.

De klantbenadering afstemmen op uw specifieke markt? Deel uw nieuwste inzichten met uw belangrijkste stakeholders. Onderzoek hun opvattingen en meningen over belangrijke bedrijfswaarden, verwachtingen van klanten en uitstekend gedrag in contact met klanten. Bouw voort op de vaardigheden van “consultative selling” en voeg de inzichten van “The Challenger Sale” toe. Begrijp dat u uw klant tot gedragsverandering wilt beinvloeden en pas “to sell is human” toe. Realiseer je dat je klanten voor een lange termijn moeten worden geïnspireerd en “Start with Why” en “Drive” moeten toepassen. Denk aan een gezamenlijk doel en een duurzame toekomst en laat “Theory U” je inspireren. U zult trots zijn op de resultaten die u en uw klanten krijgen.

Gidsen voor commercieel succes: Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, Daniel Pink’s Drive & To sell is Human en Otto Scharmer’s Theory U. Laat me graag weten wat je ervan vindt!

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Hoe een MOOC mijn visie beïnvloedde…

We zijn nu halverwege de MOOC Wendbaarheid en Talentontwikkeling . Hoe is tot nu mijn beeld over klantfocus en purpose als hefboom om wendbaarheid te vergroten veranderd? In deze blog geef ik mijn ontwikkeling weer en geef ik een voorbeeld hoe zingeving en een inzicht in de zorg de drive zijn om talent te ontwikkelen. Om de termen te kaderen besluit ik Wikipedia te openen:

Klant is de afnemer van een goed of dienst van een leverancier, waar in principe een betaling tegenover staat.

Focus kan verwijzen naar: een Nederlandse band uit de jaren zeventig of het punt waar lichtstralen samenkomen of hun oorsprong lijken te hebben. 

Hefboom is een mechanisme waarmee een kleine kracht in combinatie met een grote beweging wordt omgezet in een kleine beweging die een grote last verplaatst, waarvoor een grote kracht nodig is. De overdrachtelijke betekenis van de hefboomwerking is: wanneer een kleine invloed wordt aangewend om een groot effect te bereiken.

Wendbaarheid wenden is een koersverandering bij het zeilen waarbij de lengteas van het schip door de wind draait. Dat kan met de manoeuvre “overstag gaan”.

Purpose /zingeving betekent zoeken naar de zin, de bedoeling of het doel van het leven of van grote gebeurtenissen in het leven, of het trachten dit doel zelf te scheppen. 

Met andere woorden: “Hoe kan ik met aandacht voor mijn afnemers en de door hen afgenomen en betaalde producten en met aandacht voor zingeving een aanzienlijke koersverandering in talentontwikkeling realiseren?”. Het antwoord zit eigenlijk al in de vraag: “Door een inspirerende visie te verwoorden en inzichten uit te wisselen waar de afnemers werkelijk van wakker zouden moeten liggen en hen te helpen hiervoor oplossingen door te voeren. Dit inspireert hen om het beste van hun talenten te ontwikkelen.” Zij zien duidelijker op welke wijze hun inspanningen bijdragen aan een groter geheel.

In de zorg ervaren gezondheidsprofessionals steeds meer informatiedruk en steeds minder toegevoegde waarde in de gesprekken met de vertegenwoordigers van de industrie. Het is van belang om tijdens de interactie de zingeving te verwoorden en om relevante inzichten toe te voegen. De zingeving kan zijn: Het inspireren van medewerkers in de gezondheidszorg om betere oplossingen voor hun patiënten te realiseren. Medewerkers met contact met chirurgen kunnen inhoudelijke waarde bieden door een recentelijk wetenschappelijk inzicht te delen: “uit onderzoek blijkt dat de gemiddelde chirurg tijdens een intake reageert op 10-30% van de empathische signalen van een patient.  Hierdoor voelt de helft van de patiënten geen ruimte om zorgen over het eigen herstel kenbaar te maken…”  Bron: . Het ontwikkelen van het talent om met empathische signalen de communicatie te verbeteren is één van de manieren om de kwaliteit van de zorg te verhogen.

Conclusie: Door deze MOOC realiseer ik me dat inzichten kunnen worden gezien als een kans en als een bedreiging. Als het gezien wordt als een bedreiging en het belemmert iemand om in actie kom, dan krijgt Henri Ford weer gelijk: Als je het ziet als een kans krijg je gelijk en als je het ziet als een bedreiging krijg je ook gelijk!