The book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is everywhere. From the Chief Learning Officers I recently met at the Executive Development Associate's CLO Forum, to a few mid level trainers I spoke with last week at a nonprofit, to my neighbor who's line of business has nothing to do with learning at all - Blink is all the rage. But why?

Perhaps it the byline: The Power of Thinking without Thinking. What could be better? Doesn't everyone want to function effectively in the world without thinking? Gladwell's ideas have more to do with Flow than anything else - being able to respond and act intuitively, to make judgments and decisions through "rapid cognition", without the kind of methodical analysis that plagues corporate conference rooms and stifles the agility of organizations.

When we apply these ideas to learning, we can only come away wondering if we've been overengineering the learning process for our children, employees and managers. Perhaps what we need is a more appreciate mindset for the world around us, the kind of reframe that David Cooperrider at Case Western Reserve University (and ASTD's distinguished practitioner of 2004) describes when he talks about Appreciative Inquiry? Maybe we need to recognize and create formal approaches to tapping into the power of informal learning?

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