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Professional Development: Who's doing it, and how?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by James Burke, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I am a lifelong learning-addict and I tend to easily get bored unless I'm moving "forward". I'm not into TV, movies, video games or any of the assorted brain-drainers out there (and I'm not knocking you if you do...but it's just not my kind of thing).

    I've amassed a fairly extensive business library that deals with the rock-solid "common sense" issues, rather than outlandish titles that promise you how to "make millions while sitting at your kitchen table in your underwear while drinking coffee".

    As of late, research and development has become a preoccupation that has paid big dividends in reducing production time in the shop. Basically...scrutinizing every little thing we do and asking "why are we doing it this way?". Also, keeping a journal of R&D activities and projects has been a good way to effectively gage progress.

    For those of you into professional development, what are you doing to stay sharp?

    JB
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  2. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    Probably not what you are looking for... but I learned Fusion 360 over the last year and find it very satisfying. I design for the CNC, laser and 3D printer, stuff that works the way I want it to.
     

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  3. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Au Contraire...that's exactly one of the things I had in mind. We've developed and built a lot of specialty tools and equipment that don't exist beyond our four walls. Patenting is out of the question since they're more valuable to us as a competitive advantage at this stage of the game.

    I think I have more fun doing CAD/Design/Build/R&D work than the paying work. I suspect it has a lot to do with the unbridled freedom I experience when I get into that zone.

    Maybe I need to re-think our business model and figure out a creative way to join the two.

    BTW...is the dust collector your own concept and design?


    JB
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  4. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I sit at the dining room table completely nude, don't like the constraints of underwear, drink coffee and read S101 and draw.
     
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  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    TV and movies have lost something with the newer "creatives" out there (some of the older classics had more to them then just mindless entertainment), but video games can actually be used to "go forward". I'm not talking about the AAA games that are out or anything like that, but video games can be used for teaching and improving oneself if done correctly, they aren't all "brain drains" (the reason that I'm mentioning this is due to the fact that I had created some 2D platform games for my sister to use in her continuing education classes and I've been on the "playing" end (not the same ones that I created mind you) for some when learning new concepts back in my college days etc). Like with everything, they do have their place.

    Creating those video games was one example of my moving "forward" as well as those are just a recent undertaking for me.

    Aside from that, the next has been similar to Gene in one respect and that is with 3D printing. Now, replace Fusion 360 with Blender and it's pretty much the same. Most of which was used for things around the farm, some around the shop, others as an additional creative outlet then what I do for everyone else.
     
  6. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Read "How Everything Bad is Good for you". Talks about how modern TV has become more complex for the brain over the years, and video games are beneficial...of course in moderation.
     
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Maybe in terms of stimuli, but not in terms of stories from what I've seen. I see more stories putting ideology ahead of creating good quality entertainment. If they were good at their job, they would still be able to get that ideology in there and not sacrifice good story telling.
     
  8. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    I'm definitely a fan of continuous improvement and learning new things, and am constantly dreaming up ways of making the shop run more smoothly. I've gotten into the routine of waking up around 6-7am on weekends and over a couple of cups of coffee spend some time learning something new or working on growing the business. My main focus at the moment is how to physically fit a flatbed cutter in the shop without messing up our existing workflow, which, works pretty good at the moment. I'm also a big fan of coming up with/improving systems but have been neglecting that part of the business for a while now. Time to get back on it!

    Looking forward to reading the replies to this thread, this is something that I think every business owner should be focusing on. Thanks for bringing it up James!

    Edited to add: Can we possibly keep this on subject and not get too side-tracked about television shows......... ?
     
  9. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

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    I am a fan of ever ongoing personal development, not just "professional development". A lot of the time is is learning a new skill that has absolutely nothing to do with business, but keeps the brain learning new things / ways to think about things.
     
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  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I got really interested in production and lean management about 10 years ago after spending a lot of time at a us sugar plant doing various things. I dont really have any traditional hobbies but really like to read and research how things are produced. Also like to read about companies marketing startegies and various things as well as somewhat dissect their failures.
    To answer your question, Ill start with basic searches to get names and terminology right which often leads to equipment mfg sites. Then seek out videos, trade publications etc. Its how I stumbled onto that flag production video.
    In terms of work, Ive focused in on process over the past couple of years and been working on implementing 5s. The hard part is getting the employees to understand and do it. Thats been my latest bit of research, manipulating / motivating employees to get where we need to be. For that, I talk to about every customer we have to see how they do things. Ive pretty much reached a conclusion but will withhold it so it doesnt veer the thread off course.
     
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I like to read the news often and just generally be "round rounded" because it helps when your talking to a customer. You can probe them to talk about something personal and be able to relate to the subject by remembering something you read in the news and get their opinion on it. Helps you build a good rapport with them. People buy from people and I think it's been valuable to by growth in business.
     
  12. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    BTW...is the dust collector your own concept and design?

    It is- I bought a like new Shopbot Buddy48 Alpha and didn't like how the dust collection came and researched everything available and then designed this and printed it on my Prusa MK3 with some acrylic parts cut on my laser. And... best part... it works.

    My signature at the shop [I'm retired but work seven days a week] is:

    -Director of Continuous Improvement- Retired
     
  13. Jay Grooms

    Jay Grooms Printing, Printing, Printing......

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    WOW, I do the same exact thing!

    In all honesty, I like to read pretty much anything industry related.
     
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