A blog on OLAD

Grouping the ideas

This is a blog about adding one learning a day, a system that I set up in 2018, to try and learn and capture one new thing that I learned, observed, or had insight about every single day.

I tracked on Excel, and then captured the documents every month on a Google Doc, and generally would write notes during the day in my task list or directly into the to do list in order to jog my memory or stimulate my mind. And in so doing captured a huge volume of work through 2018 — (about 11k words over 730 days!) This was a system where I just recorded things for myself, didn’t really share with anybody. I pointed out to one or two people that I was doing it but didn’t share any of that particular content. So I actually didn’t write down the notes very thoroughly. And looking back on them now two and a quarter years later, is instructive to think about how I could improve it and do things a little bit better.

For instance, on the fifth of January, 2018. I commented that football is the same the world over, marketeers need to speak the same language. I was watching the Gulf Cup in Oman, how they celebrate the goal but also how sponsors require global scalability and transferability of their advertising. I was at that time living in the Middle East for nearly two months on a work project and it was apparent that I was observing cultural norms that transferred across borders, observing international brands appealing to audiences and looking at human behavior that was acting in the same way. No matter what context, no matter what societal structures were in place in the country at that particular time. I also learned about Wasta, which is using influencers to achieve or connect. It’s about who you know, and thinking about her concepts like that exists, all the way around the world — Omnitashi in Japan, who you know in Ireland. So being able to capture thoughts that this was a real sense of being able to capture a time and place and headspace that I was in at that particular time.

Towards the end of 2018. I attended my first Congregation event, an unconference in Cong, Co. Galway. I wrote about the power of one learning per day. And I wrote about the concepts of what I was getting from what I was learning from how I wanted to develop in the future.


And I decided to do one learning a day, in 2019, but this time to do it publicly. So I did the same type of capture but this time probably added a little bit more color or flavor, or context to the commentary and publish this every single day on Twitter and LinkedIn on the hashtag #OLAD19. This allowed people to join in the conversation or reply or comment. Getting about 20 or 30 people commenting on my posts during the year, some posts stimulate more conversations, whether they were topical, political, social or economic events, or they were personal insights. It’s worth noting that the 2018 version, when it was private, I probably had more personal recommendation/recollections, whereas in 2019, knowing it was public. It was probably more orientated towards business/economic/society/political comment.

Example: Something I noticed on February 6th 2018, Elon Musk’ marketing by firing off one of his Tesla cars, inside the big fecking rocket! Playing David Bowie was incredible market leadership. It’s a style that follows with O’Leary & Branson, where the power of the brand of the founder is driving vision, ambition capability and supporting the work of engineers underneath the high goals and targets.

Other ideas from 2019 included communication style context is key in messaging. I was thinking about this when I saw somebody cleaning the streets in Dublin. And I wondered were they stuck cleaning the streets, or have they pride in working for their city, and that it is about how something is messaged and communicated that gives pride in people’s work.

There are also useful tips and advantages. The advantage of running a tight agenda’d meeting — it gives focus throughput, lack of waste. And many more like it — find them on #OLAD19

So overall, these topics have been a personal learning and a capture for me. They forced me to think about how I’ve approached my day and how that I’m learning from every single day, and gaining insight or gaining some sort of value added activity. I’m not always going to be right, but they are feelings and emotions and insights that I felt at that particular time.

To review back on this, it’s been three months since I stopped doing it in 2019. The first idea that is pretty core is that I miss it. And I think it’s pretty clear that I want to start doing it again. In 2020 I made a commitment that I was going to engage in more long form blogs, a bit like this, rather than the OLAD.

Its also a signal to me about a growing sense of self-reflection — thats a habit worth developing and going deeper and deeper on.

What will you do to follow suit?



Entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, Venture invest. #positiveireland. All views are personal. Other links , @alanjcostello (Twitter/Linkedin/TedX)

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Alan Costello

Alan Costello

Entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, Venture invest. #positiveireland. All views are personal. Other links , @alanjcostello (Twitter/Linkedin/TedX)

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