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Archive for July, 2016

Tensions in organisational learning approaches

Monday, July 4th, 2016

In a recent post, Clark Quinn (@Quinnovator) enumerates some of the tensions in organizational learning engineering:


Organizational learning processes – across L&D, Executive Development, Leadership Development, and more of the roles in HR and talent management – are largely still rooted in both industrial era models and myths. We see practices that don’t make sense, and we’re not aligned with what we now know about how we think, work, and learn. And this is a problem for organizational success. So what are some of the old practices compared with what we now know? No surprise, I created a diagram (a table in this case) representing just some of the tensions:

Old New
Are we not wasting any more money than anyone else? Are we impacting business metrics?
All the information has to be in the head As much as possible, information has to be in the world
We are formal logical thinkers Our thinking is very much situated and emergent
One person must do the thinking for many The room is smarter than the smartest person in the room*
Learning is recitation Learning is doing
Learning is an event Learning is a process
We must accommodate learning styles, generations, and more Use the best learning design
We can get people to perform tasks flawlessly Automate the rote and leave people to important decisions
Mistakes are a loss Mistakes are part of innovation, just don’t lose the lesson
The workplace must be controlled Workers must be empowered

* if you manage the process right


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