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Creating a Learning Organisation – online workshop report


Mike is having difficulty joining in, so let's start and I'll sit in his chair
what is the agenda - briefly
This workshop is about Learning Organisations. Does someone want to introduce themselves and say what they're doing about LOs
Thanks - I just dug up the email reminding me
Jazz, the agenda is quite open. Anyone can ask questions. post problems, etc and lets get the conversation flowing!
Well, do training courses really help people to change beahviours in actual envt -
I'm David Jennings and I'm interested in how online group communications can help develop organisational lrning (but I've got a lunch appointment in a few mins - sorry!)
Hmmm. I'm not very convinced by training courses Jazz. Unless the organisation really demonstrates it's commitment to people learning, there is no guarantee of change
Hi Mike, I've been keeping your seat warm!
Quite often a Leanring Needs Analysis is missing too - Hi Mike
Hi everybody, sorry I am late, technical problems
What are other people doing at work to create 'learning organisations'?
I have missed the thread on the LNA - Mike
Trying to treat learning organisations as a cultural thing, characterised by e.g. willingness to experiment, accept mistakes, learn from them
In a LO people would audit skills/info they need to acquire and pass on to others
Tim, a lot of people say that they are trying to create learning organisations but quite often I find that they have not really defined the concept very well in their won minds. Has any one else had the same experience?
What sort of setting are you working in David? The cultural approach is great, but It's difficult to find employers who are doing it!
not understanding what LO - Yep - syndrome of pickinmg up the latest fad and not really understanding the basics
We're a very small organisation - 4 people - but we also work a _lot_ in larger consortia. Culture very dependent on individual personalities at this scale
David, samll or large, the issues of culture seem to be essential ingredients in creating learning organisation priciples and practcies. Are you in a consultancy practice?
I sometimes feel that generating a LO approach requires an internal 'champion' with commitment, drive, vision - someone who can enthuse managers and teams into what MIGHT be possibl;e
Mike, yep - consultancy and also development of online learning materials
Without the 'champion' (leader) the organisation just goes on in the same old way.
LO - what does it mean? Does it mean reading a lot? Lot of courses? Lot of sharing info? What is the role of the champion
I have worked with champions as Tim puts it. Perhaps the role of the consultant is to support / coach these champions
For me, a key aspect of LO is experimenting - encouraging people to do things differently in a 'hunt' for improvement and development.
Sorry lunch date just arrived - gotta go - thanks, folks - David
How do we learn (in general and in a specific work context)? Is that the role of the champion to explore?
Tim, i.e. making mistakes, BIG ones mean more learning??
To attempt to answer the question from Jazz. It is all of those things but the key ingredients are to foster learning environments for individuals, teams and the whole organisation. The role of the champion is to lead the developments and to rellect on actions along the journey.
LO might be what you end up with when team work is working very effectively
Hi Dennis. Do mean as an unintended consequence?
Denis - Like that. Effectively leading in the end to bigger bottom (and top) line
As unintended consequence or better as a prerequisite
The risk with experimenting is that things foul up; but learning is about risk - there might be better ways, but unless you experiment, you don't know.
An effective team does not mean its a LO though
I agree that team learning and effectiveness is essential but there are may other parameters that need working on before LO is established.
Lets throw in a few parameters. e.g. -- when you share you're secrets with a colleague
Mike, how do you get an organisation started on the path towards learning?
I like that Jaxx. What about emotions as well?
Sorry - Jazz
--- when a proper LNA is done (othewise what's the use of learning facts/skills for their own sake - happens a lot)
Mike - emotions - at its extreme a perosn would end up feeling Self-Actualised and want to stay with u 4ever
Jazz - perhaps LOs are about helping people to move on (employability rhetoric there)
parameter --- when making mistakes is encouraged, that MAY help them to move on in more than one way
I agree that the emotional element within organisations is very powerful - but surfacing those emotional elements and their impact on functioing is hard - many managers are resistant!
Tim, soft skills seem to be more and more in the fore so emotions are here to stay
Jazz's issue about LNAs is very important. I think we should make disticntions between logics of production (what's the poinit of learning) and logics of development (the only purpose of learning) and perhaps LOs are about balancing those potentially conflicting logics
Yep - see all the hype about Emotional Intelligence!
Hype about EI - isn't this the way forward - despite the hype
I have wondered if emotional intellligence is simply another way of saying `maturity'
Mike, maturity usually comes (slowly) with age. Accelerate the devt of it and wammm, more harmony everywhere and ensuing productivity
But part of the problem with LNA is that too many companies still see this as shopping for courses by menu - it doesn't really get at the learning needs of the staff, or at development issues, or at the emotional/cultural climate of the company. We still seem quite deficient in many of the tools to achieve this.
Jazz, how might be apply that logic to organisations of, say, 20-50 years of age, amy of whom seem to be (immature) stuck in traiditonal forms of organisational culture?
Tim, well said. Except you've answered your own qu. LNA is not done properly and it doesn't just mean courses. Try telling that to s.o. who has spent millions on courses not needed
Mike, because no-one has taught them how to be wise (espy the younger members). How many of us were taught how to live our lives (careers, health, relationships, finance, etc. at school?
I keep looking for tools that genuinely measure organisational 'health'. Many of the current instruments focus on aspects - usually quantifiable, but this emotional/cultural level is nless quantifiable - and that's what we seem to be struggling with.
This is true., but for me, organisations need to establish there own patterns of behaviour and their own cultural norms. Creating open and trusting environments that enable development and growth of all indivudals as well as the organisation itself seem, in my opinion, to be a matter of strategic choice.
Tim, org health is usually static stuff - turnover, profits, eployee turnover etc. Cultural stuff is all about emotions and processes - dynamic stuff
I've tried interviewing random staff in a company asking 'what's is REALLY like working here', Stripping out the perennial moaners, I don't come across many enthusiastic team members who describe a healthy organisation.
Mike, I know companies who have open & honest culture but it is only lip service. It is dangerous to be totallly open and honest even with loved ones
Dangerous? For whom?
Tim, yes - there is a tremendous human waste in people going to work reluctantly instead of saying Yippeee!! It's Monday
Mike, if your boss is no good and u tell him/her - openly and honestly - emotional reaction can be very bad, despite corporate strategy
BTW - when does this session scheduled to end
This talk of danger and trust, suggest that this issue is coming down to the attitude to risk-taking within an organisation. If risk-avoidance is the norm, people play saft, don't disclose, keep head down, obey orders or quietly sabotage.
Agreed, yet if we don't we end up in that stifling organisation that prevents yippeee Mondays
The session is due to finsih at 1400
We're scheduled to finish around 2.00. I'll post the transcript to the Workshops page shortly afterwards for reference.
Hmmmm So is that the KEY - taking risks - in a safe envt and learning rapidly from your mistakes?
Just chuckling at the concept of National Take-A-Risk-At-Work Day!
Love It. Yes. Magic
What is safe? If it is safe then there are no risks. Perhaps risk taking in situations that do not have major devastaing effects???
But most people take more risks in getting to work than they feel empowered to do at work
Yes to above. It's a conundrum - creating an environment in which it is safe enough to take risks.
Risks have to be balanced againsy what achievemnts needed to need boundaries (and to rein in maverick tendencies )
Tim, in other words, no blame cultures
No blame - within defined boundaries
I need to go. This has got really interesting, just as others were drifting off. Apologies for the problematic start. Mike, I'll give you a ring shortly, but Thanks. Good luck Jazz, nice speaking.
Tanks all
Thanks, I meant, not tanks
Tanks to evryone. Take care taking risks
Bye for now. Tanks again


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