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Learning about Organizational Learning – Creating a learning history


Learning about Organizational Learning

Creating a Learning History

At our conference in May, Marilyn Davidson of Innovation Associates and Bob Thomas of SmithKline Beecham presented a fascinating insight into the learning history project they had developed jointly in Bob's organisation. A recent journey into the unknown (I never know whether I will get new sites or the usual connections) using the Altavista search engine on the Internet I was pleased to find an article on the subject by George Roth and Art Kleiner.

The rationale behind the development of learning history methodologies is an explicit rejection of the notion that management without measurement is impossible. Also rejected is the notion of traditional quantitative tools of assessment and measurement techniques.The authors argue that there are many systems which cannot be measured and which must be managed. Learning is one of them.

By documenting participants' experiences and feeding back through the researchers' analysis learning histories help develop a process whereby participants begin to understand how others came to their own perspectives. As a consequence everybody involved in the project learns something new. In addition the final documents contribute towards the development of an organisational memory.

This interesting article was written two years ago and was the first to articulate the theories and techniques involved. It can found on:

Mike Kelleher

Learning Organisations - Creating the Capacity to Change


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