Learning Organizations and You Colleen Wheeler, Wheaton D.
Learning Organizations and You Colleen Wheeler, Wheaton D. Grainger Wedaman, Brandeis October 2, 2012
outline Gap Quiz Experiment The Idea Characteristics and Tensions Learning Organization Academy
the gap An experimental quiz quiz Think about a time in your life
when you learned best. quiz Name it in three words: chess
with uncle. quiz Pick one word to describe how it felt.
quiz Compare your feeling to your workplace experience.
results Safety, trust, risk tolerance, small group, feedback, reflective, intellectually challenging, motivating, sense of growth, humor, passion, insight, fun . . .
Similarity to work? Uh oh! the idea of the Learning Organization
We must become able not only to transform our institutions, in response to changing situations and requirements; we must invent and develop institutions which are learning systems, that is to say, systems capable of bringing about
their own continuing transformation. Donald Schn, Beyond the Stable State idea Learning Organization: A collective enterprise in
which continual learning is the organizational principle. rather than Other organizing principles! Alternating states of change and
stability. history Robert Hutchins, The Learning Society, 1968 Donald Schon, Beyond the Stable
State, 1973 Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, 1990 Edgar Schein, Organization Culture & characteristics tensions
and problem Learning is in many ways contradictory to
workplace norms. balance You need consistent activities for identity and coherence. Learning disrupts consistence.
Learning Orgs balance these. anxiety Learning new ways to work causes anxiety. Learning Orgs are open about
this and help manage it. competence A primal fear in the workplace: been seen as a failure or incompetent.
Learning requires incompetence. talk To learn, people need psychologically safe
places, to be able to say what they think, to discuss, to disagree. motivation You learn best when instrinsically
motivated. The workplace uses extrinsic motivation. Learning Organizations find ways to let people explore the things they care passion
People learning well together experience happiness joy passion. Reluctantly allowed by the workplace. Learning Orgs encourage and
play Play, experimentation, construction combine learning, discovery, and fun. They dont happen much. Learning Orgs provide
Duckworth environments. mindfulness Paying attention to yourself, your feelings, your triggers, your hopes, is crucial to learning. Workplaces dont reinforce selfawareness.
Learning Orgs promote mindfulness. reflection Feedback and reflection are necessary for learning. Most workplaces avoid these
activities. Learning Orgs promote both. ideas Continual change requires a flow of generative ideas. Workplaces dont have
ways to create and manage an idea flow. Learning Orgs are gardeners of ideas. sum No perfect example We all know of moments
Learning Organization is a goal LOA Learning Organization Academy history
Infamous 2010 Focus Group LOA Formed 2012 First cohort in session model Summer immersion in learning,
mindfulness, joy Year-long inquiry projects Quarterly town meetings examples Building a DH community of
practice Implementing exploration time Creating on-boarding program Visual thinking in portfolio
examples Revamping customer relations Finding ways to encourage creativity in the workplace Developing learning consultant team
Learning Organizations and You Colleen Wheeler, Wheaton D. Grainger Wedaman, Brandeis
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