Tag Archives: action learning

LinkPool [18092013]

Here are a few links of interest:

Harold Jarche reviews Gary Klein’s “Seeing What Others Don’t” on how insights happen and provides an effective scaffolding for reflecting on and in action and in the importance of stories in sense-making. I can see these models highlight in the review as pragmatic approaches to operationalising the probe-sense-respond approach in the Cynefin model.

Tim Kastelle has posted on building your experimental capability with the key statement that capabilities for experimenting are key to innovation:

The second big idea is the focus on learning. If you try an idea and it doesn’t work, and you don’t learn anything from this, then it really is a failure. None of us have enough spare resources to afford this. Nevertheless, to innovate we have to try out a fair number of ideas that end up not working as we expected. This is only feasible if we structure things so that we learn from our experiments.

In essence, the steps are pick a problem; work out what a solution might look like and how you would identify that you have succeeded; do something; learn from what worked and what didn’t and keep building on what works.


5 “things” to promote learning in projects

1: generate immoveable deadlines – forcing project teams to focus on what is required (to meet the milestone) and to rethink problems and look for creative solutions

2: encourage cross-functional teams and/or construct teams of people who rarely or never work together – enhances the chances for new thinking between different disciplines and the reframing of project problems, issues and opportunities

3: focus on processes and methods for cross-functional working rather than creating new structures (ie, the quality unit) to do the work

4: but don’t be constrained by those processes – encourage teams to (consciously) subvert existing processes to ensure the project is a success. Organisational processes are the rythm section that enable project teams to improvise with rigor

5: the collection, analysis, dissemination and tranfer of new knowledge and learning from projects should be treated as a project in its own right – learning leakage is always a problem and should be minimised (see here).

Action Learning 2.0

A nice quote from one of the many publications coming out of Ashridge Business School on the link between organisational learning and enterprise 2.0:

Used well, action learning creates a culture of maximum support, maximum challeng, individual responsibility for change, and collective responsibility for learning … It is an approach that is congruent with what has started to happen around web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, social networks and leaderless organisations and is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to develop people and organisations …

So, Enterprise 2.0 only really starts to make sense (from a managemen/ business perspective) as an enabling infratructure for management and organisational innovation.