getting others to follow

23 08 2007

the other day on growing, changing, learning, creating; tom harkins issued a challenge to all us learning folk who have been blogging about the problems in the learning world. in his post transforming other educators, tom proposes that we need too appreciate where educators are at – overworked, under-resourced, and unappreciated – and to guide them along their path of discovery to their own understanding of the change they much undertake.

While I totally agree with tom on the tactics he proposes, I don’t think he goes far enough. there are two major factors which workplace learning professionals must overcome in addition to becoming self-aware regarding their own practices.

First, as I’ve said a number of times in this blog (see buggy whip makers, addie? isd? hpt? – adapt or die! and what’s wrong with workplace learning?), if learning professionals don’t move away from the infrequent, face-to-face classroom model to a more ever present, workflow-model approach to learning, other players in the organization will fill the void that is being left by our unwillingness to change our ways. This is a change that is happening as you read this post.

The second factor is that many of us are working in organizations which are still mired in the beliefs that training is a necessary but undesirable overhead cost and that our job as learning professionals is to go in where there is a problem and fix it as quickly as possible (ie, least amount of money and as little time away from the job as possible for the learners) and, hopefully, permanently. Even those who understand that radical change to organizational learning is needed are fighting an uphill battle in such environments.

To deal with these additional two factors, i’ll add to tom’s “vertical dimension” and “appreciative space” the need for a continued white-hot spotlight on the immediate realities of the workplace’s true needs for learning. Finally, those of us who have been in the lead need to exert pressure on senior management to recognize the organic nature of organizational learning and to provide our colleagues with the tools and exemplars that will enable them to drive change from within.

granted, my two additions are not as fun and as laid back as tom’s challenges, but no one has ever said this tsunami of change was going to be easy to surf.

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Related News
First-year lawyers will get training off the clock – Atlanta Journal Constitution
Secrets of Wal-Mart’s success – Rediff
Can you Train for Honesty? –
Management By Wandering Around. – 4Hoteliers

Some of my related posts
what’s wrong with workplace learning?
addie? isd? hpt? – adapt or die!
buggy whip makers
yet another wake up call

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One response

25 08 2010

Very nice sharing.thanks.

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