Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Phase transition - Learning and Development myths that may die soon

Don Tapscott, famed authority of the net era economy made some startling observations. The prospect of Facebook’s demise or Google’s fading out may seem remote today. However, when he treats industry data in longitudinal time analysis, he interprets it through institutional ecology, a paradigm that sociologists have used to explain industry behaviors.

When he alerts us to the crunch of talent required to make the next wave in technology, he is also implying a maxim that we have failed to recognise. CEOs and their executive teams have a larger than life influence on their corporations than they actually do.

Communities in organisations are the basic unit of sense making and action today. This is accentuated by the information that technology relays itself at break-neck speed. But our necks support more than information. We seem to miss that perception on the highways and lowlands of our neural pathways.

It is the myths of learning and development teams and their leaders that needs visit. Some myths that come to my mind include the following.

1.       Development will occur in steps of a learning ladder. Producing leaders at each step of the ladder is vital to an organisation’s longevity. Leader development and leadership development are the same.
2.       The environment inside the company can be tamed through propaganda as like in pasteurized learning, with every power constituency represented on the pulpit.
3.       The business environment outside the company influences employee behaviors less than leadership calls for action within.
4.       Ambiguity and complexity can be simulated in structured experiences at off-sites in ways that will visit the learner, even if remotely. A best practice is wisdom in motion. Like a list of 10 learning formulae.

5.       Volatility and uncertainty have a shape and form that learning and development teams have figured out in advance for leaders to aim at in break-out groups. A next practice is the product of reduced anxiety. 
6.       Training for skills and knowledge will ensure behaviors of value year on year.
7.       Perspective and Insight have no value in facilitation, especially because the solution that emerges is not with the facilitator.
8.       Mind-set is the employee’s problem, and a developmental lab the corporation’s solution.
9.       Expertise and example are with the technologically savvy.
10.   Behavior is not caused by organisational structure, process or design.

The above ten on my mind, for now. Where should I introspect the most to keep learning for effectiveness?

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