Sunday, September 14, 2008

Innovate OR Die - what's your choice?

The last three days were packed of new experiences around organizational learning. How it works, what different settings foster or not foster the change towards learning, what pressures from outside it needs (How do you learn something new when there is no need?), how do different cultures learn or perceive learning?

I met with Iiro from Finland on Thursday to fine-tune a presentation about Team Academy and the ways they learn over there in teams (we had earlier exchanged thoughts and had talked about it via Skype - a flawless collaboration tool for making communication easier). The presentation was scheduled for Friday and so we could also sense how the participants who were also part of the conference (which was about innovations in logistics) were living the "learning".

How do you think the setting of the conference was?

Agenda, presentations, panel discussions (about 10-15 min after the presentations), social networking during the breaks

...of course that is not what Team Academy is like and so our presentation was a Shock (at least in a way, as the offices at Team Academy are open space, there are dialog rooms with armchairs, not learning what you are normally told by your professor but what you sense is necessary for you to learn).

After our presentation everybody was immediately leaving the room - except one quy who seemed to be really inspired of what we had talked about earlier.

A good feeling that new ways of learning are appreciated (even though by a small minority right now - how to step out of the regular learning mode?)

In the afternoon the same day we moved further -not so much for a second presentation- but for taking part in a World Café at Genius-Hellerau to find out with a group of around 20 interested other people (CEOs, consultants, students, former employees, ...) how organizations learn compared to individuals.

To be honest the answer could not be given and even further questions aroused out of the dialog amongst us. --- the new learning cycle had started off and we will meet again in December for a follow meeting in Dresden.

Do we learn from answers or questions? I wonder what really drives new learning.

Cheers and if you feel like sharing your own thoughts on that topic please feel free to comment.

Ralf
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