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Agile Learning: Thriving in the New Normal
As organizations move toward dynamic learning, they face a number of challenges. For example, employees across every demographic cohort demonstrate a general need for guidance in the use of social networking and digital media as learning tools. Many fall into patterns of inefficiency and ineffectiveness and need help avoiding supersaturation, working memory overload, and nonproductive learning or irrelevant learning.
Learning leaders should consider more carefully the return on instruction for teaching employees how to develop skills for problem definition, scoping, filtering, integrating and interpreting to replace the unguided and stream-of-consciousness patterns that prevail. It may be time for learning organizations to take a step back and offer new “learn how to learn” solutions. Even millennials, who are natural swimmers in social networking and digital media, don’t necessarily know how to learn in the digital domain.
Factor 3: Leadership Behavior
The third factor is leadership behavior, defined as the dominant patterns of leadership within an organization. The new behavioral requirement is shifting from knowledge and skills to the ability to acquire knowledge and skills. Competence is becoming a matter of individual dynamic learning. Not surprisingly, the new requirement can be personally threatening and psychologically unsafe for many leaders who have operated under the leader-as-expert model for so many years.
Leaders must stand first in line to model patterns of high-performance learning. This requires a very different emotional and social posture. Leaders must become comfortable portraying themselves as competent by virtue of their ability to learn and adapt rather than on the basis of their current knowledge and skills. The new environment requires a level of humility and curiosity that is simply alien within most traditional conceptions of leadership. Ironically, leaders are being challenged to develop and engender confidence in the very act of not knowing. Leaders need to be able to acknowledge publicly when reality moves beyond their knowledge and skills and do so based on their demonstrated ability to learn and adapt. They must be submissive to the fact that they will pass through periods of temporary incompetence as they move through learning and change cycles. But they will do so based on their underlying ability and willingness to learn. What’s different today is that credibility is based on personifying the qualities of a high-performance learner more than those of an expert.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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