Learning Beyond a Standardized Approach

Interesting post by Jay Cross that helpes me clarify my last post and explore some new directions.  In his post Jay says;

No more efficiency models, and no more Six Sigma. Forget that. We aren’t in a stable environment and won’t be in a stable environment. We have to have our people go out and experiment, innovate, and invent. Job descriptions, competency management systems, and all that legacy stuff are needless baggage.

So, a good first question to ask yourself is, “Is there evidence for functional stability in the environment”?  I mean functional in that, is there real stability, or are conservative forces trying to hang onto a fading paradigm.  If the answer is yes, than there may be a place for six sigma and other standardized programs.  But if the field is in flux, and there is a lot of flux today, than standardization can’t be your primary focus or strategy.

So if your area is in flux, how can you focus your strategy.  Jay also has some good suggestions for structuring learning processes and environments for a learning strategy.

(I)f you have an employee who is entering a new area . . .  and they have no framework, then formal learning is the way to get them up to speed—to learn the lay of the land, the technique, and the structure. But as soon as you form a complete tableau in your mind of that domain, then you are empowered to go out and fill in the pieces.

This country has missed one of the best opportunities for employee development and worker fulfillment by not asking the employee her life aspirations. Once you identify that and let the people you work with know that, you plan together to make it happen. . . . If you have a manager who isn’t willing to participate in making people better, then throw him out the door. Focus on the platform. The program stuff will get what they need if they have the right platform and things are hooked up. . . . establish an environment for learning—where you can focus specifically on your learning ecology and what will make it healthy and grow.

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