On June 18th I responded to Michele Martins thoughts, That post needed more elaboration, which has been supplied by Charles Jennings’ post. This is about my suggestion #1: Strategy must play a stronger role where learning is part of the organizational narrative not just an afterthought. Jennings excellent post suggests how to go about supporting a vision of learning and development (L&D) as a strategic business tool in 5 basic actions:
1. L&D departments need a strategic departmental vision, aligned with the organization’s strategic vision and priorities, and supported by an appropriate model of governance that includes senior business leaders. The following graphic is an example of a governance structure from Jennings Blog:
3. Integrate frontline managers into all aspects of L&D. The managers are the point at which learning must take place or it is likely to be ineffective. Jennings draws on the information from the Corporate Executive Board/Learning & Development Roundtable in this graphic to support his view:
3. Embrace Innovation (such as social media and informal learning trends). This would also be supported by fostering a creative environment. My previous post on Supporting and Developing Creative Environments has much relevant information.
4. Use technology and tech tools in innovative ways. Don’t just put course work into technological forms, but use technology to rethink learning experiences
5. Develop internal departmental capabilities and skills such as consultancy skills, (communication and skills in leading and persuasion), a deep understanding of L&D contexts
I would make it mandatory for executives to keep on learning throughout their careers . . .. Dan Ariely (2009) in Technology Review
Lifelong learning has been a nebulous concept. There are many different institutions and pedagogical forms for traditional k-12 and university education, but what exactly are the institutions and pedagogical forms for continuous lifelong learning beyond this tradition. By what institutional move would Professor Ariely use to make learning mandatory for executives.
I believe that career / personal professional development should mean the integration of many forms of learning into a personal network of learning environments. College courses, professional publications (oriented to practitioners), communities of practice, social media networks, coaching, mentoring, performance support, etc. . .. All of these forms can be potentially important! While most of these forms of learning currently exist, we lack the institutional structures to integrate them into a coherent whole.
Another aspect that is missing from lifelong learning is learning that is strongly contextualized. I have previously written about the contextual requirements of practice-based learning. There is very little of this type of learning / instruction available. What might it look like. One possibility is to imagine learning goals that are an integrated part of strategic planning. Another is to imagine learning objectives and resources that are integrated and integral to project planning and project milestones.
Strong robust networks of peers, mentor and every type of learning relationship are also need as a part of lifelong learning. I have also previously written on this topic.