Silent silos (Indigo Skies Photography/

Against insularity

Reda SadkiLearning strategy

“We came to understand because we have very good global connections.”

How do we connect with other people, with other member organizations in the network, and with those external to it? How do we form and leverage networks? Where is learning in these networks? Beyond utilitarian purposes, how do connections with our colleagues and their organizations enrich our experience?

We cannot afford to remain insular and inward-looking.

Some of us may still feel that itis “more relevant” to “look into what we have internally already instead of looking too much externally”. Increasingly, though, we question the insular and inward-looking aspects of our learning culture.

We cannot afford to remain ignorant of or uninterested in experiences outside of our membership, not when we recognize the need for change. We see that members are now more open to working with external partners and it is our responsibility to embrace and support this.

What are the benefits of learning outside the silo?

We learn from people working in other areas of work, other organizations, or other industries. We access information sources that may or may not be directly related to our work to expand our horizons, stimulate our creativity, or to “see what are the current problems and just try to understand which things have are outside the field of vision of our area of work”.

Although we spend most of our time trying to improve our knowledge performance to drive results, too reductive a focus on utility may stifle our creativity. In some cases, we enjoy learning about issues with no direct relation to our specialization.

“We are all something,” says Blaise Pascal, “but none of us are everything”.

Photo: Silent silos (Indigo Skies Photography/