Sewer grill ecology

One size does not fit all

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

How does an organization’s leaders recognize, encourage, and reward both existing learning practices and positive change in learning behaviors that foster informal and incidental learning? Learning strategy recognizes the value of learning in all its forms, including informal and incidental learning, formal qualifications, and in-service formal education and training. One size does not fit all: the diversity of learning options also reflects the highly personalized nature of how each person organizes their own learning. However, learning strategy identifies learning activities that requires stopping work and dedicated resources as both difficult to apply and unlikely to be sustainable over time. Most of the learning that matters is, in fact, already embedded into daily problem-solving, dialogue and collaboration with colleagues and external partners. Members of the organization develop individual and team learning strategies as a matter of necessity – to get things done. Hence, the learning strategy seeks to recognize existing practices at least as …

Continuous movement (Matt Otto/flickr.com)

Nothing that we do can be taught

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

Many people in the organization recognize the need for change, see its value, see their own roles in the process, are willing to adopt new approaches, and possess the competence to move forward with change. “Nothing that we do can be taught”, they say, “so the challenge and the learning need is almost constant”. At the individual level, we strive to consider each task, however mundane, as an opportunity to learn. Continual learning requires cooperation and collaboration with both internal (dialogue and inquiry) and external (connect to external systems) interlocutors. It is not “not knowing” that is the problem. It is often the lack of doing – a form of knowing. Meaningful connections are made explicitly based on need, rather than prescription, often to solve the problems at hand. Feedback is the key element in how we continually learn. We use feedback to adjust, acclimate, and adapt. We strive to leverage …

Pinwheel tessellation, version 2, reverse, backlit (Eric Gjerde/flickr.com)

7 actions imperatives of learning strategy

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

The learning strategy recasts the evidence-based seven dimensions of learning culture (used to measure learning culture and performance) as action imperatives. In order to improve performance through learning, the organization needs to take specific action to: Create continuous learning opportunities Promote inquiry and dialogue Encourage collaboration and team learning Empower people toward a collective vision Connect the organization to its environment Establish systems to capture and share learning Provide strategic leadership for learning For each action imperative, analysis is grounded in the narrative of individual learning practices reconciled with best practice drawn from the vast research corpus on learning culture and performance. Patterns emerging at the juncture between narrative and evidence may then be formulated as general and specific recommendations, while carefully considering feasibility and risk in the organizational context and environment. Photo: Pinwheel tessellation, version 2, reverse, backlit (Eric Gjerde/flickr.com)

Rainbow of Ribbons (Fleur/flickr.com)

12 questions that learning strategy seeks to answer

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies (behaviors) through experience and study. We all want to learn, so why is it so difficult to stop work to make time for learning, despite our best intentions? In exploring possible solutions to this question, learning strategy emerges from the existing practices and strengths of the organization – together with a diagnosis of where it needs to improve knowledge performance. Learning strategy examines how knowledge and learning can be improved, starting with mundane, routine or recurring questions and frustrations of daily work life, such as: What can I do when I have too much e-mail? How often should we meet as a team? How can I experiment and innovate when I have so many urgent tasks to deliver? The strategy also answers questions about how we work together as a team and with people outside the organization (partners, beneficiaries, customers…): How can I best …

The Infinity Room (The House on the Rock) (Justin Kern/Flickr)

7 key questions when designing a learning system

Reda Sadki Learning, Learning design

In the design of a learning system for humanitarians, the following questions should be given careful consideration: Does each component of the system foster cross-cutting analysis and critical thinking competencies that are key to humanitarian leadership? Is the curriculum standardized across all components, with shared learning objectives and a common competency framework? Is the curriculum modular so that components may be tailored to focus on context-specific performance gaps? Does the system provide experiential learning (through scenario-based simulations) and foster collaboration (through social, peer-to-peer knowledge co-construction) in addition to knowledge transmission (instruction)? How are learning and performance outcomes evaluated? Are synergies between components of the learning system leveraged to minimized costs? Have the costs over time been correctly calculated by estimating both development and delivery costs? These questions emerged from the development of a learning system for market assessment last year, thinking through how to use learning innovation to achieve efficiency and effectiveness despite limited resources. Photo: The Infinity Room …