Rethinking Workplace Learning and Development

Learning-based complex work: how to reframe learning and development

Reda SadkiAbout me, Global health, Interviews, Published articles, The Geneva Learning Foundation

The following is excerpted from Watkins, K.E. and Marsick, V.J., 2023. Chapter 4. Learning informally at work: Reframing learning and development. In Rethinking Workplace Learning and Development. Edward Elgar Publishing. This chapter’s final example illustrates the way in which organically arising IIL (informal and incidental learning) is paired with opportunities to build knowledge through a combination of structured education and informal learning by peers working in frequently complex circumstances. Reda Sadki, president of The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), rethought L&D for immunization workers in many roles in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Adapting to technology available to participants from the countries that joined this effort, Sadki designed a mix of experiences that broke out of the limits of “training” as it was often designed. He addressed, the inability to scale up to reach large audiences; difficulty to transfer what is learned; inability to accommodate different learners’ starting places; the need …

Health performance management in complex adaptive systems

How do we reframe health performance management within complex adaptive systems?

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Learning, Research

We need a conceptual framework that situates health performance management within complex adaptive systems. This is a summary of an important paper by Tom Newton-Lewis et al. It describes such a conceptual framework that identifies the factors that determine the appropriate balance between directive and enabling approaches to performance management in a given context. Existing performance management approaches in many low- and middle-income country health systems are largely directive, aiming to control behaviour using targets, performance monitoring, incentives, and answerability to hierarchies. Health systems are complex and adaptive: performance outcomes arise from interactions between many interconnected system actors and their ability to adapt to pressures for change. In my view, this important paper mends an important broken link in theories of change that try to consider learning beyond training. The complex, dynamic, multilevel nature of health systems makes outcomes difficult to control, so directive approaches to performance management need to …