Why learning culture is the missing link between learning and performance in global health

Learning culture: the missing link in global health between learning and performance

Reda SadkiGlobal health

Read this first: What is double-loop learning in global health? Learning culture is a critical concept missing from health systems research. It provides a practical and actionable framework to operationalize the notion of ‘learning health systems’ and drive transformative change. Watkins and Marsick describe learning culture as the capacity for change. They identify seven key action imperatives or “essential building blocks” that strengthen it: continuous learning opportunities, inquiry and dialogue, collaboration and team learning, systems to capture and share learning, people empowerment, connection to the environment, and strategic leadership for learning (Watkins & O’Neil, 2013). Crucially, the instrument developed by Watkins and Marsick assesses learning culture by examining perceptions of norms and practices, not just individual behaviors (Watkins & O’Neil, 2013). This aligns with Seye Abimbola’s assertion that learning in health systems should be “people-centred” and occurs at multiple interconnected levels. Furthermore, this research demonstrates that certain dimensions of learning …

What is double loop learning in global health

What is double-loop learning in global health?

Reda SadkiGlobal health

Argyris (1976) defines double-loop learning as occurring “when errors are corrected by changing the governing values and then the actions.” He contrasts this with single-loop learning, where “errors are corrected without altering the underlying governing values.” This is challenging because it can threaten one’s sense of competence and self-image. ‘Are we doing things right?’ vs. ‘Are we doing the right things?’ In global health, double-loop learning means not just asking “Are we doing things right?” but also “Are we doing the right things?” It means being willing to challenge long-held assumptions about what works, for whom, and under what conditions. Epistemological assumptions (“we already know the best way”), methodological orthodoxies (“this is not how we do things”), and apolitical stance (“I do health, not politics”) of epidemiology can predispose practitioners to be dismissive of a concept like double-loop learning.  Learn more: Five examples of double-loop learning in global health Seye …

Smoke (Paul Bence/flickr.com)

Should we trust our intuition and instinct when we learn?

Reda SadkiLearning strategy

How much of what we learn is through informal and incidental learning? When asked to reflect on where we learned (and continue to learn) what we need to do our work, we collectively come to an even split between our formal qualifications, our peers, and experience. As interaction with peers is gained in the workplace, roughly two-thirds of our capabilities can be attributed to learning in work. We share the conviction that experience is the best teacher. However, we seldom have the opportunity to reflect on this experience of how we solve problems or develop new knowledge and ideas. How do we acquire and apply skills and knowledge? How do we move along the continuum from inexperience to confidence? How can we transfer experience? Does it “just happen”, or are there ways for the organization to support, foster, and accelerate learning outside of formal contexts (or happening incidentally inside them)? …