Clark Quinn

The Human-Centered Organization

Clark Quinn

While I want L&D to lead the way (as those are the folks I know), it’s really about leading the way to an organization that’s aligned with us , with people. The point being, as we reorganize work to tap into the best of us, we’re creating organizations that are humane in a very specific, and hopefully deep, sense. The industrial era organization, quite simply, wasn’t. And, the evidence seems to be that such organizations are more successful.

The new shape of organizations?

Clark Quinn

As I read more about how to create organizations that are resilient and adaptable, there’s an interesting emergent characteristic. While I haven’t had a chance to think about it at scale, like how it would manifest in a large organization, it certainly bears some strengths. More recently, on Harold Jarche ‘s recommendation, I read Niels Pflaeging’s Organize for Complexity , a book also on how to create organizations that are high performance.

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Revisiting 70:20:10

Clark Quinn

I joined Will as a moderator, but he did the heavy lifting of organizing the event and queueing up questions. Last week, the Debunker Club (led by Will Thalheimer) held a twitter debate on 70:20:10 (the tweet stream can be downloaded if you’re curious).

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3 E’s of Learning: why Engagement

Clark Quinn

However, you don’t have unlimited resources to do this, you need to balance your investment in creating the experience with the impact on the individual and/or organization.

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Revisiting the Ecosystem

Clark Quinn

Similarly, we use social elements like coaching, mentoring, and informal learning to develop ourselves and our organizations over time. One of the keys to the L&D revolution is recognizing the full performance ecosystem and the ways technology can support performance and development.

The change is here

Clark Quinn

For a number of years now (at least six ), I’ve been beating the drum about the need for organizations to be prepared to address change. I’ve argued that things are happening faster, and that organizations are going to have to become more agile.

Wise organizations

Clark Quinn

My ITA colleague Jay (always a spark igniter) has been thinking about well-being in organizations, and it activated my thinking on wisdom. And I think that’s hard to accomplish in an organization where everything you say can and will be held against you. Coupled with appropriation of collaboration and cooperation , I suggest organizations can and should be working wiser and more coherently.

Organizational Learning Engineering

Clark Quinn

That is, each of these unpacks with many implications, and there are more ways organizations are not aligned with what’s know about how people work.

2018 Trajectories

Clark Quinn

Our learners, and our organizations, deserve nothing less. Given my reflections on the past year, it’s worth thinking about the implications. What trajectories can we expect if the trends are extended? These are not predictions (as has been said, “never predict anything, particularly the future”). Instead, these are musings, and perhaps wishes for what could (even should ) occur. I mentioned an interest in AR and VR. I think these are definitely on the upswing.

Building Stronger Organizations

Clark Quinn

A recent Ross Dawson blog post included a mention of building flexibility: “the more flexible the organization, the more able it is to succeed&#. Along the lines of the biomimicry field, Eileen was inspired by her scientist husband’s work on organisms that live in extreme conditions of heat, salt, cold, and more.

Activities for Integrating Learning

Clark Quinn

Now, ideally the goal would be a real deliverable that would achieve an impact on the organization. This is part of helping the teams (and the organization) acquire social media competencies.

Acknowledging Changes

Clark Quinn

There are a serious number of changes that are affecting organizations. We’re seeing changes in the information flow, in technology, and in what we know about ourselves. Importantly, these are things that L&D needs to acknowledge and respond to. What are these changes? It’s old news that things are happening faster. We’re being overwhelmed with information, and that rate is accelerating. On the other hand, our tools to manage the information flow are also advancing.

What’s Your Learning Tool Stack?

Clark Quinn

Seriously, this is important, as the tools we use and provide through the organization impact the effectiveness with which people can work. For many people in organizations, this is likely to include the MS Office Suite, e.g. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

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A ‘Field of Dreams’ Industry

Clark Quinn

Um, that comes when you’re demonstrably contributing to the organization. In the movie, Field of Dreams, the character played by Kevin Costner is told “If you build it, they will come.”

Metaphors for L&D

Clark Quinn

What do you see the role of L&D being in the organization? I still wanted development, including formal learning, but we also want to develop the ability for the organization to continue to learn: innovation. I’ll suggest that we want to be thinking about all the ways that an organization can facilitate doing, and increasing the ability to do. I’ve suggested P&D, but perhaps it’s organic and about organizational growth.

Karen Hough ATD Core 4 Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

She covered important components of a learning organization like openness to new ideas, diversity, and safety and demonstrated ways to help break down the barriers.

A Bad Tart

Clark Quinn

As well as the organization. Good learning requires a basis for intrinsic interest. The topic should be of interest to the learner, a priori or after the introduction. If the learner doesn’t ‘get’ why this learning is relevant to them, it doesn’t stick as well. And this isn’t what gamification does. So tarting up content is counter-productive. It’s a bad (s)tart! Ok, to be clear, there’re two types of gamification.

Employee Experience

Clark Quinn

One of the recent trends has been about ‘customer experience’, focusing the organization on a consistent and coherent customer experience from first exposure through to ongoing product or service use. And optimizing those has benefits that cross the organization.

Cultural Alignment

Clark Quinn

I was thinking about the ways in which organizations can support performance. I was thinking about the specific case of acting in ways that are consonant with the values of the organization. And that’s acting in alignment with the culture of the organization.

Expertise

Clark Quinn

If you want to develop expertise as an organization internally , the situation is very much the same. Expertise is an elusive thing. It comes from years of experience in a field. However, it turns out that it doesn’t just accumulate. You need very specific practice and/or useful feedback to develop it. And the more expertise one has, the better you are able to apply it to situations. Which has implications for what you do and when and how you do it. Expertise is valuable.

Detailing the Coherent Organization

Clark Quinn

As excited as I am about the Coherent Organization as a framework, it’s not done by any means. I riffed on it for a Chief Learning Officer magazine, and my Internet Time Alliance colleagues have followed up. However, I want to take it further.

Pernicious problems

Clark Quinn

And this is from an organization that’s purports to communicate L&D quality! I’m using a standard for organizational learning quality in the process of another task. Why or for whom doesn’t matter. What does matter is that there are two problems in their standard that indicate we still haven’t overcome some pernicious problems. And we need to!

L&D Tuneup

Clark Quinn

As has been noted broadly and frequently, the world is changing faster and the pressure is on organizations to adapt more quickly. Even staid and secure organizations are facing the consequences of increasing rates of change and new technology innovations.

Organizational terms

Clark Quinn

The goal is to make organizations accomplish their goals, and to continue to be able to do so. That is, the goal is to make organizations not just efficient, but capable of optimal levels of performance. When you look at the Wikipedia definition , you find that they’re about “achieving the outcomes the organization intends to produce” They do this through alignment, increasing tradeoffs, and facilitating capacity building.

Learning Through the Wild

Clark Quinn

Making time for reflection is a component of a learning organization, and getting support in context or having time away from context both are parts. So last week I was in the wilderness for some more time, this time with family.

Coherent Implications

Clark Quinn

And right now I’m working with the Coherent Organization model and looking at the implications for decisions. How does this model map to choices you make in the organization? One of the things to do with models is use them as the basis to explain and predict.

Simple Insufficiency

Clark Quinn

As things get more complex, organizations are looking to get more agile. Organizations are complex organisms. And what I haven’t seen, and I’m willing to hear of one, is a comprehensive program that addresses the full suite of skills and culture together that constitute a coherent organization. For the org, it should be a necessary new extension to the organization’s competencies. And they’re looking at a wide variety of approaches in different areas.

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A Cognitive Audit?

Clark Quinn

Both are cognitive functions, and the best outcomes will only be achieved when organizations are acting in accordance with how we think, work, and learn. This is about equipping your organization to kick some proverbial tail.

Developing L&D

Clark Quinn

One of the conversations I’ve been having is how to shift organizations into modern workplace learning. Depending on the particular organization’s context, it might be performance support, or social media, or mobile, or… Then you define an experiment, and start working on it. L&D can internally develop their understanding and ability of the new ways of working as a step towards being an organization-wide champion.

Wild thinking

Clark Quinn

A friend/colleague/mentor has regularly organized these trips, and several of us will hike off with our tents, stoves, sleeping bags, water filters, bear cans, and everything else for 3-7 days and get above timber line, sweaty, dirty, and happy.

Working and learning out loud

Clark Quinn

I’ve been thinking about some of the talk around the Future of Work, and in addition to the free flow of information I recently posted about from the Coherent Organization, I think working out loud is another component. And there are two dimensions: within the organization, and outside the organization. Then of course it has to be ‘safe’ to share, you can’t be working in a Miranda organization. What can you share outside the organization?

Radical Coherency

Clark Quinn

Tied to my last post about insufficient approaches, I was thinking again about the Coherent Organization . But that’s no longer sufficient in organizations. So you have coherency with the organization’s purpose, but people are coherent with each other, and with the customers, and with best principles. This is a learning organization, but one that’s integrating many disparate elements.

Another model for support

Clark Quinn

I was thinking about today’s post , wherein I was talking about a couple of packages that might help organizations move forward. And these approaches did provide away to develop the organization’s abilities to develop better learning. In a couple of instances , I’ve worked with organizations on a specific project, but in a particular way. Each of these organizations was in the business of developing content, but they were looking to raise their game.

To LMS or not to LMS

Clark Quinn

I’m not saying an LMS doesn’t make sense, but it seems like it’s a minor tool at best, not the central organizing function. A colleague recently asked (in general, not me specifically) whether there’s a role for LMS functions. Her query was about the value of having a place to see (recommended) courses, to track your development, etc. And that led me to ponder, and here’s my thinking: My question is where to draw the line.

Two separate systems?

Clark Quinn

This is what led to our Coherent Organization model. And their communities are communicating both within, and outside of, the organization. It’s not clear to me whether the team approach can scale to a global organization, or whether you need the hybrid model.

Tackling the tough stuff

Clark Quinn

What I’ve been able to do, successfully across years and organizations, is help align processes, products, services, and more with how our brains work.

Silo APIs?

Clark Quinn

Or, to put it another way, breaking down the silos is the only way to get the best outputs for the important work, the work that will advance the organization whether removing errors, creating new products or processes, etc. It’s time to engage with it, to the benefit of the organization. I was in a conversation with my colleague Charles Jennings about organizational innovation, and one of the topics that arose was that of barriers to successful organizational function.

What you learn not as important as how you learn!

Clark Quinn

It’s the ‘secret sauce’ that organizations could be adding in, whether internally or in their offerings. I’m going a bit out on a limb here, with a somewhat heretical statement: what you learn is more important than how you learn ! (You You could say pedagogy supersedes curricula, but that’s just being pedantic. ;) And I’m pushing the boundaries of the concept a bit, but I think it’s worth floating as an idea.

Content isn’t a silo

Clark Quinn

Obviously, data is coming out across the organization. I mentioned in my previous post that I was talking at the xAPI camp about content strategy, and on the way in I created a new diagram to convey a concept I wanted to discuss.

Addressing Changes

Clark Quinn

We need to be understanding what are the critical performance needs of the organization, and demonstrate that we’re impacting them in the ways above. This can be done, and it will be the hallmark of successful organization. The question is, are you going to lead your organization forward into the future, or keep your head down and do what you’ve always done? Yesterday, I listed some of the major changes that L&D needs to acknowledge.