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 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.

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.

Learning Design Insights

Clark Quinn

And engaging the audience, making the learning meaningful to them and the organization. I attended a recent Meetup of the Bay Area Learning Design & Technology, and it led to some insights. As context, this is a group that meets in the evening maybe once or every other month or so.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Technology or preparation?

Clark Quinn

In listening to a recent presentation on the trends affecting the workplace and HR, there was mention about how organizations were using more cognitive technology, AI, etc. and this was changing jobs. There were two additional notes. First, these efforts aren’t (largely) leading to job losses, as these folks were being reskilled. Second, HR wasn’t involved in 65% of this. That’s a concern.

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.

‘Form’ing learning

Clark Quinn

This is the type of thinking that organizations from K12 through higher ed and workplace learning (whether corporate, not-for-profit, or government) need to adopt if they’re going to move to learning experiences that actually develop meaningful new abilities. Last week I ran a workshop for an online university that is working to improve it’s learning design. Substantially. They’re ramping up their staff abilities, and we’d talked about how I could help.

Learning Strategy Issues

Clark Quinn

The strategy depends on where the organization is to begin with, but there are systematic principles to guide progress. The other thing that I was involved in at Online Educa in Berlin was a session on The Flexible Worker. Three of us presented, each addressing one particular topic.

Aligning Learning

Clark Quinn

This is something that most organizations should be thinking about. Last week, at Online Educa in Berlin, I gave a tutorial on deeper elearning as a pre-conference event. In it, I talked about getting more meaningful objectives, writing practice that actually develops meaningful outcomes, and content (concepts & examples) aligned to support effective practice.

Top 10 Tools for @C4LPT 2017

Clark Quinn

At least until I find a better tool (haven’t really got my mind around Scrivener’s organization, though I’ve tried). Jane Hart is running her annual Top 100 Tools for Learning poll (you can vote too), and here’s my contribution for this year.

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Why Work Out Loud? (for #wolweek)

Clark Quinn

If you’re in a Miranda organization, where anything you say can be held against you, it may not be safe to share. Not all organizations are ready for sharing you work. Organizations, however, should be interested in creating an environment where working out loud is safe. When folks share their work, the organization benefits. The organization learns faster. Organizations that work together effectively are organizations that will thrive.

A richer suite of support

Clark Quinn

And, of course, once an individual advances far enough, there’s little anyone can be providing for them, instead they need the ‘creative friction’ of interactions with other experts and ideas to generate the new understandings that will advance the individual and the organization.

70:20:10 furor

Clark Quinn

Organizations are using it (and not just L&D) to take more appropriate solutions. I have to admit that I’m continually flummoxed by those who rail against the 70:20:10 model. Recent posts by Mark Britz and Ryan Tracey both take this on, Ryan’s in particular pointing to a poll where more than half of the respondents said it wasn’t relevant. And there’s been quite some vehement opposition. Really? Really.

Ambiguity Denial Syndrome?

Clark Quinn

And our learning designs, and organization designs, and our cultures, need to recognize this. Instead we see one-shot development of information dumps and knowledge tests, which aren’t going to help organizations.

Aligning with us

Clark Quinn

I think alignment is a big thing, both from the Coherent Organization perspective of having our flows of information aligned , and in processes that help us move forward, but with, well, our humanity. We’re really running organizations that aren’t designed for humans.

Socially Acceptable

Clark Quinn

This is only a start, but I reckon if those don’t make the case that you should be taking a serious look at incorporating social business into your organization. I was talking with my ITA colleagues, and we were discussing the state of awareness of social learning. And we were somewhat concerned that at least from some evidence, there’re some misconceptions around about social learning. So I thought I’d take another shot at it.

A learning meta-story

Clark Quinn

The story details a business situation: the organization, it’s current status, and a situation that’s occurred that requires an action. In this case, it’s a marketing plan for a new product that has been the focus of most of the organization’s effort. Been thinking about how to generate meaningful learning in optimal (read: concise but effective) ways.

Metacognitive Activity?

Clark Quinn

This is about how you continue to learn in manageable ways, and it served as an organizing framework. So, as another outcome of the xAPI base camp a few weeks back, I was wondering about tracking not only learning , but meta-learning.

Collaboration, Communication, and Cooperation

Clark Quinn

In thinking about the Coherent Organization , the original proposal from my colleague Harold Jarche was that were two key attitudes: collaboration and cooperation.