Sixth Practice of a Learning Culture

Practice #6 of 8 Reframing

Learning organisations frame the future differently.

Much of today’s commentary frames the post pandemic world as a return to a “new normal”. A dictionary definition of “normal” includes conforming to type, predictable, and meeting expectations.

Do you believe that any type of normal is a reasonable expectation for what is coming next? Perhaps it is more reasonable to frame what will emerge as a new context rather than a new normal? A context marked by chaos, crisis, complexity, confusion, and constant change.

What might this mean for organisations? I believe it means that organisations must reframe learning. It must move from being a prescribed programme to being a core part of the culture, an organisational mindset.

In the new context, continuous learning is essential for individuals, organisations, and society. It is no longer a technical issue. It is a moral issue.

How might organisations create space for a learning mindset? This is difficult. Many organisations are responding to the new context by going even faster, trying to get more done, working against all the odds and flirting dangerously with systemic burn out.

Reflect for a moment!

Q. What enables a Ferrari to go so fast?

Is it the engine, the aerodynamics, the tyres, the surge capacity? Or maybe it is the driver? While these things are undoubtedly important, the key enabling factor for speed is the brakes!

If the Ferrari could not stop, it could not move at all. And the faster it can go the better its brakes need to be.

Organisations and teams are similar. Being able to stop is essential for moving ahead. Stopping enables learning. Lots of busy action is not the same as movement. Movement only starts from stillness.

The Originize Project (in which I am involved) is experimenting with reframing how leadership peer groups work. The reframing involves, dialogue without agenda, clearing the space for the emergent, practicing working with whatever comes up. Stopping with a view to moving faster.

I believe this is a useful metaphor and practice field for the new context.

Practice #5 – Meaning is the New Money

Practice #4 – Create Practice Fields

Practice #3 – Become Bi-cultural

Practice #2 – Start with Ripe Issues

Practice #1- Integrate Learning and Working

Read about the Five Disciplines of Learning Organisations

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