Archive for October, 2011

The New Workplace Learning Mindset – Encourage & Engage

October 10th, 2011

Jane Hart’s posts are helping me make sense of what’s happening in the world of workplace learning. Her posts give me a deeper understanding of how big that command and control elephant is in the non profit sector.

As I’ve spent most of my life in that sector. Reading Jane’s posts on workplace learning gives me stronger language in my discussions with Executive Directors about how their organization is responding to the realities of living in a hyper connected, digital world.

Jane’s posts focus on performance outcomes, not social tools or technology period.What a relief. I can focus on real tangible outcomes that matter to Executive Directors.

I know that many Senior managers and Board Directors are challenged to make sense of the endless array of technology options available to the organization. In truth, the myriad number of tech options is not the issue. How their employees are learning, connecting, creating solutions and innovating is the issue.

Consumers are more advanced than the organization’s staff at using (and expecting) technology to choose services and add value to their everyday lives. If Executive Directors understand how their communities are changing, I believe they must change their work place culture to match the new realities in the marketplace.

Here is the rub – no surprise. Like the commercial sector, the default culture of the non profit sector is characterized by a top down, command and control system for running the organization.  In small to medium size non profits there is no Learning and Development Department. Workplace learning is “catch as you can” and a workshop or two each year – if there is a budget for the workshop.

The management’s mindset is what determines the learning culture of the organization and typically workplace learning is not a high priority (or just not on the radar).

I really like how Jane frames the mindset needed by organization leaders. It’s “encourage & engage” that will drive the organization in the 21 century, not command and control.  Visit Jane’s website to learn more about the New Workplace Learning and the Smart Worker posts that break things down into bite size chunks.

Thanks for your provocative posts Jane. I look forward to your new book.