We are running a Masterclass for leadership development/ learning and development specialists on the theme of “learning power” as a resource for improving human potential in corporate organisations. This article provides an overview of what we’ll be discussing on the 3rd November in Singapore (at the bottom you will find a link to the Masterclass details)
Learning Ability: Now, More Important than Knowledge
As digital transformation accelerates, employees have to deal with more complex issues in an uncertain and fast-moving world. Just as this happens, the same digital transformation puts the knowledge employees need right at their fingertips. But knowledge alone does not resolve the challenges employees face. For knowledge to work, employees need to make sense of it, learn it and apply it. With curiosity, judgement, sense-making, creativity, collaborative and reflective learning skills, today’s employees need the power of learning to make knowledge work.
So, How to Improve It?
In the world of work, learning agility is known as the strongest indicator of the potential to succeed. The advantage of learning over everything else means companies want to extend it to all employees. But Learning Agility is complex. Its 27 dimensions are not easy to remember, it is tied to an expensive assessment instrument and the strategies for improving it are the same as those for developing behavioural competences. Today organisations want a construct of learning that all employees can use and in particular, that leaders can use to improve learning ability in their teams.
The Discovery of Learning Power
In extensive research at the world-leading Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol in the UK, a new understanding of learning ability has been identified. The most effective learners use eight interdependent ‘dispositions’ (a combination of ability and inclination), which they collectively call ‘learning power’. They include openness and willingness to learn, curiosity, sense-making and creativity, collaboration and hope and optimism.
To the non-researcher, these dimensions of learning feel intuitively right – we recognize them because we already use them in our own working lives. The researchers also found, while some dimensions may be stronger or used more often than others, they exist in all of us and with practice, all of them can be improved. And that’s why it is so attractive to organisations who need to learn, adapt and change.
The Advantage for Corporate Organisations and leadership specialists
Learning power offers corporate organisations many advantages: (1)- It’s a memorable set of eight qualities that all employees have; (2)- It’s a language for learning everyone can use; (3)- It’s a critical capability everyone can improve. For those who see learning as a key to realizing the human potential of organisations, learning power clearly has a lot to offer.
Learning power offers further advantages for the designers and facilitators of learning: (1)- It gives consultants, coaches and facilitators a new lever for improving corporate performance; (2)- It gives leadership specialists a practical tool for leaders to use with their teams; (3)- It gives organisations a great new resource for building a culture of learning
And for those who create and deliver learning experiences, the eight dimensions offer a new set of criteria for designing solutions that engage the whole person in self-motivated, authentic and inquiry-led learning, focused on improving what really matters to them. With an understanding of learning power, facilitators and coaches are able to improve their clients’ performance and develop their ability to learn, at the same time.
Making it work
Improving the power of learning is supported with a practical approach for employees to assess the strength of each learning dimension and identify those they want to develop. There are easy to follow ‘hints and tips’ which help employees practice and improve each one. To involve leaders in encouraging and increasing the potential of the teams they lead, there is a Leader’s Guide to Improving the Learning Ability in Your Team. Ideal for organisations who embrace leader-led development and the role of leader as coach.
Find out more about our Masterclass on “The power of Learning – How organisations use learning to increase their potential to succeed” (3rd November 2016, Singapore)