“For some people the knowledge one person already has before a learning experience is like a collection of old ties, with each tie being an element of the held knowledge. When new knowledge becomes available (in a training session) the knowledge acquisition process is mechanically simple: I add more ties to my collection. All I have to do is put every new tie in the next space in the rack, every new information in its proper place. This kind of knowledge applies to fact and memory learning and is helpful to learn the capital of Ukraine or your aunt’s phone number! Educational Researchers call this kind of process “rote learning”.
Enter learning re-imagined so it activate your potential: there is another kind of knowledge acquisition process: the one that is used to build expertise (the one most adult training is all about). Rather than adding another tie to the collection, this kind of new knowledge looks more like the creative problem-solving we perform when we are confronted with a strange new object (for instance a red L-shaped container filled with M&M’s.)
Rather than simply putting “one more tie in the drawer” I have this additional strange new thing and I am now creatively:
– Investigating what the new object is,
– Comparing it to something I already have,
– Trying to understand what it can do for me,
– Evaluating if I am interested in keeping this object in the house.
For this last kind of activities it becomes critical:
• Collaborative intelligence in the room
• Realistic manipulation and hands-on action
• Sustained dialogue and critical reflection-on-action.
All of us can agree on how different a tie is compared with a red L-shaped container filled with M&M’s. Unfortunately people continue to assume that the process of building expertise is like a mechanical “adding a new tie to a collection” and not like problem-solving, the puzzling and demanding mental work we perform when dealing with something new, weird and strange. Like a L-shaped container.
What could the power of learning re-imagined create in your organization?
Adriano understands how to increase your returns on leadership. He works with professionals in world-class organizations that include Philip Morris, Microsoft, the World Bank, Johns Hopkins University, the US Marine Corps, the State Department and NASA. A skilled experiential educator with corporate leadership experience, he is the Founder & Principal Consultant of ParticipAction Consulting, Inc., a firm committed to help clients redefine change, collaboration and power in their organizations. He co-authored "Teachable Moments of Leadership" with Jill Hufnagel in 2016, on a learning methodology that gets results by going from PowerPoint to …powerful!