This is where we come across learning which not only brings us to the shortest, most expedient path to reaching an outcome but learning that is broader, learning which makes us do more than just course-correct. Such learning helps us reflect, re-assess the reasons for which an outcome is needed, and (often) we learn new and better ways to de-risk the very outcomes we seek.
- Naming the conversation
I find that simply by naming a conversation, be it a client discussion, a team meeting, or even an impromptu connecting conversation, making learning something explicit to reach for, inviting others to participate in a conversation where mutual learning is the primary outcome, rather than achieving the outcome at the expense of others, often helps everyone involved to change their orientation and engage in mutual learning. It brings clarity to what matters most. You may be surprised as to how much ‘you’ and ‘them’ have in common when it comes to learning, to mastering new domains.
- Seeing from new perspectives
Popularised by the practice of Design Thinking, our ability to view an issue from a new (and often surprising) perspective, is a rich source for mutual learning. When Rosabeth Moss-Kanter challenged management teams, over a decade ago, to view societal problems upside down, to have their eyes to the ground to see the grassroots, where the next opportunities are starting to grow, it felt to many as a new and rather uncomfortable practice. But practice can be mastered, and imagine how adept some of these organisations are today when all of us found ourselves hanging ‘upside-down’
- Empower self-learning
It may feel counter-intuitive, but introducing learning at greater speed and scale requires more than infrastructure (though that is necessary, and increasingly within reach). To participate in learning conversations, we must feel empowered to learn, at our own pace, to try (and fail) multiple times, and to bring our own style into the conversation. With a host of digital tools, helping teams become self-learners is easier than ever and a key ingredient in enabling learning conversations.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Saar Ben-Attar (A Connector Beyond Limits)