Perspectives on work and learning

A couple of months ago I added a visual presentation to my About section, as I thought that might help convey my perspectives regarding my professional services a bit better. It’s what guides me, in my work.

I think many of my perspectives on learning were planted when I first went to school, in a one-room schoolhouse in the Rocky Mountains of BC. With only three pupils in my grade, we had a lot of freedom and we got to see what the older kids were doing. I was allowed to be quite independent and even more so later when I was home-schooled after the schoolhouse closed.

A basic assumption that I have developed is that many things can, and should, be simplified. Principles and values are often more resilient as guidelines than complicated rules and regulations, especially in dealing with complex issues. When it comes to learning, simplicity usually works best, as in simple systems to support learning. Often it’s just a case of removing barriers to learning.

Our networked world is changing work fundamentally. In hyper-connected work environments, learning has to be part of working. This is because labour is increasingly based on unique talents, not easily replaceable tasks. This is also shattering our divisions of labour that many organizations are structured around, like IT, HR, KM and others. With an increase in customized, high-variety work we are seeing concepts like time at work or pay by the hour becoming obsolete.

With these changes, organizational dysfunction is becoming obvious to all. Things aren’t worse today, there is just more exposure. To succeed in this networked world, organizations need to promote openness, transparency, and diversity. This enables innovation through more and better connections. It’s not just social business, but open business, that is needed to move from hierarchies (simple networks) to wirearchies (complex, human networks).

2 Responses to “Perspectives on work and learning”

  1. Brent MacKinnon

    I like your reference to open business Harold. Social business seems to be the default term you see everywhere but an open business gets at the heart of the changes that are going on. I think that your ability to simplify tricky and complex issues is what I like most about your writing. Way to go!

  2. Jon Husband

    your ability to simplify tricky and complex issues is what I like most about your writing.

    + 10 !!


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