Out of print
Synopsis included in The Working Smarter Fieldbook
Learnscape architects nurture organizations to get things done as simply and naturally as possible. Diverse elements, held in equilibrium, make for robust, thriving, vibrant organizations. Learnscapes share many characteristics of the Web: simplicity, clarity, user-centricity, restraint, and attention to detail.
Self-service workers connect to one another, to ongoing flows of information and work, to their teams and organizations, to their customers and markets, not to mention their families and friends because they can easily navigate networks of “small pieces, loosely joined,” the conventions they know from the Internet.
Chapters and Introductions
When Curt Bonk asked me to contribute a chapter to this book, I flat out refused. As you might guess from the quantity of top-notch authors who appear here, Curt is persistent. He asked me again, and again I turned him down, this time with an explanation.
I told him I considered blended learning a useless concept. To my way of thinking, blending is only new to people who were foolish enough to think that delegating the entire training role to the computer was going to work. I could not imagine unblended learning. My first-grade teacher used a blend of story-telling, song, recitation, reading aloud, flash cards, puppetry, and corporal punishment.
Is it not nutty for a learning strategist to ask “Why blend?” The more appropriate question is, “Why not blend?” Imagine an episode of This Old House asking, “Why should we use power tools? Hand tools can get the job done.” For both carpenters and learning professionals, the default behaviour is using the right tools for the job. MORE
Many of the benefits are beyond measurement. It’s impossible to pina value on increased self-confidence among the sales force or having a 24/7 channel to the very latest sales information and techniques. But some aspects are measurable.
The time for sales people to achieve quota dropped from 15 months to 6 months. What’s the value of 9 months of additional sales time for 1,440 people? Given that these people have a quota of $5 million, that’s in the neighborhood of $5 billion. Calculating back from total Sun revenue instead of quotas puts the gain at $3.7 billion. MORE
Most companies are stuck in the past. In addition to their over-reliance on control, these organizations think business a zero-sum game; I win, you lose. They tend to have a black-and-white view of the world; things are rigid; the fundamentals still apply. Secrecy is competitive advantage; hoarding information is the norm.
On the other hand, to companies that embrace the future, reality is the unpredictable result of complex adaptive forces. Nothing is perfect; stuff happens. Cooperation is a win-win game. Relationships are all-important, and the more open you are, the easier it is to form them.
Companies are not machines; they are living organisms. Yesterday’s organizational teams are giving way to organic, self-organizing bioteams.
Shifting from the machine-age worldview to the age of connections is not revolutionary, for revolutions are rebellions from the past. This is more than just crazed intellectuals, new laws, and blood in the streets. This is a phase change, a break from the past to a
new way of being. We are at an inﬂection point in human history.
Machine-age consciousness no longer ﬁts reality. Physical matter is not a cornerstone; matter changes when you look at it. Invisible, intangible things are more valuable than things you can touch. Quarks and the cosmos ﬂaunt Newton's "Laws." Time is relative. Complex adaptive systems insure that nothing is certain. Everything is connected.
The unconnected, mechanical world had ﬁnality; things ended. In the connected world, everything is a perpetual work-in-progress. WYSIWYG is giving way to individual perspectives.
Our consciousness told us we were independent nodes; cogito ergo sum. We are transmogrifying into interdependent connectors; dead meat if unhooked from our ecosystems.
20, An Anthology Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the Higher Colleges of Technology of the UAE
CONVERSATION HAS MAGIC to it. Dialogue is the most powerful learning technology on earth. Conversations are the stem cells of learning, for they both create and transmit knowledge. Frequent and open conversation increases innovation and learning. Schooling planted a false notion in our heads that real learning is something you do on your own. In fact, we all learn things from other people. People love to talk. Bringing them together brings excitement.
Academically, I made it through tenth grade studying on my own. After that, I couldn't have continued without participating in study groups. When you're taking part in a small group, you spend less time overcoming self made those people whose obstacles and more turning over the concepts of others in your own mind.
You give as well as get, and when you teach something to another, you plant it firmly in your own head.
In the Desert Survival Game, a classic organizational development exercise, a small group is told to imagine their small plane has crashed in the Sonora Desert. The task is to prioritize a list of items to help increase the odds of survival. First, each individual ranks the importance of things like the flashlight, the map, matches, and a compass. Then the group comes up with a consensus prioritization. Invariably, the group makes sounder decisions than any individual.
Two learners are almost always more effective than one. If two people go through a computer based learning experience together while sharing one screen, they learn more than if each went at it alone. What's a manager to do? Often the largest contribution is getting out of people's way, removing barriers, and, in the words of Tom Stewart (2003), "minimizing mindless tasks, meaningless paperwork, unproductive infighting"