High-performance learning, an answer to a wicked problem

rapid learningDeloitte recently announced the publication of a new report on high-performance learning, “Adapt Workplace Learning to the Speed of Business” – basically, organisations that accelerate the speed of learning (acquisition, diffusion, application and creation of knowledge) outperform those who don’t.

For those of you that have been following my blog, this should not come as a surprise. However, to accelerate the speed of learning you have to be willing to take on a wicked problem. For in order to achieve high-performance learning and high-reliability, you have to embrace the interdependence between organisational processes, structures and behaviours that will measurably improve performance in areas of Safety, Time, Innovation, Quality, Cost and Experience.

To start improving, first, identify the pain and its relationship to outputs (Safety, Time, Innovation, Quality, Cost and Experience).

Next, identify the combinations of processes, structures and behaviours that are causing you the pain.

Now, ask yourself some tough questions around the reliability of what you are learning (depth, security and completeness of learning):

  • Do you encourage the bottom-up communication of bad news – how can you sense and learn from mistakes if it isn’t safe to fail?
  • Do you conduct proactive behavioural, structural and process audits to anticipate disruptions to learning flows?
  • Do you involve staff in the development of behaviours, processes and structures that can accelerate learning? [give staff ownership of the problem – check out this HBR article on the IKEA effect]
  • Do you invest in learning, do you put your money where your mouth is, giving people the resources and the time to learn, or do you just expect it to happen?

Take up the challenge and you are well on the way to being a high-performance learning organisation that outperforms the rest.

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