In my previous article I have discussed about the ownership of the learning process at the individual level of the first two main actors involved in the learning process:
The educator (teacher, professor, trainer, facilitator, coach, manager, leader, mentor). See Who owns the learning?
Now what about the ownership on the learning process of the other two main actors mentioned in the article: The group (class, team, organization) and The society?
As my professional background include managing all the learning process of a 13,000 employees organization (a bank) and running them under a corporate university umbrella, I was able to notice first-hand the influential power that the group has on the individual learning process. It takes really special skills, resources and a lot of free time to enable your own learning path designed by yourself, while you’re part of a group. Once we are aware of those constraints, why don’t we, as individual members of the group, make a conscious effort to design all of our learning paths aligned to the organizational objectives but at the same time directed to satisfy our individual learning needs? And this way learning could be even “light, desirable, and fun” as Adidas Group, Chief Human Resources Officer, Matthias Malessa considers. In fact, this company has embarked on a journey to tackle this challenge by developing “adidas Group Learning Campus”, acknowledging thus the belief that at least 80% of learning happens informally, as described in this article by Jeanne Meister. We already know that there are better performing outputs of the collaborative and social approach of the group learning, compared to the individual learning. What I have found fascinating is the implementation of sort of a knowledge market where “as employees develop their skills, they rank and rate the training content as easily as they would a video on YouTube or a book on Amazon.” This kind of open knowledge infrastructure could in fact create a culture of self-driven life-long learning that could be a solution to become a purpose driven organization where its members could benefit at individual level the group ownership of the learning process.
What about the society ownership of the learning process?
In their book “Creating a Learning Society – A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress” the authors J. E. STIGLITZ, and B. C. GREENWALD are talking about the learning economy as spurring from the knowledge creation achieved typically by individuals working within organizations. As “some societies are better at learning than others – both in ensuring that the gap between best and average practices is smaller and in the pace which the knowledge frontier moves out”, creating a dynamic learning society that can ripple its benefits to the individual’s learning process is not an easy task. Just to give a concrete example from my country Romania, one can notice the asymmetric foreign investments corresponding to the regional learning hubs, determined by the knowledge creation sources, universities. Moreover, this different corporate concentrations lead to different and sometimes unfair learning opportunities at the individual level. Learning motivation is also a major determinant at the society level, and we can see the effects of an outdated and disconnected to the work space educational system all over in the world.
I conclude this two parts article that has explored only roughly the question Who owns the learning? with a positive note that, in the age we live, the person who is able to read this article (meaning s/he has access to a computer) has all to capabilities to take consciously the necessary steps to take as much ownership of her/his learning process that will lead her/him to fulfillment.
What are your views on how to take ownership of the individual learning process?