Updated on August 23, 2022 because the more things change the more they stay the same. Yeah, this might be rant-like and I hate to disappoint, so apologies upfront.
Are there “performance components” essential to establishment of a sustainable, thriving Learning Culture? You bet there are! Performance by whom? By L&D? From senior leadership? Road warrior trainers? ID/DEV team members? Operational stakeholders? HR/OD specialists? Individual Performers? Ask ten people to define a Learning Culture and expect ten answers, and they will all likely reflect a truth. That ‘truth” will be a reflection of the organization within which the culture exists, whether only a germ, or a fully established and recognized culture. And something else will be present…a Convergence of Learning with Work that manifests in measurable performance results.
What are the “performance elements”? In my opinion, the key elements reflect the organization’s commitment to enabling a knowledge worker’s ability to be successful in their role by providing:
- Access to the right work resources at their moments of need within the flow of their work.
- Access to relevant, succinct, effective continuous learning opportunities that were intentionally designed for application within the flow of their work.
- Access to the right technology that seamlessly, frictionlessly, and ubiquitously converges continuous learning and support opportunities within the flow of their assigned work.
Hearing a theme here? “Within the flow of their work!“
Yes, I tend to take a hard line on “performance” in the flow of work versus “learning” in the flow of work, not be to be contrary, but isn’t performance the ultimate outcome we seek? Learning is not the end game…it’s a by-product…a stipulation…of enabled performance…applied simultaneously at the Point-of-Work and during moments of need. If I’m mistaken on this bent of mine, why is there a “70” in 70:20:10? We “learn by doing”, so why not enable convergence with AND within work with the performance elements listed above? I’m not convinced we should attempt to separate learning from actual work performance at Point-of-Work.
We often think of “culture” in softer terms like empathy, caring, engagement, motivation, and such. Nothing wrong with that thinking, and we’ve all heard statements like “Our people are our greatest asset!” Really? What makes anyone an “asset”? Isn’t an asset something or someone having either inherent value or actually able to produce value? Seems like producing value is a surefire way to attain inherent value. So why not enable value production as a first priority? That question has cultural implications all over it. Why not a hard-line? A culture of value production has a nice ring to it, but then it would if you’re playing a hard line on productivity that drive performance outcomes. Seems a reasonable priority to this camper.
Why not boast “Our greatest asset is the unrivaled performance of our people to produce business value!” Maybe that’s too many words, but methinks it clearly states an implication that behind that statement there is an organizational commitment to a culture of enablement. I’d wager most knowledge workers want to be successful in their roles. What better way for the organization to demonstrate performance on driving a commitment to caring, empathy, engagement, etc. than to enable their success at their Points-of-Work…where it’s rumored that’s where measurable business value is generated.
Just a morning thought and a bit of a rant, but hey…caffeine can unleash the hounds!
Thanks for reading, and as always, if comments or ideas, please share. If questions or clarifications are needed, just ping me.
Take good care!
Gary G. Wise
Workforce Performance Strategist, Coach, Speaker & Storyteller
Web: Living In Learning
4 thoughts on “Learning Culture: Is a Product of Convergence”
Great way to start my day Gary! As support professionals we have a host of interventions, enabled by technology, to choose from/use today. Most are exceptional, world class platforms. I am convinced that your Point of Work Dynamics/Assessments are a world class starting or pulse checking method available today tp guide what we should be doing to best as you point out here: enable our people to produce the outcomes that best help our companies and organizations achieve goals and missions.
Thanks for the encouraging words, Dave! The mission takes a village with a performance culture!
Fully agree, Gary. I believe without learning (change in mindset cum behaviour) there can be no improvement to performance culture. The missing link is access to intentionally designed “opportunities”. Resources and technology can be made available. But, lack of support for opportunities to put it into fruitful practices will not get far. There has to be a radical change to the leadership mindset before the culture can accommodate continuous learning and before a performance based culture kicks in. The believe and focus of “doing” vis a vis 20:70:20 has still not set into the DNA of leaders, hence why the culture will not shape accordingly. So, we have loads of investment in training, but less connection to learning cum performance results. The failure is also protected by a industry that stands to lose out millions in revenue.
Well said, Yuvarajah! Thank you for reading and sharing solid thoughts!