LILA ~ Learning Innovations Laboratory at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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  1. Daniel Wilson

    Using the past to create the future with Davide Ravasi

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    How do organizations use their history to understand and reform identity to support transformation?   Radical change can often be destructive so it is interesting to note how organizations look back to their history to create continuity in org identity while changing. Davide’s more recent research identifies the variety of historical mechanisms that organizations use to shape identity. One way is using collective memory – the shared memories of communities that get passed down, the rituals of remembrance, and symbolic objects and places to embody collective memory. For example, corporate museums are places that give quite a bit of evidence of...
  2. Daniel Wilson

    Organizational Identity, Culture & Change with Davide Ravasi

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    If org identity is a self-reflective relatively mindful answer to the question of who we are as a org, were does this come from? Davide work into organizational identity has examined various aspects of an org such as the emotional conceptualization, what is central and distinctive, deeply held beliefs, and claims and narratives that are reflective in the commitments.  Interestingly, he has found that identity is revealed through conflict – when resources are scarce, when there is urgency, when there is some event that causes disruption.   Also, foundational traits are acquired at the beginning of the organization: they are early...
  3. Daniel Wilson

    Who are we? Organizational Identity content and its effect on members’ identification.

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    Shelley Brickson – University of Illinois-Chicago   Shelley shared her work on organizational identity, which is a member shared understanding of what is central to an organizational character, distinct and relatively enduring about the organization. These can be “what we do” and/or “who we are.” The latter is more character-based and describes commitments, values, etc.   How does identity shape patterns of behavior? This is a driving question of her research.   First we should understand, “who is the organization?” This involves identity orientation. I key idea is that people have different senses of self: individualistic, relational, and collectivist.   Shelley’s work...
  4. Daniel Wilson

    Towards Collective Mindfulness – Michael Pirson

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    The world is full on complex problems, ranging from global warming to economic disparities, to ongoing ethnic conflicts. Michael reminded us that mindfulness approaches involve contemplative action, restoring harmony, and questioning status quo. Mindlessness approaches are easier and involves apathy and actionism, questioning harmony and resorting status quo.
  5. Daniel Wilson

    Insights from Interactions: How do teams manage complexity? with Mary Waller

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    Mary has studied what makes teams effective in a variety of dynamic contexts, such as flight crews, nuclear power plant engineers, hospital trauma teams, fire-fighting teams and emergency crisis teams. In her studies of interaction patterns she has identified some key lessons for leaders to keep in mind:   Setting the tone: interaction patterns emerge quickly and solidify.  Initial patterns of interactions influence the subsequent effectiveness during dynamism.  Teams that had reciprocal, balanced and consistent interaction patterns performed better in highly adaptive situations. In the thick of it: when teams face ambiguity, uncertainty, and incomplete data effective teams accept ambiguity...
  6. Daniel Wilson

    “Three keys to leading emergent organizing” by Jim Hazy

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    Too often we feel that we are in control at a fine grain and local level, but too often in emergent contexts emergence it unfolding at a coarse grain and macro level in which we cannot control.  Traditional leadership still may still apply but the context matters more. An important first move is fine-grained to empathize with followers: what are their needs? A theory is that, as humans develop we move from dependence, independence, to inter-dependence.  Different leadership frameworks speak to these developmental needs.  For example, charismatic leadership speaks to dependence needs.  Transformational leadership speaks to independence needs, to support...
  7. Daniel Wilson

    Embracing the Simple & Strange with Jim Hazy

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    Jim began by emphasizing that first we consider leadership we need to mediate on: what iscomplexity?  There are many sources from biology, sociology, economics, etc.  What links them together is unpredictability of time (you don’t know when something will happen), place (you do know where it happen), social complexity (you don’t know who is connecting, influencing, etc. whom).   What leaders need to do is find the simplicity on the other side of complexity, to quote Oliver Wendell Holmes. From Jim’s research there are some keys to get to simplicity: Realize that the map is not the territory. Models aren’t reality but...
  8. Daniel Wilson

    “Experiencing emergence, emerging experience” – Donald MacLean

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    Every emergent system, whether it be musical improv or dance, has a discipline. The discipline is critically important, it defines the process of how we craft our plan for interaction, the reality of the activity, how we experiment, and then how we make sense of that experimentation. We felt this in our opening activity! Along the we each person receives feedback. Negative feedback is information that drives a system back to a predetermined state. Positive feedback drives a system forward, away from predetermined states. In many ways this is how we manage the emergence.

Harvard Graduate School of Education