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

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  1. Daniel Wilson

    Working through the organizational “F” word: Failure.

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    Jennifer’s ideas made us wonder: Maybe “failure” is the obscenity in organizations that gets in the way of learning? Is curiosity the energy in the tension of learning & performance?   She reminds us that learning and adapting are more useful in complex systems than predicting and planning. So failure is a necessary part of growth, development, and learning.   What moves us through the necessity of failure? Perhaps courage is part of the answer. When we fail but don’t grow we experience shame, rejection, loss of identity, isolation, judgment, etc.   When we fail and we experience these things, too, but...
  2. Daniel Wilson

    Living in a “or AND and” world

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    Jennifer Garvey Berger reminds us of the Cynefin framework that describes two world states: the predictable world (obvious and complicated) and the unpredictable world (complex and chaotic). DW: I’m reminded that these four “worlds” are both objective and subjective. That is my 7 year old might experience something as chaotic or complex while I might experience it as obvious or complicated. Also, while I also appreciate this framework, where things often get tricky for me is when these worlds become nested – inside a “complex” experience or problem, there often are “complicated” and “obvious” sub-problems. So diagnosing the nature of a problem feels like the right move, toggling between the worlds in real-time is often the big challenge. How to create the spaces, tools, structures that support the skills but also the toggling feels tricky.
  3. Daniel Wilson

    Learning & Performing (Chris Kayes)

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    A big idea that I took away was the role of curiosity and safe risks to support individual and group learning. And I’m wondering how the opposite of curiosity and safe risk -- confidence and “safe routines” – might work against learning and support performance. My guess is that In short, Kayes noted from his work that a key individual factor that predicts learning is “open to new experiences.” A key team processes that predict learning is psychological safety and supervisory support. DW: Being open to novelty is a hallmark of conceptual frameworks of curiosity. And that makes intuitive sense in terms of the role it plays in individual learning. Psych safety and the leader role are also well established in team learning literature, so good to see it here. However, it raises a question in me: I wonder how their opposites, such as indifference, confidence, normality, and routines, might explain individual and team performance?
  4. Daniel Wilson

    Reflections on Learning & Performance

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    A big idea that I took away was the role of curiosity and safe risks to support individual and group learning. And I’m wondering how the opposite of curiosity and safe risk -- confidence and “safe routines” – might work against learning and support performance.
  5. Daniel Wilson

    Journal of Workplace Learning publishes LILA article: Informal Learning Conversations – Findings from LILA Research

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    nformal learning conversations with colleagues is a powerful yet understudied source of self-directed, professional development. This study investigated the types of learning 79 leaders from 22 organizations reported they learned from 44 peer-led conversations over a two-year period. Survey data suggests empirical evidence of five learning outcomes – informational, conceptual, operational, reflective, and social learning. The study describes these categories, the overall distribution of these types of learning in the community, and how most conversations were “rich” in a particular outcome. It concludes with possible explanations for these patterns as well as potential lines for future research.
  6. Daniel Wilson

    Thriving at Work

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    Christine Porath from Georgetown shared her thinking and research on what does it mean to thrive at work in order to create sustainable performance?  She shared that her personal journey in her first job was working in a toxic culture and what she learned that those early experiences strongly shape the way we learn and develop in the workplace — do we stay and thrive? stay and whither? Leave for greener pastures? Her research shows that thriving depends on learning, engagement, and performance.  Through her work with Gretchen Spreitzer, they have defined thriving a joint experience of vitality and learning which...
  7. Daniel Wilson

    Leadership Character & Organizational Learning: Dr. Dusya Vera

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    Dusya began sharing some new research that is trying to answer three questions: which barriers to learning reside in leaders? They drew on two models of leadership: transcendent leadership model (which is the intersection of self, other, and organization leadership). This is more of an umbrella label for other theories of leadership that have been established. Like other work she does, this is a multilevel approach and it highlights the leadership of the self.
  8. Daniel Wilson

    Gene Heyman Provocation: Do people choose locally or globally?

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    Gene relaunched the discussion about the dilemma of the local/global choices.   Where does this dilemma occur?  In situations in which the outcome depends on a series or pattern of behaviors.  Such as being healthy, temperate drinking, establishing a workplace of cooperation.  Gene suggests that these aren’t one-offs, but instead are accomplished via a series of events.  These he calls “dispositions”, “practices”, or “cultures” — these are habitual ways of behaving. And these patterns of behaviors interact not only with the immediate rewards but importantly affect other rewards and outcomes that are not in the moment. The dilemma between local-global...

Harvard Graduate School of Education