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

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  1. Marga Biller

    Power for All with Julie Battilana.

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    During the October gathering, we explored what agency looks like and what practices might lead to greater agency for all.  Among the puzzles we identified was the connection between agency and power.  To help us deepen our understanding, we invited Julie Battilana to share her research with the LILA community.  Julie is a scholar, educator, and advisor in the areas of social innovation and social change. She is a both a Professor at the Harvard Business School and Professor of Social Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Julie has recently published a book titled Power for All: How it Works and Why it's Everyone's Business with her co-author Tiziana Casciaro. 
  2. Marga Biller

    Trust – Harnessing the Power of Agency and Belonging

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    Comment
    People have an inherent need for belonging and agency, which can be fulfilled by trust in different ways. But just what is trust? It is the willingness to be vulnerable—to take a risk—in a relationship based on positive expectations of the trustee. And in the workplace belonging and agency matter because of their impact on job performance, commitment to the organization, and well-being. Mike’s research suggests that feeling trusted and having an opportunity to trust others can increase employees’ sense of belonging and agency. By a wide margin, the three biggest predictors of trust are ability, benevolence and integrity. (There is also trust propensity – a personality trait where someone is more willing to believe that others are reliable – but this can go away.) A few examples of trusting behavior include the supervisor’s willingness to rely on the employee’s skills and abilities, to disclose sensitive information or feelings to the employee, and to reduce monitoring of the employee. What are your thoughts? When have you experienced trust that led to your feeling a sense of agency, belonging and connection?
  3. Marga Biller

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    Comment
    What is the impact of multiple interfering change initiatives on employees? During the March LILA Harvard meeting, Rouven Kanitz shared the findings from a 4 year longitudinal qualitative study which revealed key factors that contributed to the harmful outcomes. The values and norms signaled by different initiatives led to negative individual emotional states such as those related to uncertainty (confusion and worry), moral (indignation and shock), and detachment (annoyance and apathy). Individual emotions were later translated into the social network and became collective emotion where a significant number of people were sharing, thinking, and feeling negative emotions. Over time, these negative emotions affected people who then became disengaged. This affected the performance of the change initiatives through delays, requirement of more resources, and departure of senior management.
  4. Marga Biller

    Leadership in Times of Diversity: Astrid Homan

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    Comment
    What can leaders do to effectively manage diverse teams? If a diverse team is functioning well, what can a leader do to encourage the teams’ continued progress? Or conversely, if a diverse team is embroiled in conflict, how can a leader intervene in order to turn things around? Essentially, which competencies do leaders need in order to adapt and appropriately respond to their teams’ needs?
  5. Marga Biller

    Curiosity Where are You? Spencer Harrison

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    Comment
    Curiosity is a great source of new ideas, a great source of finding these patterns – and yet the majority of people don’t feel like they have permission to be curious at work. Spencer and his colleagues spent six months creating a new set of measures to assess curiosity. During this process, he and his colleagues identified that there are different types of curiosity. There is productive curiosity – where someone is actively investigating problems that are associated with the work that they’re doing. And unproductive curiosity, where someone is taking a break at work to look at something else – usually sports or social media related and doesn’t have anything to do with work. These two types have different consequences.
  6. Marga Biller

    Scaffolding Learning: Conceptualizing and measuring an organization that learns.

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    Comment
    "What does it look like when learning becomes an intentional part of the business strategy? People are aligned around a common vision. They sense and interpret their changing environment. They generate new knowledge which they use, in turn, to create innovative products and services to meet customer needs. We have identified seven action imperatives that characterize companies traveling toward this goal."

Harvard Graduate School of Education