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

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  1. Marga Biller

    Leadership in Times of Diversity: Astrid Homan

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    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?
  2. Marga Biller

    Curiosity Where are You? Spencer Harrison

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    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.
  3. Marga Biller

    Scaffolding Learning: Conceptualizing and measuring an organization that learns.

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    "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."
  4. Marga Biller

    Can we measure collective intelligence in teams?

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    Until recently, organizations thought that if they wanted to create “smart” teams, they just had to hire smart individuals and put them together. But researchers have discovered that is not the case. Other explanatory factors account for the performance of teams more than simply the combined intelligence of individual team members. Anita Woolley has specifically focused on examining if there is an underlying collective intelligence (CI) that lets some teams perform better than others and, if so, can we measure it, use it to predict team future performance, and reliably create it?
  5. Marga Biller

    What do the members in your organization actively do to pick up weak cues signaling threat and/or opportunity?

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    During the December 2018 LILA member call, Professor Claus Rerup provided some insights into these questions. His research focuses on what he identifies as attentional triangulation – how a group of people (e.g., teams and organizations) avoid missing cues about threat or opportunity. Paying attention to the right kinds of cues is likely a mechanism toward achieving this year’s theme of collective mindfulness. When teams and organizations do not act in collectively mindful ways and are on autopilot, it is likely at least in part through lack of attentional triangulation.
  6. Marga Biller

    September 2018 Member Call: Connecting to Challenges and Initiatives

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    This is the summary of the first LILA member call for 2018-2019 focused on Collective Mindfulness. Shaping the Human Systems in Organizations: How do a group of people act as a collective and in a mindful way? As the members shared about their companies and the challenges they face, several themes arose around this year’s theme of Collective Mindfulness: Shaping the Human Systems in Organizations. Shaping the Human Systems in Organizations: How do a group of people act as a collective and in a mindful way? As the members shared about their companies and the challenges they face, several themes arose around this year’s theme of collective mindfulness.
  7. Marga Biller

    March 2018 Member Call: Adopting a Paradoxical Mindset for Emergence

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    Dr. Smith shared that adopting a paradoxical mindset has been shown to encourage creative outcomes, job satisfaction, and innovation, and has been linked to promotion within organizations. Organizations inherently have competing demands; they always exist but are not always observable o Become salient through a number of organizational conditions and/or individual characteristics o Example: Paul Polman (CEO of Unilever) invites people to discuss tensions Smith found there are two core dimensions to how people think about competing demands: 1. How do you experience tensions and make them salient? 2. How do you deal with the tensions? What mindset do you bring to the tensions?
  8. Marga Biller

    January 2018 Member Call – Self-managing organizations: Exploring the limits of less-hierarchical organizing

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    Fascination with organizations that eschew the conventional managerial hierarchy and instead radically decentralize authority has been longstanding, albeit at the margins of scholarly and practitioner attention. Recently, however, organizational experiments in radical decentralization have gained mainstream consideration, giving rise to a need for new theory and new research.
  9. Marga Biller

    Authority or Community ? Two models of leadership emergence.

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    Ned Wellman, Assistant Professor at Arizona State University will share his research on the role of cognitive relational models in leadership emergence. Although emergent leadership is an essential tool for organizations seeking to meet the demands of challenging, dynamic environments, facilitating such leadership poses real challenges. He will explain why and how organizations might leverage relational models to encourage desired patterns of leadership. I

Harvard Graduate School of Education