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

    2019-2020 LILA Ecologies of Learning in a Transforming World

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    Learning ecologies offers a perspective on how organizations can develop new capabilities, organize work, and manage careers in order to take advantage of the new world order. The idea of a learning ecology recognizes that learning is unfolding all the time in complex ways, through peer relationships, networks, informal coaching, the way people interact in person and virtually, etc. which can be learning-synergistic or not. What people are learning includes not only particular skills and understandings that formal learning might target, but also the "hidden curriculum" – how to informally pick up on the patterns of survival and thriving within the organization.
  4. Marga Biller

    Collective Mindfulness: Shaping the Human Systems in Organizations

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    LILA Theme for 2018-2019:  Collective Mindfulness:  Shaping the Human Systems in Organizations In dynamic environments, how might we create the conditions that improve the quality of interactions in order to nurture collective sensemaking and collective action?   What are the states of dynamic organizations as they evolve and change?   Exploring collective mindfulness—defined “as the collective capability to discern discriminatory detail about emerging issues and to act swiftly in response to these details (Weick, Vogus & Sutcliffe) might provide some answers.  This year, LILA turns its attention to understanding how to nourish the organization and the systems whose future we hope to...
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. Marga Biller

    A Perspective on Adaptive Cultures by Dr. Byron Ernest

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    I began a new journey of learning today and let me just say it was awesome. Today I became part of the Learning Innovations Laboratory (LILA) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I have been watching and admiring the work of this group that is a consortium of leading researchers and practitioners in the field of organizational learning and change. To be asked to be part of such a distinguished group in very exciting. I certainly admire the mission of this project of: Bringing together the leaders of organizational learning to develop a greater understanding of the field’s current...
  8. Sue Borchardt

    LILA Summit 2017 Animation: Adaptive Culture

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    Becoming an adaptive culture is no small feat– demanding we keep transforming to sustain our organizational “fitness”, while at the same time sustaining an internal environment in which our people can thrive amidst change and uncertainty. We invite you join us in this ongoing inquiry, making sense of what it means to be an adaptive culture.
  9. Marga Biller

    Unlearning to Learn – LILA Summit Animation

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    One of the ways in which LILA supports the learning of its members is to create an animated short presenting key ideas from the year long exploration.  The theme during the 2013-2014 season was Unlearning to Learn.  Below is the transcript from the animation in case you would like to read more about what is presented in the animation. Unlearning to Learn This year at LILA, we take a whirlwind tour of unlearning, approaching it from three angles: mindsets, habits, and systems. Here, we take stock of our two main quests around unlearning: understanding it and fostering it. Unlearning...

Harvard Graduate School of Education