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

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  1. Marga Biller

    Strategic Leadership & Organizational Learning: Dr Dusya Vera

    Dusya Vera, from the University of Houston, shared her research on what leaders do to support organizational learning.  She began by offering an overview of an org learning framework that she and Mary Crossan developed to represent the various levels of “stocks” and “flows” that support learning.  For example, there are individual stocks of competence, capability, and motivations.  There are group learning stocks such as the group dynamics that support the development of shared understanding.  And there are organizational stocks such as the alignment between nonhuman storehouses of learning and systems that support learning as a competitive advantage.  In addition...
  2. Leadership Character & Organizational Learning: Dr. Dusya Vera

    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.
  3. Marga Biller

    Leaderful Practice by Joe Raelin

    Joe Raelin, from Northeastern, shared his thinking about the need for shifting our thinking away from leadership as what a single person does to leaderful practice.  The roots of the word don’t help us, he reminds us: it comes from an anglo saxon word that means to step in front of.   Years ago he was struck by how popular the notion of leaderless groups, which seemed odd.  Because there was lots of leadership in these groups.  So he became interested in the notion of leaderful groups. What he notes is an interesting shift from conventional to leaderful leadership.  A shift...
  4. Marga Biller

    April 2014: Changing Systems Animation

    This year at LILA, we explore the theme of unlearning, this time, adopting a systems perspective. Unlearning is what we face when we are trying to learn something new, but prior learning gets in the way. LILA’s own David Perkins notes that even though we can’t really UNlearn, it is helpful to have a name for this type of learning as it presents unique challenges. While trying harder often succeeds in moving outdated skills to the fringes of our repertoire, some things resist even our most earnest attempts at sidelining. In these stuck cases, Dave suggests that, instead of trying harder, we change the game. Before imagining how we might design game-changers for our organizations, we look at several tools, models, and theories to test if and how they might help us understand the nature of system stuckness.
  5. Katie Heikkinen

    Wendy Wood Provocation: Habits in Everyday Life and in the Workplace

    Day 1: Habits in Everyday Life Dr. Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California, presented the event’s first provocation by sharing her research on habits.  In the talk, she explained what habits are, how they can become misaligned with our intentions, how they are often the default response (winning out over other behaviors), and how they often are useful. She opened by sharing her research on the habit of eating popcorn at the movies. We usually think we’re eating because we want to, like to, or somehow it meets our needs. But this...
  6. Gene Heyman Provocation: Do people choose locally or globally?

    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...
  7. Habits in Everyday Life

    Wendy Wood from USC joined LILA to share the research she does on habits -- what they are, how they can be aligned/misaligned with intentions, and how habits often override intentions (for better of worse). She set the table by suggested that habits are part our multiple selves, specifically part of our automatic self.That is the self that is guided by cation cues (like seeing a pot of coffee). This self is less conscious, not easily verbalize what we are doing, and changes slowly with experience. The automatic or "habitual self" is different from the "intentional self", which is guided by attitudes, goals, values. This self is more conscious, can verbalize, and can change quickly with decisions.

Harvard Graduate School of Education