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

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  1. Marga Biller

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    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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. Marga Biller

    Navigating Complexity at Scale with Mary Uhl Bien

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    System leadership creates the container that allows solutions to emerge over time. Complexity Leadership is leadership in and of emergence. Emergence is what allows individuals and organizations to adapt and survive. The pressure of survival is the strongest complexity pressure that promotes the most adaptation. Three different types of leadership is required - entrepreneurial leadership, enabling leadership, and operational leadership.
  5. Marga Biller

    April 2020 LILA Member Call Beth Schinoff – Workplace Relationships in a Virtual World

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    The workplace is often the seedbed for meaningful connections - one of the “three main spaces” in our lives - home, work, church. Church has receded over time, replaced by technology and other places of congregation (e.g., coffee shop). Workplace has become an increasingly important source of belonging. At the same time, we are facing a loneliness epidemic. We have an aging workforce, and remote work seems to play a huge role in loneliness epidemic, even among millennials. Hence, there are societal reasons to foster connection at work. From an organizational perspective, when a friendship is overlaid on coworking relationship, this is referred to as “multiplex relationship.” The major benefits of these relationships for organizations are that they generally enhance job performance and organizational commitment.
  6. Marga Biller

    Sensemaking – A Primer

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    What is Sensemaking? Sensemaking is the process where we try to understand novel, unexpected, or ambiguous events. It is conscious and intentional, creative and active; sensemaking is more about invention than discovery. Carl Weick, a foremost scholar in this field, says that sensemaking begins when you find yourself asking, “What’s the story?”
  7. 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."
  8. Marga Biller

    Human and Artificial Cognition: Systems, Ecologies and Culture

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    How is digital technology shifting the way that we learn within organizations?How do we prepare ourselves and our organizations in local and global ecologies of change? How do we act in that tension between current demands and future demands? How do we do significant cognitive work with sophisticated technologies? Dr. George Siemens points out that we are beginning to think with technology –it is more than a tool that we use, it is a tool that uses and shapes us. As we look towards the future of organizational performance, we need to consider technology agents in addition to human employees and participant

Harvard Graduate School of Education