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

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  1. Marga Biller

    Introduction to October 2015 LILA Session

    Daniel gave an overview of the goals of LILA, the themes that we have explored during the last 5 years and identified the threads from these themes that led us to this year’s theme of Managing Complexity:  Navigating Strategic Paradoxes. Click Here to review the Prezi.
  2. Marga Biller

    “There is in all visible things..a hidden wholeness” Thomas Merton

    In a paradox, opposites do not negate each other; they cohere in mysterious unity at the heart of reality. In a recent post by Parker Palmer, a contributor to the program On Being, he talks about the paradoxes he sees in Autumn. It is an inspirational piece that urges us to think about the paradoxes we see around us during this season. For example, it is a season of "dying and seeding". He continues.
  3. Journal of Workplace Learning publishes LILA article: Informal Learning Conversations – Findings from LILA Research

    nformal learning conversations with colleagues is a powerful yet understudied source of self-directed, professional development. This study investigated the types of learning 79 leaders from 22 organizations reported they learned from 44 peer-led conversations over a two-year period. Survey data suggests empirical evidence of five learning outcomes – informational, conceptual, operational, reflective, and social learning. The study describes these categories, the overall distribution of these types of learning in the community, and how most conversations were “rich” in a particular outcome. It concludes with possible explanations for these patterns as well as potential lines for future research.
  4. Marga Biller

    Paradoxical Leadership Introduction by Dr. Wendy Smith

    Dr. Smith, who had spoken to LILA last year in a member call, framed her keynote presentation today around the question of “What is the nature of paradoxes?” She expressed that her goal for this talk was to provide us with level-setting language to inspire reflections, push-back, and questions over the course of this conference and beyond. Her follow-up talk tomorrow will focus on potential approaches we can apply to manage and leverage the paradoxes we face in our organizations and daily lives. She suggested that, over the next year, one possible measure of success we may want to use is to see if we can shift viewing our challenges from “problematic” to a “source of possibility.”
  5. Marga Biller

    The Competing Values Framework by Marc Lavine

    Marc Lavine shared some of the ideas regarding the Competing Values Framework (CVF) and how it can help us become better paradoxical leadears. The CVF makes visible a certain set of paradoxes. I hope you find the CVF useful; it was created by University of Michigan scholars Kim Cameron and Bob Quinn. You can view it as a tool or resource to use in your organization; that’s great. Or you can think more in general terms; this is one way that might inspire you to think of other ways. Or you can think of it as possibly the source of...
  6. Katie Heikkinen

    Leading for Complexity by Deborah Ancona

    During the June 2015 LILA Summit, Deborah Ancona focused her presentation on distributed leadership. Deborah and her team have researched a lot of really cool organizations, but the question is: how do we create an organizational structure that supports innovative teams? What is it that enables these kinds of teams and distributed leadership to function? We live in an uncertain world. Innovation, agility, and speed matter a lot. We are moving into the “knowledge era,” characterized by flat, loose structures and decentralized leadership. Those organizations that have started out flat and loose also need to grow, and it’s a tough balance between too much and too little structure.
  7. Sue Borchardt

    Flexpertise in Action by Janet Pogue & Darris James

    Genlser is a is an American design and architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco that has a large number of practice areas they work in and so need to monitor progress in many fields from hospitality to health care. They took on the question what does it mean to be a success at Gensler? They have come up with a developmental model for talent development that spans the early stages of career when people are more generalists (skills exploring), all the way through to expert (skills sharing) at the emeritis stage of career. Between career beginning and ending are stages of refining, narrowing, leading, and defining skills. They have worked to come up with a four part definition of success that holds for all stages of career development: Connect, Learn, Lead & Deliver.
  8. Marga Biller

    How to Break the Expert’s Curse by Ting Zhang

    We have the pervasive problem of the expert-novice gap. Consider an illustrative example from an interview with a medical student. During her first weeks, she admits that she did not know something basic when she walked into the operation room: “where do I stand.” Her attention would be better directed on the substantive procedures in the OR. Experts find it difficult to relate to novices, though they themselves were once novices. This is because one, they have imperfect memory which leads them to mistakenly think that they have always known what they know now. Two, experts are victims of the curse of knowledge, so they assume the uninformed parties are knowledgeable. Three, difficult processes have become automatic for experts, and experts underestimate the amount of time it takes novices to learn.

Harvard Graduate School of Education