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

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  1. Daniel Wilson

    Where the tipping point missed the point

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    Damon Centola’s work unpacked assumptions in networks that related to how ideas/behavior spread through networks via “strong vs. weak” ties.  For many years, and argued well in Gladwell’s Tipping Point, the belief was that all ideas spread like viruses through networks. Daemon’s work points out that what is important is the distinction between simple contagions (ideas/actions that requires a single contact) vs complex contagions (ideas/actions that require multiple contacts and social reinforcement). Many cultural practices require social reinforcement, particularly when there is uncertainty & risk, run against norms, or interdependence with other technologies. What is important to know is how complex...
  2. Daniel Wilson

    Why tightness is terrible and terrific

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    Michele Gelfand’s work in social psychology explores how micro changes in behaviors connect to larger shifts in values in cultures.  Her work has looked the effect of social norms across cultures. Her concept is that there are qualitative differences in tight groups (with strong norms, litter tolerance for deviance, more orderly) vs. loose groups (weak norms, high tolerance for deviance, less orderly). Her research showed that tight groups coordinate well amidst threats of survival, both human made (e.g. tribal conflicts) and natural (e.g. natural disasters).  Tightness can be activated, too, by real of natural threats. And the situations, such as libraries...
  3. Marga Biller

    Bechtel Wins Chief Learning Officer Award for Second Consecutive Year

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    “Partnering with the business to develop a game-changing learning program that provides valuable skills to our employees, partners and customers, and essentially adding to the bottom line, is the ultimate goal of an organImage result for lucy dinwiddieization’s learning and development team,” said Lucy Dinwiddie, Bechtel’s chief learning officer. “To be honored with an award as significant as the CLO, demonstrates the collaboration and innovation of the Bechtel team and the commitment to our colleagues across the globe.”
  4. Marga Biller

    Beaver – a Boston area school and LILA member embraces ‘unlearning’ strategies for students, teachers

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    The Research and Design Center at Beaver Country Day School, just outside of Boston, is being framed as a Library 2.0. As construction workers focused on the physical space outside, a group of teacher leaders grappled indoors with the concept of unlearning. The school is embarking on a one-year quest to rethink teaching and learning strategies in advance of the opening of the “RaD.”
  5. 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...
  6. Sue Borchardt

    October 2016 Animation: Understanding Culture in Organizations

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    The sheer scope of Culture’s sweep makes a pithy definition difficult, a challenge further amplified by the dynamic, overlapping, and nested cultural contexts we strive to make sense of. Culture is often named as contributing to the success or failure of organizational efforts such as globalization, mergers & acquisitions, and cultivating diversity. One place to start when exploring whether and how cultural forces might be leveraged to help organizations adapt to internal and external change, is by asking: how do cultures work? and how do they adapt?
  7. Marga Biller

    Learning Conversations Moves

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    Cross-organizational “learning conversations” are an important source of informal learning among professionals, though little is known about whether specific characteristics of conversational interaction contribute to different learning outcomes in such conversations.
  8. Marga Biller

    10th Annual LILA Summit Speakers Announced

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    The Learning Innovations Laboratory will be celebrating its 10th Annual Summit on June 7th 2016 in Cambridge, MA. This is an opportunity for Chief Learning, Talent and Innovation Officers to come together to explore potential next practices for their organizations. The three keynote speakers at the LILA Summit will be Marianne Lewis (Dean of Cass School of Business), Tima Bansal (professor at the Ivey Business School) and Bob Kegan (Harvard) as well as small group discussions led by distinguished professors and practitioners Deborah Ancona (MIT), Maurizio Zollo (Buconni Univeristy) and Ethan Bernstein (Harvard) with John Bunch (Zappos).
  9. Daniel Wilson

    Working through the organizational “F” word: Failure.

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    Jennifer’s ideas made us wonder: Maybe “failure” is the obscenity in organizations that gets in the way of learning? Is curiosity the energy in the tension of learning & performance?   She reminds us that learning and adapting are more useful in complex systems than predicting and planning. So failure is a necessary part of growth, development, and learning.   What moves us through the necessity of failure? Perhaps courage is part of the answer. When we fail but don’t grow we experience shame, rejection, loss of identity, isolation, judgment, etc.   When we fail and we experience these things, too, but...

Harvard Graduate School of Education