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

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  1. Daniel Wilson

    How can organizations prevent burnout?

    In high reliability environments, employees are being pushed beyond their limits. People become emotionally exhausted when they are asked to pay more attention, look for new signals, and looking for discrepant and rare events. Tim Vogus noted that organizations that engage in high reliability have higher levels of emotional exhaustion. He found that organizations that establish compassion practices prevent burnout and increase high reliability.
  2. Daniel Wilson

    Using the past to create the future with Davide Ravasi

    How do organizations use their history to understand and reform identity to support transformation?   Radical change can often be destructive so it is interesting to note how organizations look back to their history to create continuity in org identity while changing. Davide’s more recent research identifies the variety of historical mechanisms that organizations use to shape identity. One way is using collective memory – the shared memories of communities that get passed down, the rituals of remembrance, and symbolic objects and places to embody collective memory. For example, corporate museums are places that give quite a bit of evidence of...
  3. Daniel Wilson

    Who are we as an organization and how did we get there?

    f organizational identity is a self-reflective relatively mindful answer to the question of who we are as a organization, were does this come from? Davide Ravassi's work into organizational identity has examined various aspects of an org such as the emotional conceptualization, what is central and distinctive, deeply held beliefs, and claims and narratives that are reflective in the commitments. Interestingly, he has found that identity is revealed through conflict – when resources are scarce, when there is urgency, when there is some event that causes disruption. Also, foundational traits are acquired at the beginning of the organization: they are early imprints.
  4. Daniel Wilson

    Who are we? Organizational Identity content and its effect on members’ identification.

    Shelley Brickson – University of Illinois-Chicago   Shelley shared her work on organizational identity, which is a member shared understanding of what is central to an organizational character, distinct and relatively enduring about the organization. These can be “what we do” and/or “who we are.” The latter is more character-based and describes commitments, values, etc.   How does identity shape patterns of behavior? This is a driving question of her research.   First we should understand, “who is the organization?” This involves identity orientation. I key idea is that people have different senses of self: individualistic, relational, and collectivist.   Shelley’s work...
  5. Marga Biller

    Winter LILA Gathering February 5 -6 2019

    The Personal:  Understanding Identity and Micro-Narratives (February 5-6, 2019) If we are to engage with collective mindfulness, an important area of inquiry might be to get a better understanding of how individual identity plays into both driving collective mindfulness and is influenced by the context in which the individuals find themselves.  Individuals and groups engage in sensemaking and sensegiving activities as a way of reinforcing, reinventing or renegotiating identities.  Narratives are a mechanism through which this identity shaping process is revealed and hold clues about what is going on within the organization as individuals construct, interpret, and act within their...
  6. Daniel Wilson

    Towards Collective Mindfulness – Michael Pirson

    The world is full on complex problems, ranging from global warming to economic disparities, to ongoing ethnic conflicts. Michael reminded us that mindfulness approaches involve contemplative action, restoring harmony, and questioning status quo. Mindlessness approaches are easier and involves apathy and actionism, questioning harmony and resorting status quo.
  7. Daniel Wilson

    Insights from Interactions: How do teams manage complexity? with Mary Waller

    Mary has studied what makes teams effective in a variety of dynamic contexts, such as flight crews, nuclear power plant engineers, hospital trauma teams, fire-fighting teams and emergency crisis teams. In her studies of interaction patterns she has identified some key lessons for leaders to keep in mind:   Setting the tone: interaction patterns emerge quickly and solidify.  Initial patterns of interactions influence the subsequent effectiveness during dynamism.  Teams that had reciprocal, balanced and consistent interaction patterns performed better in highly adaptive situations. In the thick of it: when teams face ambiguity, uncertainty, and incomplete data effective teams accept ambiguity...
  8. Daniel Wilson

    “Experiencing emergence, emerging experience” – Donald MacLean

    Every emergent system, whether it be musical improv or dance, has a discipline. The discipline is critically important, it defines the process of how we craft our plan for interaction, the reality of the activity, how we experiment, and then how we make sense of that experimentation. We felt this in our opening activity! Along the we each person receives feedback. Negative feedback is information that drives a system back to a predetermined state. Positive feedback drives a system forward, away from predetermined states. In many ways this is how we manage the emergence.

Harvard Graduate School of Education