Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012 - (Page 7)

At the eDItor’s Desk | Phyllis wright learning Begins at the moment we choose to looK for Better solutions leveraging goal-setting & feedBacK T he term “learning organization” is a familiar term in the vocabulary of learning and development professionals and has become a common goal for businesses. So what does it mean? Peter Senge popularized the term and proposed that there are five disciplines that a learning organization exhibits: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning. Matthias Finger and Silvia Bűrgin Brand argued that individual and collective learning processes at all levels of the organization should connect to the accomplishment of the organization’s strategic objectives. These are worthy and big concepts. Given these definitions, the question is how can professionals in the field of learning and organization development ensure that these concepts become practices? There are many right answers. Yet it is my experience that what gets implemented must address the needs of the organization and be a part of what people do every day. It should not be considered “additional work.” Further, the needs are dictated by the organization’s internal and external business environment. A move to implement any practice, program or process without understanding the organizations’ context is a move toward failure. A review of the literature on business process improvement provides sufficient evidence for this argument. Among the right answers, if implemented effectively, is leveraging the organization’s performance management system. Specifically, leveraging the goal-setting and continuous feedback components of this process provides great promise as a means of creating a learning organization. Why attend to goal-setting and feedback processes? Edwin Locke and Gary Latham wrote, “What gets measured in relation to goals gets done.” What gets done, according to Peter Drucker should be the result of management coordination of the collective efforts of employees in the same direction and in a manner that allows employee contributions to fit together without gaps, without friction and without duplication of effort. Consequently, it can be argued that goal-setting, strategy, learning and the creation of value are linked. Robert Grant wrote, “If strategy and the goals of the firm are interdependent then a mistake in strategic thinking can lead to a mistake in goals established for the firm.” We only need to look at the business failures of the 2008 economic meltdown to learn more. What were the learning agility challenges of these organizations? There were likely many. Yet, we know according to Grant that agility challenges occur as a result This Issue’s Guest Editor Phyllis Wright is vice president of human resources over the talent and organization development function at Baylor health Care system in Dallas, texas. Baylor is the third largest employer in the DFw area. Phyllis wright has 28 years of experience in human resource management, including leadership of strategic talent and organization development initiatives. email Phyllis. Know someone who’d make an outstanding guest editor? Interested in becoming one yourself? Contact us at editor@trainingindustry.com. of behavioral and cognitive factors. Grant included among these factors rigidity relative to core capabilities, social pattern disruptions, perceptions of threats to power and complex configurations between strategy, structure, systems, culture and employee skills. There is also a tendency to lock into common structures and strategies and to prefer the known over a search for new opportunities. As humans, these tendencies are reinforced by our limited capacity to process information and our inclination to stop our search for better solutions when we are satisfied with our performance. Learning begins at the moment we choose to look for better solutions. Given the chaotic and complex environments that leaders must manage and the agility required to respond to our environments, Margaret Wheatley proposed that we must also learn to provide greater access to and reduce controls that restrict flow of information to all organizational levels because despite these restrictions employees will act to carry out their work. Giving information to them helps them to make better decisions and bolsters their personal accountability. In addition, we as leaders learn from them. Learning is about knowing the right questions to ask and of whom and when to ask those questions. Learning is an outcome of taking responsibility and accountability. Leveraging goal-setting/ cascading is not the work of those who are faint-hearted. It is not easy and requires leadership … strong and effective leadership. It requires continual learning. This learning is a journey of many steps with timely, intentional and strategically appropriate sprints interspersed along the way. 7 Training Industry Quarterly, Spring 2012 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ http://www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012

From Where I Sit: Training in Alignment
Table of Contents
Ad Index
Guest Editor: Leveraging Goal-Setting & Feedback
Learning at the Speed of Business
The Dark Side of Digital
Closing the Generation Gap Between Leaders
Tomorrow's Learning: Blended & Just-In-Time
Assessing Learning and Performance
The Science of Engagement
Engaging Senior Leaders in the Learning and Development Process
Six Critical Measurement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The Difference Makers: Identifying and Hiring the Right People
Casebook: DTCC Learning: Developing a Training Digital Nervous System
Leadership Competencies: Delivering Results
Tweet Suite
Company News
Closing Arguments: Measure For Measure

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012

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