Monday, 19 September 2011

Taking note...

Taking notes

I've been promising myself and others that I would commit some time to writing a blog about management learning.  For a while now I've been making notes - lots of them - about things I've been reading or observed in a somewhat chaotic manner - clips from newspapers, handwritten notes in various notebooks, scribbled notes in the margins of books and articles and Word documents.  Donald Clark, through his 'Plan B' blog, pointed me in the direction of Evernote and it has really helped pull my note taking together into one place.  There is still a fair bit of catching up to do but things are heading in the right direction.

Learning in Practice

I'm interested in the notion of learning in practice.  This is partly about learning through doing since this seems to be where most of our learning is taking place.  Even though this practical, practice based idea of learning makes sense to me I'm also a bit cautious about giving something a label because of the risk of me, and others, trying to generalise by putting learning in practice into a box, alongside other notions like action learning, coaching and so on.  It's as if that, by so labelling, the concepts have boundaries that both contain but also gloss over the fine-grained details of what is being done and how, what's being experienced and what is it that there is to be learned about in any given setting. 

So, first and foremost, my interest is in placing everyday practice centre stage so that it can then be treated as a source of knowledge and reflection that's as valuable in its own right as formal knowledge that's taught in business schools or published in books and articles.

Themes of interest

I'm thinking and note taking about several things at the moment.  Briefly these are:

Self Managed Action Learning - action learning sets without a facilitator.  I rather like Revans challenge that learning sets should be self managed.  Current practice tends to rely on a facilitator being present.  Why?  What's being taken for granted by their presence?

Social media - by and large this is a personal phenomenom and it has little traction in corporate learning.  There is a social media of sorts that's being organised through open source tools like Moodle but, in my view, the interactivity of these is still quite limited and usually come with strong corporate branding and an authorised spoon-feeding of content.  Whose decides what's in and out?  How do we encourage people to follow their own learning interests?

There are several others that I will comment on later.  At this stage, I just want to set the scene of what's interesting me and to make a start in the blogosphere.

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