Individual LearningPosted: July 6, 2010
Theres an interesting post about learning in the organization by Gautam Ghosh, based on some interesting ideas coming from Devdutt Pattanaik. Some of these are quite important to understand, i think. To begin with, i completely agree that its important that the organization look at processes that enable the sharing of learnings across the organization, and that the organization understand that the organization cannot grow without the sharing of learnings from one generation to another. Human civilization has grown from this paradigm. As Sir Isaac Newton said:
If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.
And this paradigm applies equally to organization development and growth. This is why it is important that the organization look at creating processes which facilitate this, but at the same time, the organization also provides a shared context within which learning can happen, and creating a context which is conducive to effective knowledge sharing is important. Why i say effective is because learning would happen even if the organization doesnt do anything. We all learn something every day, even if we are not trying to.
Coming to the fishing example, i think there is something which we need to understand a little more. I feel that there could be another way of looking at this. What is important is that we understand which way of catching fish is the right one for each person. What may be good for you, may not be for the next person, or for the person next to him. What this means is that each of us are wired different from each other, and so, we need to find out which is the right one for each one. And this is where i feel the idea of internalization comes into the picture. Each individual learns in a different way. The same experience may be internalized by different people in different ways. To begin with, the same experience would be seen by different people in different ways. And since they would be seen differently, they would be internalized in different ways, which means that not only is the impression they take away from the experience different, the conclusions they may come up with could also be different. This, i feel, is a function of the image of the world these people have formed from their lifetime of experiences.
The learning experience in the organization is that the learning framework must allow for these differences between individuals, and should be able to deliver levels of learning meeting the requirements of the organization in this kind of scenario. And this, i feel, is what is meant by relevant learning. Relevant here isnt just that the content should be relevant to the needs of the learner, but it also means that the learning methodology should meet the learning style of the learner.