I’m the guest on an upcoming episode of The Good Practice podcast on the topic of Learning Culture. The discussion is being recorded tonight. I’ve long been a fan of this podcast, so am delighted to be invited to be a guest. I’m conscious that the episodes are around 20-30 minutes and include a ‘what I’ve learned this week’ segment. This means that the discussion is relatively short, so I wanted to get my thoughts together in order to ensure that I can contribute concise, clear points that people will hopefully find thought-provoking and valuable.
Step 1 – Figure out what I already thought and knew
I started preparation about a week ago. My first step was to figure out what I already knew and thought about the topic. To do this I simply started writing short declarative statements and jotting down examples in longhand. Before long I had three pages of notes.
I proceeded to organise my thoughts using a mind map, which quickly gave me:
- a potential structure for the discussion (What, Why, Who, How) – turns out the guys at Good Practice liked this structure and we’ll use it as a start point in our discussion
- a list of examples and stories I could use
- a list of sources for further reading to round out and update my thinking
I transcribed and organised my notes into the new discussion structure in Evernote and shared this with the podcast organiser.
Step 2 – Additional Reading
The sources I found most helpful were:
10 Principles of Organisational Culture, a post by Jon Katzenbach, Carolin Oelschlegel and James Thomas – this post helped me refine and simplify my definition of what culture is. I also found the idea that behaviour leads mindset resonated with my experience and helps to explain why values based ‘campaigns’ that don’t align with the way things get done tend to create cynicism rather than change.
The Transformation Curve, Towards Maturity’s 2018 global learning benchmark report. This report marks a shift in Towards Maturity’s ongoing research of what top performing Learning and Development teams do differently to provide a four stage maturity model as organisations move from optimising training to shared responsibility for learning. Their analysis helps identify the characteristics of a culture that promotes learning.
Driving the New Learning Organisation. In this article and paper Towards Maturity identify six characteristics of the new learning organisation, where learning is a mutual responsibility.
Step 3 – Final Talking Points
I created a new document and made a dot point summary of the key talking points, stories and recommended sources for further reading in each section of the discussion . I won’t share that here so I don’t spoil the podcast episode. Also, I’ve been warned that the podcast discussion could be quite tangential. It will be interesting to compare the final product to my talking points.
Bonus Step – Blog Post Outline
Regardless of what happens in the discussion, my preparation has helped me to clarify my thinking on learning culture and supplement it with current research. I’ve prepared an outline of a blog post intended to inform and influence business leaders to step up in their role of building an organisation culture that promotes learning.
I’m not sure when the podcast episode will go to air – I shall be sure to write and tweet an update on this when it is live.