Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

16 February 2008

Future Strategy

Clark @ 2:47 PM

Jay Cross has started talking about a rethink on what ‘management’ is about. He’s spot on that focusing on execution is not sufficient, and it’s got to be about “giving everyone a voice, experiment often, power comes from below, communities are self-defining, decisions are peer-based, and just about everything is decentralized”. I think it’s fair to say that ‘administering’ business (hence the MBA) isn’t the way forward.

He then goes on to talk about the implications for training departments. His take is that “ISD lacks the framework to invent non-learning solutions. Meta-learning and flexible infrastructure are becoming more important than individual topics.” I’m a fan of meta-learning, and what he then talks about is really filling what Jay calls the ‘learnscape’, with opportunities to learn, to collaborate, and more. It’s not the LMS (see Will Thalheimer’s recent piece), it’s a whole suite of resources, channels, and more.

On ITFORUM, George Siemens just concluded a discussion about his connectivist model of learning, and how the networks are in our head and external, and that learning will be building and exploiting those networks external to augment what we know to solve new problems. Our notion of ID will be much broader than course design if it’s to succeed; we have to be about supporting people through their own learning. I was thinking the ‘training’ department of today will need to be the ‘learning partner’ of tomorrow, helping others develop resources, mentoring discussions, finding new tools.

That’s what I’m trying to help organizations do: see the bigger picture, take responsibility for the full performance ecosystem, and move to a more enlightened approach to learning and, consequently, business. It’s not only doable, it’s really the only option, don’t you think?


  1. I think Hamel again wrote an interesting piece, but it is somewhat shortsighted to say that administring the business isn’t the way foreward. Of course it is not the way to generate competitive advantage and breakthrough innovations and many companies are too obsessed with management control, but some degree of administration is vital for business succes. Besides traditional management approaches a good MBA will provide you with new management insights like the ideas of Hamel and others. It is all about the right balance in my opinion, but probably a stronger voice in this directions is more appealing to blog readers ;-). I fully agree that it is worthwhile to implement concepts like learning ecosystems and connectivism. Let all Learnscape Architects take the responsibility to make this happen … They missed it when Senge promoted the Learning Organisation in the 90’s.

    Comment by Daan Assen — 19 February 2008 @ 10:45 AM

  2. You’re right that there is still a need for execution, but I think many folks are still underestimating the need for innovation and problem-solving (hence the emphasis ;).

    Comment by Clark — 21 February 2008 @ 4:18 AM

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