Many moons ago, I wrote about a personal quest. Recognizing that what I was doing is making people smarter ‘in the moment’, I looked for a stretch goal. That was making people wiser over time. The question, how is that working? Have I been putting wisdom into practice?
First, let me state for the record that I’m not claiming to be a wise person. It’s an aspiration, not a status ;). Moreover, I know my flaws all too well. Instead, I’m talking about what might be wise behavior, and how I might be helping.
As the broader picture, I’m talking about working ‘wiser‘. I’ll suggest it’s about better aligning with how our brains think, work, and learn. It’s also about being explicit about what values we’re invoking in making our decisions.
I do espouse this, but I realize that, in practice, I’m doing something else. I’m working to help us, the L&D community, be wiser. That includes being wise in our decisions, and in our designs as well. This manifests in several ways.
For one, it is about helping educate about learning science, and how it should be the foundation for what we do. We should create designs that reflect about what’s known to support effective learning. We also need design processes that deliver on this. This goes beyond just learning design, of course, and it should go into our performance support (e.g. job aid) design, task design, and informal learning as well.
In a broader sense, it’s also about values. What do we care about? We should, first, care about creating an environment where people can not just survive, but thrive. It’s also about being scientific. That includes measuring what we’re doing. Going further, it’s also about being strategic, such as recognizing the opportunity to move beyond optimal execution, and look to facilitating formal and informal learning.
I think making people wiser over time is an interesting challenge to think about how we might stretch what we do. However, I’m thinking that helping us all be wiser in how we approach our tasks and roles is really what I’m here to do, pragmatically. I guess that’s how I’m putting wisdom into practice. What more could and should I, or we, be doing?