Learning communities: aligning learning circles

Learning communities: aligning learning circles

Learning communities and multi-system collaborative initiatives are quite common at both social and business environment. For the last three years, at the Global Association of SOL Communities (GASC), we have been organising a European Learning Journey and Conference. In this post, I explore resistances appearing at this sort of community learning process.

The three learning circles

The first hypothesis sets there are three relevant learning circles in this form of community learning journey:

 

  1. Co-creation: People involved at this stage can learn from virtual meetings, experiences, previous debriefings, books and articles shared among members. All the valuable information is stored in shared folders on the Drive.
  2. Co-facilitation: Because there is not enough space for all co-creators to play a visible facilitator role, some co-creators have to collaborate as a shadow facilitator. The conference enables regular debriefings between visible and shadow facilitators.
  3. Co-dissemination: These are either members of learning networks (ex.: SOL community members) and participants attending to the conference.

Aligning learning circles

The second hypothesis sets that we should pay attention to potential imbalances among the three learning circles:

  1. Imbalance among co-creators: some co-creators believe they can influence on colleagues much more than colleagues can influence on them; some co-creators show uneven energy and commitment throughout the co-creation process, which usually last for few months; as the conference deadline approaches, co-creators become more sensitive to the agenda than to the learning process; finally, quite often co-creators sell their approach as one man shop, loosing the collaborative vision of the journey.
  2. Imbalance between visible and shadow facilitators: visible facilitators get more credit from participants than shadow ones; both visible and shadow facilitators get more credit for the learning journey than participants, however the latter play a relevant role during the learning journey; facilitators tend to believe the learning process ends up with the feedback process.
  3. Imbalance between circles 1, 2 and 3: the success of the conference is too much credited to visible facilitators and not enough to participants; also, co-creators and facilitators leave the conference very enthusiastic but there is little follow up of the co-dissemination process.

cre100do: tercer evento anual

cre100do

Cre100do es un programa-país, puesto en marcha por la Fundación Innovación Bankinter, ICEX y el Círculo de Empresarios, dirigido a empresas del middle market que tienen gran potencial de crecimiento.

Durante 5 años, acompañará a 100 empresas españolas del middle market en su ruta para HACERSE GRANDES abriendo el camino a muchas otras. Cre100do tiene como vocación desarrollar un marco de referencia para el crecimiento de las empresas que beneficie al país, difundiendo conceptos y prácticas empresariales de alto impact

Evento Anual

Por tercer año consecutivo Cre100do celebra su Evento Anual en el que se abordarán tres temas que se han trabajado con las empresas participantes a lo largo del año y se presentarán las 20 empresas que se incorporan al programa.

Los temas que se van a abordar forman parte de la Agenda del CEO, documento que recoge la base del marco conceptual de Cre100do, y son aquellos que más impacto han tenido para las empresas que ya participan en el programa:

  • La revolución tecnológica lo ha transformado todo. En un mundo VUCA las empresas deben anticipar los cambios y detectar las oportunidades que éstos implican.
  • Los ecosistemas son el nuevo escenario de relación. Las empresas deben potenciar su ecosistema a través de alianzas, joint ventures y adquisiciones y aprovechar así al máximo sus ventanas de oportunidad
  • Las organizaciones tienen que prepararse para el nuevo escenario realizando una transformación organizativa que impulse la gestión eficiente de la empresa y de las actividades de su ecosistema.

Las empresas Cre100do ya están repensando su Agenda del CEO.

Communities in Collaborative Leadership

Communities in Collaborative Leadership

communities

If client experience is part of your brand promise, then learning communities might be relevant collaborative leadership containers to deliver your brand promise to clients. Both client experience and brand promise are strongly connected to improve people agency. What questions shall we address to inter-connect these three circles? (see above).

How do we incorporate clients voice internally? What collaborative technology shall we use to improve people agility and agency? What client-centered conversations are relevant? Do people need to learn collaborative leadership approaches in order to align individual skills and collective capabilities to brand promise? How do we balance between thinking, talking and doing? What transformation should happen at power organizational pillar in order to improve people agency? As organization, can we live in a sort of free-style liberated mode? How could we use the 6PM to set an organizational container?

Collaborative leadership, the main focus of our workshop taking place in Paris November 8 and 9, 2016. For more information or to register visit: https://www.weezevent.com/collaborative-leadership

Building the Body of a Collaborative Leader

Building the body of a collaborative leader

Millions of words have been written about leadership. Some absolutely stellar authors have broadened our thinking and gifted us with brilliant insights on the topic. The lion’s share of the literature on leadership focuses on the individual as leader. Leadership as a collective art form is not as widely written about. A growing segment of leadership studies is focusing on what is often termed “presence”, which explores how an individual can embody leadership in ways that cause people to automatically respond, usually at an unconscious level, to their message. Leaders with a high degree of presence generally exude a grounded sense of confidence that engenders trust – which is foundational for collaborative leadership. Collaborative leadership is concerned with both embodied presence and the kinds of collective processes that lead to higher functioning teams.

The role of language

In collaborative leadership, both individual presence and collective processes are closely tied to understanding the role of language, or more properly “languaging.” Languaging is a term coined by Chilean biologist Humberto Maturana referring to the active nature of observing, listening, speaking, gesturing, interpreting and creating knowledge that is inherent in our use of language.

Maturana posits that people live in language and that language is what gives rise to rationality. However, he also points out that “Every rational system is formed with premises based on emotions, not reason… All rational systems are formed with premises accepted from desires, likings, and preferences; from emotion… What guides our living are emotions, likings, preferences, fears. Where we orient ourselves in our living depends in what interest us, what we like, what we fear, what we reject. And based on that we make explanatory rational systems trying to give it form or (create) a logical argument to what we do.” (emphasis added.) [From a transcript of a radio interview given by Maturana in 2013.]

The role of emotions

This idea, that all rational systems are based on emotions goes against the grain of many core tenants in the world of traditional leadership. A world where numerous attempts are made to appeal to people’s reason in the mistaken belief that reason will trump emotion. Shifting our stance to recognize the primacy of emotions over rationality brings us to the domain of the body, or soma as the Greeks termed it. Soma and somatic refer not simply to the flesh and bones of our bodies, but to the exquisite, innate living intelligences inherent in our bodies. Millions of years of evolution have imbued us with multiple intelligences far too often overlooked in the world of business. Were he alive to witness it, René Descartes would be greatly chagrined to see how modern neuroscience is demonstrating that the mind and body are not separate, but function as an unbroken and integral whole.

Ask yourself, what is it that lets us know instantly when we walk into a room who we are drawn to speak with and whom we want to steer clear of? How is it that we intuitively recognize people we can trust and those who make us uneasy? These intuitions are not the product of “rational” processes; they are the work of multiple somatic intelligences. Nearly everyone I’ve ever spoken to about this topic has stories of ignoring their “gut” when making a decision where all the reasons lined up but something just didn’t quite “feel” right and they later came to regret their course of action.

Notice the vocabulary here. We think with our heads and we feel with our guts. Most of us live inside cultures where enormous value is placed on our cognitive abilities, and emotions are marginalized – thought of as distractions at best and hindrances to be avoided at worst. But if we pay close attention we will discover that we make decisions based on emotions first and then seamlessly move into creating reasons (rationalizations) for why we are choosing our path of action, tricking ourselves in the process into thinking that it is our reason that is guiding our choices.

Collaborative leadership is body-centric

It begins with recognizing that the ability to calm our bodies down and keep our emotions positive is at the core of being able to engage with people in ways that make them want to join in any kind of collaborative effort. Creating the conditions where people feel safe to express divergent perspectives, and feel appreciated for gifts and talents is a prerequisite for collaboration. The minute we engender either fear or defensive behaviors we effectively shut down the learning process. And learning lies at the heart of collaboration and leadership. Without learning we stand still in a rapidly changing world, a recipe for disaster.

Collaborative leadership, the main focus of our workshop taking place in Paris November 8 and 9, 2016. For more information or to register visit: https://www.weezevent.com/collaborative-leadership