Ideally, when lots of people are doing similar things, we would be able to learn from each others experiences and adapt the learning to our local contexts.
In practice this can be quite hard, for a number of reasons, including :
- we can be busy people who rush on to the next thing, before we have had a chance to learn from the last
- we don't necessarily appreciate how useful what we have learnt might be to other people
- we don't have the mechanisms for capturing our learning in a way that is accessible to other people
- we don't use the mechanisms we do have as well as we might
To be really smart as we go forward on our big mission of changing the world, we need to steadily improve the ways we learn together.
One well established mechanism (started by the US Military, but there you go ...) is 'After Action Reviews' - see the following link :
These can be particularly good on group projects to help everyone appreciate that each person has actually learnt different things from what appeared to be the same experience - to begin with these could be used as a format for a blog entry just to get something down.
Where a group of people are working in different places on similar things, then a regular structure for comparing learning and providing mutual support makes sense - Davie and myself can talk more about the model of 'action learning sets' for anyone who is interested.
On another network I am involved in, a number of people have taken to using their webcams and just doing 2/3 minute video blogs of what they got from a particular project, which establishes for other people if they are someone you would like to talk further with.
We need to find our own ways that suit us and what we are trying to do, but part of this should be based on what has worked well in other contexts.
Anyone got any other ideas ?
I'd like to think that the bigger projects that have lots of learning in could at least begin doing AAR's or something similar and maybe even feed into learning events for wider groups of interested people.
In the long run - this is one of the things that will make a big difference