To be curious is to inquisitive as to what lies beyond the horizon of our own ignorance and understanding. It’s a primary driver of human nature, a strong motivator into action, and gets us in equal measure into hot water or cold. As we seek to unlock (or unblock) curiosity within our Organisations, we should be aware of what fosters it, where it sits, what it provokes, and where the consequences may take us.
I’ve been working with a diverse group of Learning professionals in Madrid today, exploring the Social Age and the ways in which learning has evolved. I sketched this up with a small group, to capture the narrative of ‘what learning is about in the Social Age’ and share it now, not really as a finished or polished framework, but rather in the spirit of #WorkingOutLoud.
When the banks collapsed in the last financial crisis, there was a phrase bandied about, that some were ‘too big to fail’. This week i’ve been pondering something of the opposite: are some organisations ‘too big to succeed’. I’m not thinking specifically of their headcount, their geographical spread, or the physical weight of their buildings, but rather more the radical complexity of their networks, the unknowable nature of their knowledge, and the sheer inertia of their formal hierarchies. Possibly good organisations, probably doing good work, but ultimately doomed to fail through their inability to understand their true dynamics.
The idea that Social Learning is somehow separate from other types of learning is a misnomer. For me, it represents simply the ownership of, and engagement, with the learning story. ‘Formal Learning’ is a story written by the organisation, and distributed to people: it’s ideal where you need consistency, conformity, where you are trying to build a codified strength, but it lack the context of practice, of local understanding, and often has no space for individual interpretation.
Social Leadership is a style fit for the Social Age: it’s about building social authority, reputation based leadership that is consensual by the community. It’s complimentary to formal leadership but vital at a time when formal authority delivers a diminished return.
In this podcast Julian talks about the Six Tenets that any Social Leader will adhere to: These are: Be Curious, Try-Learn-Try, Share, Be Humble, Tell Stories, Be Fair and Protect.