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Build corporate culture with training and social learning

Build corporate culture with training and social learning

From an analytical perspective, learning seems to fall into the ‘dark art syndrome’ – and the way to convince the ‘non-believers’ is to build a business case with an ROI. 

Explore the bottom-line cost, list the benefits and postulate on the top-line potential. In the past, I have even attempted to write an article and list those aspects which, if successfully measured, could be considered a ROI.

However, I now believe that the real perspective lives in much darker places, in the bowels of an organisation where the ingredients of the business culture lie in a Petri dish, awaiting the right catalyst to make something new.

We could look at the last few years, or even the present success of organisations like Google and Apple, and reason that it’s their culture that makes them successful. If that’s the case, they clearly had the right ingredients in the dish at the outset and made some magic grow pretty quickly. If your organisation has been running for many years and the culture, or lack of it, is your current issue, start looking at your ‘Petri dish’ – it might be that something is off.

Let’s look back at the Google experience and wonder how they grew with the right people, doing the right thing, so quickly. They even had a reputation for asking stupid questions at interviews – how could that work? 

Imagine if they wanted people who were indoctrinated with an attitude of, ‘this must be, or this is the answer’, instead one of, ‘I’m prepared to engage with the questions and even though I don’t have an answer, I’m prepared to investigate and find an answer, then we both have some new information.’ 

Just wonder for a moment if they couldn't find enough people with an ‘investigate, query, challenge’ mentality – would that grow a different culture?

How learning and development can impact culture

Let’s look at some of the learning potential that exists now and how it could be used to create a different corporate model. Bear with me while I make a prediction about your business. If you have an organisation of 500 or more people – professional, talented and of differing periods of service and knowledge – I’m prepared to bet that, right now, you have at least 10 people sitting at their place of work thinking: ‘I have a new idea that could make this better or improve the process’. 

My second bet is that they are also thinking: ‘But who could I tell?’ Failure to discuss, share, investigate, collaborate and explore new ways turns good ideas bad. The outcome is a loss of will to question further and a harbouring of negative feelings towards an organisation that’s ‘not listening’.

Learning, sharing and collaboration won’t happen, and will not work for you, if learning and development is delivered and expected to be used as corporate indoctrination: ‘This is how you…'

To improve the odds a little, you can utilise all the current tools of 70:20:10 learning content delivery, microlearning, social learning and video-based learning, to initiate a culture of ‘consider, think of new ways’ and one of an ‘idea and share culture’, shared with colleagues using social learning tools – peer reviewed and adopted if it resonates, as a fresh way to do X or Y. 

Take the fear out of new ways and ideas, creating an innovative team working on the minutiae of ideas and improvements, all of which may change the ingredients in the Petri dish.

You may be surprised at what develops. Culture grows from the bottom up and, once established, occupies the top.

Let smart people discover, engage, develop and do smart things.


Guest blog by John Driscoll

This is a guest post by John Driscoll from Agylis ANZ, an official Agylia partner in Australia and New Zealand. John regularly writes about learning technologies and practices via his LinkedIn articles

Author: John Driscoll

This article was published by John Driscoll on 05.12.2018. John is founder of Agylis ANZ, an Agylia Official Partner in Australia and New Zealand. John works with corporate, government and educational organisations to modernise their learning experiences.

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