Just back from a great music festival organised by one of my best friends. Lots of great bands, friends, music and a lovely site on a farm in Dorset (http://www.purbeckfolk.co.uk/). All in all, great fun, but quite an epic task of organisation. I mean, where you even start?
Well, organising a festival is much like climbing a mountain (bear with me), in that you have to take a lot of small steps to get to the top. And it’s quite likely that you’ll stumble on the way. It’s one of those learning tasks, like plastering or juggling, where practice makes perfect, and there is no short cut to success. Indeed, it’s like the learning journey that the musicians take, where you have to learn to be good on stage. You need to hone your craft.
Much learning is experiential, where you try something, get feedback, refine your actions and so on. It’s a progressive exercise where the mistakes are part of the learning, and it’s not something that you can learn from a book. Sure, you can learn an approach, a process or a structure, but ultimately that will only get you so far: ultimately, you need to start taking action and making mistakes.
Within learning solutions, we often judge people by the measure that the fewer mistakes they make, the better, but this isn’t always true in real life. Sometimes you need to make a lot of mistakes to get good. You need to take risks. We need to think how we can reflect this in the learning methodology that we employ, in the solutions that we design.