When building the Socially Dynamic Organisation, we must ensure we have clarity on three spaces, and the respective leadership and individual behaviours to make them effective. Learning spaces, Rehearsal spaces, and Performance ones. Learning as an act of curiosity and disturbance, Rehearsal as a space for ‘sense making’, to prototype, and build new vocabulary, and Performance as a space of higher consequence, to find excellence.
Naturally i recognise that this language is an abstraction (but i helpful one i hope): part of learning is rehearsal, in rehearsal we learn, and through performance we learn, and so on. But viewing our day to day activity through one frame, instead of three, can lead to individual spaces being stretched or swamped, ignored, or neglected. How much space does your Organisation offer to truly learn: not simply the learning we impose upon people, but the spaces where their curiosity takes them? And how much of that space is supported by Rehearsal and prototype opportunities and support?
That language (the language of Rehearsal) builds largely out of my recent work around Learning Science, and the importance of ‘sense making’ behaviours (taking what you are told, and uncovering the socially imbued ‘meaning’ that is hidden within it). Essentially this is about the Organisational structures, and collaborative behaviours, which can support the transition from abstract knowledge through to practical application, and then the subsequent loops from the ‘experience’ of Performance, back through to create disturbance for further learning. Much of this is native and natural, but equally much of it can be better choreographed and supported.
I’m embedding this work in the notion of the Socially Dynamic Organisation, as an Organisation that is able to provide and support each of these spaces effectively. And through an understanding of the importance and operation of each, is able to use a language around Learning, Rehearsal, and Performance in it’s everyday leadership behaviour.
With this language, we can start to consider the relationship between each space, and which components are structural (resources, spaces, opportunity), and which are behavioural (leadership, consequence, curiosity, feedback etc).
Tomorrow i will explore some specific traits of each space, but for now, perhaps consider the flow: in the abstract, Learning constructs a frame to explore and Rehearse within, whilst Rehearsal builds out a practitioners vocabulary, and allows us to prototype approaches and behaviours, whilst Performance identifies future learning, and provokes our curiosity.
Part of what we must do in the design and execution of the Socially Dynamic Organisation is to nurture this and part is to get out of the way of it. So partly a matter of Organisational Design and practice, and partly a matter of leadership mindset and behaviour.