A Sketch on Learning Leadership

Coming back from two weeks holiday, i wanted to jump back into writing with a perfectly formed idea: instead, i have only this. A sketch so imperfect that i am loathe to share it. It’s a sketch of a learning leader, which tries, unfairly or not, to draw out some of the tensions that may exist within us (personally), or culturally/organisationally (ecosystem). I’ve focussed on four aspects: knowledge, capability, curiosity, and adaptability.

Knowledge is about the things we already know: essentially is means us, up to this point in time. All our learning, experience, imperfections and all. It may go without saying that today i generally believe that i am the best ‘me’ i can be, but when i look back in five years time, i will see naivety and laughable ignorance. Knowledge is both my current state and prison, until curiosity, need or pain breaks me free.

Capability sits alongside this: dependent upon what i know, i frame a perspective on what i need to do: i either learn that myself or, in an organisational context, established partner or vendor relationships to gain access to it. These first two components take place in a rather static space: what i know that i need to do, and my direct or rented capability to do it.

Curiosity is a catch all phrase for the space i explore beyond the edges of my own ignorance: so even in our spaces of certain knowledge we tend to see curiosity at the edges. Although it’s worth noting that curiosity per se is not an answer, but rather an expression of the limits of our current context. E.g just because i can see an aeroplane in the sky does not mean i can fly.

Adaptability is another byword, in this case for change, or the things we need to change, electively or by imposition. Also, our actual ability to change.

These bottom two factors – curiosity and adaptability are both limited – by our imagination and context, culture and insight. As well as a host of other factors. These things are easy to talk about, harder to actually achieve.

The sketched internal frame indicates that we may find comfort, risk, pain or reassurance in different sectors, which may drive our behaviours. Perhaps this sketch is different for each of us.

Anyway: as i say, an imperfect sketch. You may note that in my work around learning over the last six months i have slipped between spidergrams, illustrations, and flowcharts, all as part of an overriding rework or rephrasing of some of my core ideas and work on learning theory and design in a modern applied context. Unfortunately (for me, from a pride perspective, and any readers, from an experience one) this work is still fragmentary. Next up i will aim to draw in some of the newer disciplines and areas of focus: aspects such as data and analytics, organisational design in a more fluid world, measurement, complexity, and further questions around social collaboration and the new nature of knowledge. Hold on tight as it may get more untidy before i find a path.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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1 Response to A Sketch on Learning Leadership

  1. Pingback: Broad Shifts in Organisational Learning – #3 Through The Cracks | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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