Developing new processes
Sometimes work in a client organisation identifies a developmental need where no obvious solution exists. In these cases a way forward is to work with the organisation to discover a way to meet the need by working from first principles. Three examples follow.
I have published some work on accelerating learning. This helps people (re)‑experience and recover the positive attitudes, atmosphere and processes that children and early learners use. The methods appear effective but need a full trial.
Developing Intercultural Understanding
A global manufacturing company has plants across Europe and Eastern Europe, including Russia. People from many different countries and cultures work together. The European Employee Development Director, the Learning and Development Manager and I have worked together to create a workshop design that the Director has run successfully to increase intercultural understanding. The key exercise is an activity to help people appreciate the strengths of their own and other people’s cultures. This helps people want to actively help each other.
A company was growing very fast and demands on its engineers were increasing. The age profile showed large numbers of trained, but not very experienced, engineers. There were small numbers of highly experienced engineers but none in the middle. The company’s customers required the skills, competence and confidence of experienced engineers now.
The problem was “How to transfer experience from the experienced to the less experienced?”.
By thinking about what experience was and trying out experience transfer ourselves we developed an approach that worked well. We concluded that people contacted their experience through a limited set of key ideas. A less experienced person has an incomplete or partially erroneous set of these ideas. If that person could receive, with understanding and context, the key ideas of the more experienced then this would speed up their gaining of useful experience
This approach required high trust and connection between the parties, lots of time, excellent communication skills and a culture that supported the process.