Re: Supervisory training LO1950

Mulligan, Margie (MMulligan@OS.Varian.COM)
Wed, 05 Jul 95 15:56:00 PDT

Replying to LO1917 --

After 13 years in the university environment and 15 years in corporations,
part of that time training, I can't honestly recommend that you start with
training, except as "orientation". It is an instrumental method...and it
is contrary to the Bohmian principles espoused in the dialogue literature.
It definitely has its place as a method to gain specific skills, but I
believe we must be careful about the message we send. If we want people
to take responsibility and control of their own learning, the learning
situation will have to model that behavior. Depending on how the training
is designed, it can empower or dis-empower people.

It seems to me that "assuming training is the first step" may be based on
the conclusion that "wisdom lies in the teacher" as opposed to the
organization . Although my first instinct, based on many years of
experience, was to set up a training session, I now wonder if that is the
most effective model after some pretty intriguing experiments over the
last few years.

I'd like to explore another model that we are using among the
manufacturing supervisors/coaches (~20 of them are in transition from a
traditional supervisory role to the role of a coach) and managers (~35
total management team). We have created a number of teams to provide a
learning environment and for moral support: * top mfg. management (8
mgrs), predominantly mentors/coaches to teams * mfg. supervisors team (20
supv.) * consulting/breakthrough team (10 proven breakthrough thinkers who
may not be in management) * process improvement teams (short term and long

Each team has a different role, and each is encouraged to seek the
resources they feel they need to develop their skills. Some base line
resources are:

*_ Learning Organization: Field Manual_, Senge, et. al.
*_Learning Organization:Developing Cultures for Tomorrow's Workplace_,
Chawla & Renech, ed.
*DDIs Empowered Teams series (coaches are available to help them determine
if/when the training would serve them)
* "Systems Thinker" by Pegasus
* articles from every possible professional magazine (HBR, EMR, AME, etc.)
* coaching or mentoring from anyone in the management group

Host's Note: I'm pretty sure the first ref is "The Fifth Discipline
Fieldbook" by Senge, et al.

[One sidebar: One of these teams initiated a learning laboratory on the
wall of the final test area where the generic process map is posted (for
all operations), and other teams and work units have posted their
processes, building the customer value stream: main processes,
sub-processes and support processes. This has prompted a great deal of
discussion, rework and improvements of the process flow. ]

Making a large number of books and articles available to the teams seems
to give them the ability to determine what and when they learn, so they
can be in control of their own destiny. It is not uncommon to see an
employee hand a supervisor or manager an article to read and then to come
by and talk about it. The key to success seems to be to encourage the
learners to shape their own learning, and sometimes that means biting our
tongues and putting our hands behind our backs while they learn what THEY
need to learn (rather than what we think they should learn).

This approach is advocated in the front of the Field Manual...have the
group pick where to start and plan their own journey...there is no one
right way to become a learning organization. Beginning the journey simply
by browsing through either LO book above (to see what "turns you on") is a
good place to start based on my experience. After an organization begins
the journey...the need for other resources to refine competencies and
build skill in the disciplines will become obvious...but driven by the

In acknowledgement of our hosts' consulting and training
organizations...there are a number of training sessions which are very
powerful...and model learning organization principles. These are
excellent...and we can gain the skills ourselves too (perhaps not as
quickly or easily, but just as validly) just by using the PDCA model
(plan, do, check, act).

From: learning-org-approval
To: learning-org-digest
Subject: Supervisory training LO1917
From: Joe Kilbride --
Date: Monday, July 03, 1995 12:51PM

What is a curriculum for supervisory training that members of this list
would recommend for organizations that are in the very early stages of
embracing quality or learning org concepts.
Host's Note: So, Joe, I think you're asking where do you start, what's
the right training to get things launched in the right direction.

enough for now,
Margie Mulligan