Can we really achieve a LO? LO10084
Fri, 20 Sep 96 13:08:52 PDT

Replying to LO9994 --

Moira Wills, in LO9994, says of a course she is attending:
>We are now embroiled in a discussion of whether
>the workplace in fact can support the
>development of participation, socialization,
>self-realization and learning. Or are the
>structures and boundaries around work so
>limiting that development in these areas must
>take place in other venues (leisure, community
> etc).

I am unclear on how broadly you defined "work". However, to me the
"workplace" is the environment where one carries out activities
(generically "work" but this is too broad a term...) specific to the
requirements and intent of the organisation (or worker, who may be
independent). The boundaries are dependant on the structure within which
the work takes place, ie: the overall culture of the "organisation" if it
consists of more than one worker. On this basis it is up to the individual
organisation to set such limitations (if only by default or assumption)
that may encourage or restrict learning, and this is not driven by a
generic set of assumptions about "work". That said, the individual still
has the freedom to learn independently of the "workplace"... as I sense
most of the people participating in this LO Dialogue are.

>(snip)I find my own work situation
>quite liberating and empowering.
>However, I understand that I am
>looking at this issue from a
>priviledged viewpoint. I am well
>educated and work in a health care
>centre at a white collar
>administrative job with a
>tremendous amount of autonomy.
>I am not sure if the employees of
>my instituion who work in the
>kitchen or laundry feel the same
>way. Or if our organization can
>provide them with similar
>developmental and empowering

Why not ask them? Surely you are not constrained by an organisation so
hierarchical that the question cannot be posed? You might be quite
surprised by the response!

>How do the rest of you interpret
>"learning" as a central focus of
>the organization and is it
>possible to develop a learning
>culture across the organization?

I see learning as a core competency of effective organisations. It is
possible to develop a learning culture but, as you will see from this
forum, it requires different ways of thinking to traditional management
methods(such as "command and control") since it is encouraged and nurtured
rather than dictated.


Phillip Spencer (if replying note address: 'phillip' has "double-el")

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>