Sesame Street got it right!

When my daughter was younger we watched Sesame Street together and I remember a song from the show that resonated with me.  The song was about people in your neighbourhood and it was a happy, feel good, community connected kind of song.  Had that song been written today, the word “neighbourhood” could be changed to the word “tribe”.

I had the song running through my head after a recent get together with some of my professional colleagues and friends.  It was a gathering of like-minded learning and development people and the ideas that we generated were golden.  It was a delicious collaboration of hearts and minds and I felt very connected to my tribe.

As I looked around the room at that gathering, I was reminded of all the truly wonderful people I had met in my 12 years in L&D.  As you go through your daily life it is easy to forget the connections you have made and the tribe you belong to.  This is the stuff of life – connect, collaborate and change the world!

Why not take a moment to think about your tribe – how do you connect with them?  If you connect via an online medium, why not invite members of your tribe for an old-fashioned face to face get together (where possible)?  It’s a happy, feel good, community connected kind of thing to do…

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A trained monkey OR an active learner?

I send my daughter to school mostly for what she can learn in the playground.  I stopped believing long ago that school could teach her the really important skills in life so I look after that at home.  Most of what happens in school is “training” – ramming kids heads full of irrelevant content they are expected to be interested in and retain.  It doesn’t get much better at tertiary level either. Remember how you crammed (trained yourself) for exams only to forget everything once the exam was over?

Real learning takes place in the playground as my daughter is exposed to a variety of personalities and behaviour that she needs to manage and moderate, including her own.  She has learnt leadership, problem solving, negotiation, influence, communication and creativity in the playground.  Skills that will take her through life.

You can imagine how excited I was when I came across this article which looks at real learning and how it can be gained more from interactions with others than from formal lessons.  Read it now and see what you think…

This has implications for workplace learning.  I think the nature of learning is changing in workplaces to involve a more collaborative, participative approach and use of social media is leading the charge.  So, let’s stop using the word “training” and move to a culture where learning is championed and occurs right when you need it in a meaningful way.

Do you consider yourself a learner?

Are you training your children or are you letting them learn?

How does your organisation approach learning and how can you influence that?