Learning support : How To ? LO13591

Francine Alexander (fjalex@tmn.com)
Tue, 13 May 1997 07:02:04 -0500

Hello all,
I am working with a client who has some creative ideas about
developing their training function into an ongoing support for learning
throughout the organization, both formally and informally.

Here is how they define their purpose:

"We want to help create a culture which supports learning on an ongoing
basis. We will do this through the consistent, timely, and relevant design
and implementation of training programs and learning support systems."

Their operating principles are:

1. Inclusion: Decisions about training will be made with the input of
those who can significantly impact or be impacted by the outcomes of the
training program, to ensure a "customer-driven" result.

2. Preferred Future: A collective, management supported "image of
potential" for the learning program of the future motivates our actions
today.We will provide accessible learning resources that manage, measure
and support formal delivery methods as well as virtual, on the job

3. Learning as a Continual Process: We will attend to the entire
environment or system where learning is to take place and create
conditions that will best foster learning on an ongoing basis. We will
seek to build a culture and values that promote innovative, ongoing
learning through non-traditional methods (i.e. job shadowing, mentor/coach
programs, etc.) and accessibility of information.

4. Personal Mastery: Our learning programs will strive for synergy in
the personal and professional goals of our employees, and encourage them
to work toward excellence in their "craft" rather than treating work as
just a job.

5. Whole Systems: Our learning efforts will take into account the whole
system, so our employees learn to see the "big picture" and how their job
impacts and is impacted by others.

They are a new, small and rapidly growing telecommunications firm (100
folks last year, 750 this year). They are geographically dispersed
throughout the US and have a coordinating Learning Group9 acting as the
training function. This group is made of a training coordinator, and
line9 managers who are responsible for supporting these efforts in their
functions. As they develop an infrastructure and delivery mechanisms,
they want to gather some input from people who are on a similar path.

Here are the questions they are pursuing:

1. How do you keep training closely linked to business objectives and
everyday realities?

2. How has coaching and mentoring as a support worked for you? How have
you structured your daily, real time support for people?

3. How have you balanced flexibility and consistency? How have you
balanced local adaptability and whole system consciousness?

4. How have you shared Learning organization and corporate philosophy
information without stepping into a selling9 role?

5. How do support learning as an ongoing process, not just an event? What
are some informal ways you have promoted learning day to day?

6. When have you been most successful in creating your function as a
"pull" service instead of a "push" requirement?

Are you available to be part of a 30-60 minute interview by a
member of this Learning Group? Please respond to Fran Alexander (fjalex @
tmn.com, 313-665-6749) or Kim Robitaille (krobitaille@nextlink.net,
Do you want to share your thoughts on one or two of the above
questions? Please post the LO directly.
We will compile a summary of the interview data and make it
available to all who participate.
These folks are sharp, have a good amount of latitude and are
facing a great opportunity to shape this creatively . Thanks in advance
for your help on this.
Fran Alexander and Kim Robitaille


Francine Alexander <fjalex@tmn.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>