Prioritizing Who for Formal Learning LO20645

Winfried Dressler (
Fri, 12 Feb 1999 12:42:11 +0100

Replying to LO20544 --

Steve wrote:
>You are indeed right on
>when you think about the word justify. What does the social culture
>understand when you say justify?

We have two words in german, which are both translated as "to justify"
in my dictionary, but which have different meanings:

"rechtfertigen" requires two parties, one that justifies (sich
rechtfertigen) and another party that assesses the validity of that
justification. Although this setting is quite common, I think it is
not constructive. I didn't mean "rechtfertigen", I meant

"begruenden". It is derived from "Grund", ground, foundation, reason.
So a better translation than "to justify" may be simply "to give
reasons for" (as long as you allow energetic gut feelings like
curiosity, motivation etc. also as reasons).

This process of "begruenden" is already a big step toward the
requested learning.

Privatly I was asked:

>John wants to learn x by going to some learning event. Mary wants to
>learn y...etc. There are only enough resources for one to go. How
>does one decide? How does one communicate the decision to the person
>who doesn't get to participate in their desired activity?

Here I distinguish the subject of interest (the subject the employee
want to learn about) and a specific learning event which promises that
such learning will take place. Resources are consumed by such events:
trainer fee, travelling expenses both often combined with luxury
standards to attract participants. These resource consuming events
often have more to do with incentives than learning.

If the desired activity is a special event, than I would ask that
person to pay his/her share from their own pocket. Usually we find
less resource consuming ways to deal with the subjects of interest.
Learing should provide for resource creating opportunities and consume
as less resources as possible initially. As such, any expenses for
learning are investments. The standards for investments need to be the
same for the whole organisation. The "begruenden" will have to
consider these standards.

These standards will be different from organisation to organisation.
In my previous contributions, I tried to outline basics for such
standards for learning organisations. They require the personal growth
of the employee: the employee is ready, the employee wants to grow on
the ground of our organisation, the organisation can provide the
"play-"ground for fitting experiences, so that the organisation will
grow with the growing of its employees. Stewardship and engagement fit
better than assessment and justification.

Liebe Gruesse,


"Winfried Dressler" <>

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