Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Individual Learning to Organizational Learning

Someone asked a question that is probably very key to the existence of Knowledge Management. “How do we convert individual learning into organizational learning?”. It could surely have been the root cause why KM was conceived and is now being pursued seriously within organizations. KM is not only about individual learning and competency development but also about converting it into something that the entire organization understands and can act upon. It exists on the premise that each of us learn different things and have our own unique strengths. When many of us come together to accomplish a common goal, we can only do things a lot more effectively and efficiently due to the pooling of knowledge, skills and expertise [provided we genuinely want to contribute and avoid herd mentality and are open to learning from others]. But how easy is it to convert individual learning into organizational learning? It, admittedly, is a very complicated affair. And whatever can be achieved can anyway be done so only after years of effort and passion.

A very quick response to that question would be:

  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Shadowing (You let the knowledge-seeker shadow the 'expert' and watch and observe what he/she does rather than just restrict it to focused conversations and training sessions)
  • Communities focused on collective thinking and learning
  • Tools and utilities that you find on the Internet these days - allowing you to share your bookmarks, videos, articles, notes, ideas, book-reading habits, friends and so on. [Which basically means you begin to understand how individuals learn, from where they get their material, who the connect with and learn from, how they think etc]

Takes me back to my previous post on Calvin and Hobbes wherein Calvin wants to learn to be a Tiger and Hobbes tells him it is instinct and cannot be taught. Calvin’s retort is to look up the topic of Tigers in the Encyclopedia. The result of that exercise is anybody’s guess. So, there’s clearly a limit to what one can do to convert individual learning into organizational learning….


Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...


Nimmy said...

Hobo: Now....what does that mean? :-) You did not understand the post at all....or are you questioning my sanity? ;-) he he

R.K. said...

hii nimmy !
you know wat i like the most about ur blog?

its that u love to share what u do, means that u enjoy your job!
even if sometimes its so............... i mean seems so weird and difficult :D
sorry, but u r good enough, so i felt like sharing wat i thought.
wishing some simple posts here like some previous ones which i've understood till now ! :)

take care
and writing !!

Nimmy said...

Thanks for the appreciation :-). To be honest, there was a time I was even more obsessed with my work. I've mellowed down a bit now.

But you know what my problem is? I oscillate between my work, and some general silly/funny/wacky posts. And my friends who like the latter draw a blank when I write about KM and vice versa. So, I am never understood completely by most of my friends. I'll have real fun the day I meet some one who oscillates between the same serious and silly topics (that I am interested in) the way I do. I have always wondered what my readers will think....for one day, they understand what I am saying and the next day they wonder what I am talking.

But I must admit that this post is not really so sounds out of the context and will not make much sense to people who are new to KM. The truth is that I answered a question someone had posted on a KM community and I simply pasted my response here without adding too much context. :-P Only for KMers. ;-)

R.K. said...

I understand dear, but i felt like telling u. i thought i should :)
waise u wrote beautifully in the last comment. that could be a post too :D

HS SANDESH said...

Hi. I'm Impressed by your thoughts. Its likely that many people are in love with your blog. Care for a link exchange..?? Have Fun n Cheers

Anjali said...

Come on over to my blog to meet Chimi.

Nimmy said...

Thanks R.K! :-) I'll contemplate a post based on that comment, then! ;-D

Sandesh: Thanks a lot for such a kind comment. But I am not sure what you mean when you say 'link exchange'. If it simply means that you'd like me to keep a tab on your blog, I definitely shall. said...

good ...........

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Bouncer !
NO Ball.