There is mounting concern that organizational groups and teams often fail to learn from their past experiences. It’s pertinent to address this issue as groups and teams are often the main ways that work gets done in organizations.
In this course, we examine the main reasons that groups and teams are often ineffective, which include:
• The lack of organizational structures and support for teams and groups
• The lack of understanding and emphasis on learning
• Misaligned reward structures
So, what can be done to create an enabling learning culture in teams?
This course emphasizes practical and impactful ways to begin to address this state of affairs. Through the use of stories, scenarios with actors simulating different team issues, examples and dialogue, you learn how to:
• Understand teams in their larger organizational context
• Diagnose the learning strengths and barriers to learning on teams
• Identify ways to develop a team and group that continually learns and impacts the larger organization positively
• Create an organizational environment that encourages learning and innovation
Week 1: Introduction to Framing & Systems Thinking
-Thank you for joining us. In this module you will learn to step back and re-frame your point of view, and apply systems thinking in everyday situations in order to help your team to be creative and innovative. Our goal is to enable you to learn through real-life stories, practical scenarios illustrated by actors, on-going conversations, suggested readings and links rather than lectures and instructions. So, come join us at the table, bring your own experiences with you, and be part of the conversation!
Check out this NY Times story before you begin: (https://www.nytimes.com/video/business/100000004807604/the-power-of-outsiders.html?smid=fb-share)
This story illustrates many of the important points of this course: the importance of thinking about the whole system, the value of including different, outside perspectives (not just experts), and - even when you and your team come up with a breakthrough idea - accepting that it is a difficult challenge to spread the idea and make change happen.
Week 2 : Diagnosing Strengths & Barriers to Learning on Teams
-Thank you for joining us in this module! You will learn to recognize the strengths and barriers - visible and invisible - that exist in teams. Quite like the George Washington Bridge story in Week 1, where you learned about Framing and Systems Thinking, here you will learn to define, frame and diagnose the problems and conflicts that can arise in teams; and you will learn to think about data gathering and creating solutions that work! Join us at the table.
Week 3 : Developing Groups & Teams for Positive Organizational Impact
-Thank you for joining us In Modules 1 & 2. In the previous modules you have learned about Framing, Reframing, Systems Thinking, and Taking a Diagnostic Focus on Groups and Teams. In this module you will learn about disabling and enabling group and team structures. You will also learn about diffusing innovations, and how to have productive conversations using the Ladder of Inference as a guide.
Week 4 : Fostering Innovation in Groups & Teams
-Thank you for staying with and being a part of our emergent conversations. If you have accompanied us through weeks 1,2 and 3, we are now at the closing end of our on-going discussion around learning in teams - in this section, we'll focus on Complex Adaptive Systems and structures that foster and accelerate engagement, learning and team conversations. Come join us.
Alan Barstow, Ph.D. and Dana Kaminstein, Ph.D.