Shared purpose, partnering, collective impact, collaboration, strategic learning – words and phrases which are becoming more a part of our working in place based systems. We read about them in blogs, see them in webinar presentations and use them frequently to articulate how our thinking and experiences are shifting as our practice and expertise grows.
Expanding our learning and sparking our thinking is of course critical to how effectively our purpose thrives. As a Consultant working in the world of leadership and learning across networks and sectors, the importance of creating these conditions moving higher up agendas is a real step-change.
As are the a-ha moments recognising that learning is an action, on a point of a triangle alongside knowledge and reflection, where all three points can evidence progress and impact.
The danger comes though in a need to always translate connections, thinking, reflections, ideas, into action. The challenge therefore in not leaping to the ‘thing’ to do. An action bias. Pushing to answer questions such as how did it increase our value? What did we learn which can immediately be applied? How do we turn this into a solution? A product? An offer?
In certain conditions these questions remain a vital part of developing systematic and systemic practices enabling up-scaling, processes and pipelines to be built – all critical components of learning organisations. But they also, when automatically jumped to, can cause us to lose the value of simply having conversations.