he conventional opinion suggests that skills are developed primarily through trainings, seminars, and similar activities. It is true that these experiences help to build up new competences.
However, another aspect of learning should be considered: the most effective place for competence building is not in the training seminar, but training on the real task. For an organization defined projects or upcoming challenges can be good opportunites to start a learning journey. It is a real „Training on the Job or Challenge”.
Developing collective expertise
When we speak of collective skills, we do not mean the sum of the individual’s competences. A company stores the knowledge that it acquires through mastering challenges on the market, not in the heads of individual employees, but in the „in between” – in the processes. In the conscious and unconscious. In the sometimes explicit, and sometimes tacit, agreements about what exactly has to be done to be successful. At the level of collective competences it is about collaborative learning.
An effective way to foster collaborative learning is to combine the analysis of real-world challenges with a guided reflection. This helps the collaborative learning process get started. Through intelligent design of these learning processes, organizations can reach truely quantum leaps in their performance. Learning experiences and lessons learned can be saved, and become available for future challenges as a shared knowledge.
Training on the challenge or training on the problem
Take a project- or management-team that is faced with a major challenge, and support it during this time by a series of well planned training timeouts. The team will not only handle the challenge better, but will also learn important skills for the future, such as:
- Dialogue as a superior art to think together, to find solutions to problems and to make smart choices
- Strategy development and scenario thinking
- Rapid Prototyping
- Solution orientation and the ability to shape the most difficult conditions
- Stress reduction through collective time management and intelligent collaboration