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Friday, January 4, 2019

Lean Quote: Learning is Change. Change is Learning.

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Change is the end result of all true learning..." — Leo Buscaglia

Isn’t that the truth? Many CEOs attempt to change their companies either through a series of quick fixes or complex business models. History has demonstrated that most of these attempts fail or, at best, the benefits from these attempts are only temporary. All successful business transformations I have witnessed are based on a simple transformation model that focuses on the education and development of people and is tied to the company’s vision. 

During times of change, leaders need to be relentless learners themselves, examining everything from their own professional habits to the methods and processes that their learning teams deploy. Change often requires a forceful response, and whether it's implementing a new model or tool, or seeking to better understand how new learners in the workforce access, retain, and apply learning, you should be investigating and staying abreast of it. Become a student of change management and the concept of change itself. Take the time to learn everything you can about case studies in which others have successfully navigated similar climates of transformation. 

Often we invest our time and money in a learning event only to find that when we return to our daily work, we keep doing the same things. It all sounds so good, and you are so excited to put the new methods and tools you have learned into practice, but when you get back to the workplace, the boss is still asking the same questions and expecting the same results. The processes in your workplace could also be different than those described in the class, causing you to struggle with how to apply what you have learned in your environment.

Learning is not an event – it’s a process. The classroom is important, but the fact is that most learning takes place when we apply the tools and techniques we discovered in the learning event. Learning is a process of alignment, assimilation and application. 

Thirty years ago, Peter Senge introduced the idea of the “learning organization.” Now he says that for big companies to change, we need to stop thinking like mechanics and to start acting like gardeners. I will always remember an old friend and mentor who taught me: “Things are easy to fix, people take time.” Invest in your people, and you will be successful! 

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