As with today’s education system, most of organizational learning seems to be designed to buttress the existing order or what we call as normal. There are pre-defined conditions and templates which are called ‘expectations’ and ‘norms’ and the educationists seem to channelize the student towards those norms. All the while calling it a workshop where you can reflect and learn by experience.
While this approach helps in maintaining a social order replete with high levels of repetition and redundancy, the question we need to ask is “Is the normal good enough to ring in new discoveries; new ways of thinking; a lateral approach?
Nah! Most of the learning systems have an agenda to condition the subjects a.k.a students to norms and condition them to day-in and day-out perform actions which will ensure a pre-defined goal. The irony is; all the while the stated expectations is to enable a paradigm shift (a much abused term in corporate circles).
I’ve observed this forced approach when I interacted with organizational leaders while designing a program, even on a topic like ‘Creative Thinking and Problem solving’. They seem to drive the agenda and want creativity in their employees as they perceive or want it to be. Isn’t it ridiculous? At times the sponsors remain present in such programs and keep a close watch on the proceedings so that their agenda is achieved. The problem is that the employee or the student is not naïve as they believe and can easily see through that they are being driven towards meeting a particular social or organizational agenda.
This is the reason why they resist external interventions or help from experts and have internal learning and development departments which help them control the process of education.
The problem with such an approach is that the whole learning and development or educational system loses credibility. The student senses and calls out the ‘hypocrisy’. Sadly, people end up being conditioned as machines whose assembly line approach to life doesn’t greatly contribute to quantum growth. So much so that even organizational culture and values are created to buttress the existing order or the normal.
The fact is that quantum leaps have always happened when you steer clear of the ‘normal’.
Is your organizational learning buttressing the existing order? Can it provide you with a platform for quantum growth?