Thursday, October 14, 2010

Informal Learning Platforms: Outings, Parties and Offsites

Shadowing mentors is a greater form of learning. The acceleration and momentum is amplified, if you can get to associate with mentors in informal situations too. May be a movie, a coffee bar,the next seat in flight, or invite over lunch/dinner. These one-one are constrained by time and requires lot of build up to create the opportunities.

If you wish to grow, create more informal situations that by default promotes discussion and learning as a by-product. Making it an ROI or a main criteria misses the whole point of informality.  My boss does this with elan. He never misses an opportunity to mix his office colleagues in his home parties. Every participant reveals a nugget on the subject they know. And the discussion often spans to wee hours of morning. It is a great learning platform. I try it through outings and make it to dance floor parties with my teams.

A familial relationship is critical to stick around together to surmount challenges. Smaller teams are happier with multiple forms of learning outside the office and home environment. Off-sites are great enabler. In my first organization, the amount of accomplishments in an off-site is amazingly more than what can get done in 2 days of conference room and without its stress ,strains and disturbances.

What a better mixer than to institutionalize a platform that gains through exchanges. And what better than people who share their experiences in fun-filled eco-system.





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