Work is for Learning

I’ve seen it written in Herman Miller’s research papers. I’ve heard it said by Susan Whitmer, Herman Miller’s Educational specialist. I’ve even stood at the front of a room and said it myself. Now I fully understand the concept –  Work is for Learning. It always has been and it always will be. However, what interests me more is how the ability to learn can be dramatically affected by the culture of an organisation, as well as the spaces it provides, and the working practices it encourages.

Howard Gardner , in his book  ‘Five Minds for the Future’ wrote ‘The future belongs to those organisations, as well as individuals, that have made an active, life-long commitment to continue to learn.’

If that is the case, we should start to look to the latest insights into the design of educational spaces, and understand the cultures of successful learning organisations. Learning thrives where people are empowered, supported, mentored and trusted. The workplaces and work-styles we now provide need to acknowledge this fact if  we want people to ‘make an active, life-long commitment to continue to learn.’

Universities give people set objectives, with guidelines on how to get there. However the journey  is left to individual student’s choice. They work to suit their unique personalities, their circadian rhythms, and their preferred creative processes. Sometimes that means being alone and sometimes that means being with others. It’s all about choice, freedom and empowerment, something we need to provide more in the workplace.

WORK IS FOR LEARNING

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About Mark Catchlove

All views are my own
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