Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

What motivates you to learn?

Anne says: This article is from one of my favourite researchers and writers, John Hagel III. If you completed any studies with me when I was lecturing at UTS, you’ll likely recall some of his readings (please don’t tell me if you don’t!). For me, this is not a new topic but as always, Hagel has taken a different angle on the problem of lifelong learning. While addressing the espoused theory: we all need to be lifelong learners if we want to succeed, he views it through a practical lens. Why aren’t people lifelong learners, and what are organisations doing about it?

Hagel looks at the issue by asking what motivates people to learn? From an organisational perspective, the assumption or modus operandi is fear – if you don’t learn, upskill, reskill, stay current, you’ll become obsolete and lose your job. Motivation to learn = fear of losing your job.

Yet, the research project explored this assumption further. And the findings? People who engaged in lifelong learning, who approached learning beyond the fear of losing your job had a passion for learning. The researchers called it: the passion of the explorer.

They found three key elements associated with the passion of the explorer:

  1. Explorers have a long-term commitment to achieving impact in a specific domain that excites them

  2. They are excited in the face of unexpected challenges. Explorers view these hurdles as an opportunity to learn and achieve even greater impact. In fact, if they’re not confronted with enough challenges, they get bored and seek environments that will give them more.

  3. When confronted with new challenges, explorers have an immediate desire to seek out and connect with others who can help them get to better answers faster so that they can increase their impact.

The not so good news – only 14% of learners in their study (of 1500 people) demonstrated this passion. Why? The researchers believe that organisations do not encourage these sorts of behaviours in people, instead they quash people who ask questions, look at processes differently. They produce learning programs to replicate behaviours, processes – not challenge them.

How do we change? And why would organisations want to change? In our current environment, we’re already undergoing significant changes to the way we work. If we want to embed innovative mindsets and flexibility, then we need to motivate people to find their passion of the explorer. Hagel believes the opportunity is there – but we need to move away from cultivating fear towards cultivating passion.

It’s time to reconsider how our learning programs are motivating people. Fear or passion?

Read: https://hbr.org/2021/10/what-motivates-lifelong-learners

Rethinking assumptions about how employees work

Jakkii says: As a team with research at the heart of everything we do, we’re not big on assumptions here at REG – although, of course, for a variety of reasons there are times you have to use your best educated and informed guesses instead. Yet, sometimes assumptions are inescapable, particularly in decision making, and that’s not necessarily a good thing:

…assumptions can also have a negative effect by preventing people from considering new ways of working. They can create biases that reinforce the status quo and reject creative innovations.

This article looks at 5 assumptions that, even 20 or so months into the pandemic, are still holding on when it comes to how people work. The post-pandemic world of work requires us to challenge those assumptions if we’re going to use this crisis nature of the pandemic as a catalyst for positive change, whether we are moving to hybrid or fully remote workforces or even having everyone return to the office.

The article takes a look at 5 major assumptions that need to be challenged (focused really on knowledge work), and for the most part, these honestly come down to managerial biases and concerns, and a failure as an organisation to support leaders in supporting their people through what work looks like when someone’s not at a desk and under your eye for 8 hours a day. More, what it looks like to lead and guide people while helping them manage their work and their outputs, and measuring individuals and teams on outcomes.

I would almost say this is more a call to arms for people who hold any of these ‘assumptions’ to challenge their inherent beliefs about their people and about work, and consider both how employees might work now as well as how they might work in the future. How, as leaders, can we best empower and support our employees, wherever they might be working? How do I, as a leader, learn to shift my thinking on performance and productivity from hours at desk with my literal oversight, to performance and productivity based on outcomes and deliverables?

As always, if you’d like to talk more about different ways of working and the future of work, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

Read: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/rethinking-assumptions-about-how-employees-work/

At home

Jakkii says: it’s the end of October! That month just flew by, didn’t it? It’s Halloween this weekend to cap the month off spooktacularly – if you’re decorating or dressing up, I’d love to see pictures of your costumes and decorations! Share them with me in the comments or on social media. And, of course, here’s a few things you can read and do from home this week.

Friday Fives

Hybrid workplace and the future of work

Remote work and the digital workplace

Communication, collaboration, engagement, and culture

Community management, moderation and misinformation

Privacy and data

Big Tech, tech and regulation

Facebook

Social media

Extras

This is interesting: Carbon-capturing sunglasses offer a view of fashion’s future

Things that make you go hmmm: The yodeler who sued Yahoo

Space: Inside the experiment to create Mars on Earth

Podcast: The Decade of Courage – time for workplace change that matters

Friday playlist: Make it stop!

Sydney Business Insights – The Future, This Week Podcast

This week: the podcast about podcasts, how Spotify’s ambitions might change podcasts forever, plus LinkedIn getting out of China and Norway’s EVs in other news.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

The stories this week

00:00 – What is Spotify doing to podcasts?

Listen: https://sbi.sydney.edu.au/what-spotify-is-doing-to-podcasts-on-the-future-this-week/


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