We are half-way through my ILD-831 course at Creighton University on Technology and Leadership. Over the past couple of weeks, my students have been exploring connections internal and external to their organizations, with Husband’s “wirearchy” as a lens for discussion. We also have looked at some of the tools provided in Jane Hart’s most recent Top 200 Tools for Learning 2016.
So this morning, I am checking my blog feeds on Feedly and find this post by Jane Hart, linking to her article in Modern Workplace Learning Magazine entitled, “The Modern Professional Learner’s Toolkit.” In this article, she provided a diagram that shows the key tools a Modern Professional Learner might use in 12 different contexts – many of which appeared on her Top 200 Tools for Learning.
One could repurpose this diagram as “The Modern Leader’s Toolkit” and effectively capture the essence of my ILD 831 course. In my course, we explore how the digital world impacts leaders and those they lead.
As one circles around the twelve different contexts – which fit well with leadership – one can easily see the integration of digital aspects of life with leadership. Digital connections and personal productivity tools help help filter and organize the “bottomless knowledge” that Weinberger noted in Too Big To Know. There are digital options for networking, building and engaging in online communities, and continuing both professional and personal growth through knowledge flow ware, online courses, and online knowledge repositories. Workflow within an organization can be enhanced through collaboration apps and web conferencing.
“…A Personal Learning Space lies at the heart of the Modern Professional Learner’s Toolkit. It is a privately-controlled space where an individual can organise and manage his/her own learning, by recording and reflecting on experiences wherever and however they take place – in the classroom, online, in the office, in a conference or elsewhere – as well as evidence changes and improvements in her/her performance change. (It might be termed an ePortfolio or even a Personal LMS)…”
This concept of a personalized learning space seemed to align with comments made this week by the President of Northeastern University:
“…In 10 years, according to Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun, higher education will need to be much more nimble and personalized to meet students’ individual needs. But colleges and universities mustn’t only focus on the typical 18- to 22-year-old underclassman. Rather, they must embrace the notion of lifelong learning—that people of any age, and throughout their professional careers, will need new skills and competencies to evolve with the times…”
Aoun noted the disruption coming due to automation (a theme we have been exploring in ILD831), and noted that “…this reality represents a “wake-up call” for higher education, which must move rapidly to build what he called a robot-proof education that embraces lifelong learning and is nimble enough to equip people will the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to succeed in this changing landscape.” I would suggest that this is true of most organizations, inside higher education and outside. One cannot delegate responsibility to a training department – lifelong learning needs to be a personal responsibility.
Jane’s image captures the essence of ILD-831, but it also captures the essence of what a modern leader should be.