Networked learning : Cross-cultural learning : Creativity & Innovation

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04 October 2004

I often talk to my clients about how quickly things change these days. About how what we knew yesterday needs to be re-learned tomorrow. About how everything that people in a particular field learned three years ago is irrelevant (engineering grads is the one I use most).

Then they say "yeah Patrick, can you write us another course then please". And I do.

Now - the kinds of clients I'm talking about are not luddites. They're agile, successful organisations, and they're moving quickly. Just like the management books are telling them to.

Thing is, they're not generally North American (they're European). So they have a different view of time. (Edward Hall talks about this in this book). They're not constantly swept forward by an assumption that now is a fleeting moment to be cast away in a frantic rush to get in the future.

Anyway - I was intruiged at my reaction to Jay Cross's piece in CLO. I found myself completely agreeing with everything he said, but then questioning why I'm not seeing it reflected in the conversations I'm having. There are a number of possible answers to this:

1. I'm not being observant, other words, not doing my job

2. European management doesn't "get" how fast things are moving; they're sunk

3. US management, because of their view of how time works, are hyper-sensitive to change

4. European management is dealing with rapid change and instability is less perceptible ways. 

Whatever the answer is, I'm struck how important it is for a consultant to start from where the client is; to really understand the journey they need to make.


9:21:18 AM    Any comments?  []

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