Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 4 October 2011



Gimson, A. (2011), "Editorial", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 25 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/dlo.2011.08125faa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Development and Learning in Organizations, Volume 25, Issue 6

In this last issue of 2011, Ian Cunningham gets us off to a rousing start. He challenges the L&D profession to get beyond the fads and trends that are all too often slavishly followed, (employee engagement, talent management, etc.) and back to working in the organization to respond to specific needs. We might each ask ourselves the question, “can I clearly state my business rationale for all the interventions I currently offer?”.

One trend that emerged during the 1990s was the notion of a “learning organization” and many millions were spent on knowledge management systems that failed to deliver the promised results. Richard Boateng uses a lense that might prove more insightful – that of viewing organizational learning from the perspective of constructing and sharing meaning structures.

Farhan Vakani and Mughis Sheerani explore how the continuing educational needs of physicians should be assessed and both formal and informal assessment methods are described. They conclude that, whilst informal methods produce a far more accurate picture of an individual’s needs, formal methods are still required to maintain the efficient use of resources.

The need for organizations to innovate is ever increasing. Siu Hoe shares a useful case study of how one organization in Singapore created an “innovation climate survey” to assess employee attitudes towards innovation. He describes the six key factors that were included and shares the rationale behind the choices made.

In a further case study, Rene Borner explains how a paper-based role-play exercise was turned into a computer-supported process following repeated requests from participants. She outlines six advantages highlighted by trainers and participants and shares the overall lessons learned.

Our review articles continue the case study theme. We begin with “In perfect harmony”, which looks at an example of an international qualification in the manufacturing industry that is currently offered in over 40 countries, across three continents. With a strict quality assurance process and over 150,000 diplomas now awarded, it is seen as hugely successful.

In “How to balance work, study and play”, we hear of the excellent work happening at a UK university. Middlesex University is riding the waves of change in the UK tertiary education sector by expanding its offerings of work based learning programs. The five factors highlighted as crucial to its success are of particular interest.

If your organization is considering embarking on a Six Sigma journey, the case outlined in “On your marks, but are you ready?” will be of real interest. It outlines the route taken by a global technology company and gives a useful appraisal of the three different approaches to deploying Six Sigma – company-wide strategy, improvement program or toolbox.

We end with “CEO serves up a hot bowl of praise” in which we are treated to some wise words from the outgoing CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. My personal favorite is his three rules for building levels of appreciation in an organization:

  1. 1.

    Make a personal connection early on.

  2. 2.

    Look for opportunities to celebrate.

  3. 3.

    Get out your pen – send handwritten notes of appreciation.

If we all adopt these for 2012, what a year that could be!

Wishing you all a very happy new year when it arrives.

Anne GimsonStrategic Developments International, UK. E-mail: anne@stratdevint.com

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