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An experiment aimed at fostering a learning culture

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How would we work if we were completely free to choose? How can individual autonomy and team collaboration be aligned in the best possible way? Do we need rules and guidelines to install new ways of working or are mutual respect and situational communication strong enough as mediators?

That’s exactly the question that the initiators of the “Future Work Experience” at Swiss Post asked themselves. Joël and Barbara present the insights of a study that evaluated the learnings of two teams during a 9-month experiment at Swiss Post within their strategic initiative “Work Smart”.

The presentation focuses on promoting and hindering forces of a learning culture towards a more agile collaboration.

Veröffentlicht in: Business
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An experiment aimed at fostering a learning culture

  1. 1. Wenn Sie diesen Text lesen können, müssen Sie die Folie im Post-Menü mit der Funktion «Folie einfügen» erneut einfügen. Sonst kann die Fläche nicht eingefärbt werden! AN EXPERIMENT AIMED AT FOSTERING A LEARNING CULTURE JOËL KRAPF BARBARA JOSEF
  2. 2. From presence to anywhere & anytime Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Source: Weichbrodt, J., Tanner, A., Josef, B., & Schulze, H. (2015), Heft Wirtschaftspsychologie 4-2014/1-2015 Private Sector 10% 25% 35% 16% 2% Public Sector 14% 63% 16% 0% 0%
  3. 3. First Place Office Third Places Coworking Second Place Home Office Work is no longer a place Forth Place Mobile
  4. 4. The Corporate Office is getting fluid Waber, B., Magnolfi, J., & Lindsay, G. (2014). Workspaces that move people. Harvard business review, 92(10), 68-77.
  5. 5. Co-Creation @ Microsoft Switzerland: Half of the building is open for guests, including new room concepts “project”, “garage” and “coworking”
  6. 6. Our understanding of learning culture and its development1 Our experimental approach to learning culture development2 Our learnings3 Seite 7An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf AGENDA
  7. 7. Wenn Sie diesen Text lesen können, müssen Sie die Folie im Post-Menü mit der Funktion «Folie einfügen» erneut einfügen. Sonst kann die Fläche nicht eingefärbt werden!
  8. 8. Seite 9An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf CULTURE IS «HOW WE DO THINGS AROUND HERE» LEARNING CULTURE IS A PART OF THAT Artifacts Basic assumptions Espoused values «how we learn around here» «what we learn around here» «why we learn around here» «how we think we should learn around here» Learning culture
  9. 9. Seite 10An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf LEARNING CULTURE DEVELOPMENT IS LIKE GARDENING THE FLOWERS HAVE TO GROW ON THEIR OWN, BUT WE CAN FACILITATE THE PROCESS
  10. 10. Seite 11An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf AS A FACILITATOR OF CULTURE DEVELOPMENT THERE ARE BASICS WE NEED TO CONSIDER Have a clear understanding of the context Have a vision of how the culture should look like Support individuals to live according the «new» patterns Facilitate the development of specific learning patterns within teams Consider systemic conditions that impact group and individual behaviour
  11. 11. Wenn Sie diesen Text lesen können, müssen Sie die Folie im Post-Menü mit der Funktion «Folie einfügen» erneut einfügen. Sonst kann die Fläche nicht eingefärbt werden!
  12. 12. Seite 13An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf FIRST OF ALL WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE WANT TO CHANGE OUR LEARNING CULTURE What «New» working and learning patterns First Place («Office») - Flexible work time - Flexible work place («chair») Second Place («Home Office») - Working at home - Flexible work time Third Place («Co-Working») - Elsewhere such as a client’s office or other postal building - Flexible work time Forth Place («Mobile») - Mobile working - Flexible work place - Flexible work time
  13. 13. Seite 14An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf WE FACILITATED AN EXPERIMENTAL CULTURE DEVELOPMENT OF TWO TEAMS AND LEARNED ABOUT THEIR DRIVERS AND OBSTACLES Experimenting with new working and learning patterns (culture transformation) -> Explicitly trying new things Facilitation of culture transformation -> External impulses, individual and group support Continuous reflexion through (self) evaluation and working journal Pre-Test Workshop After working hours reflection Post-Test
  14. 14. Wenn Sie diesen Text lesen können, müssen Sie die Folie im Post-Menü mit der Funktion «Folie einfügen» erneut einfügen. Sonst kann die Fläche nicht eingefärbt werden!
  15. 15. Seite 16An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf RESULTS OF THE EXPERIMENT - The use of "Work Smart" was supported by an appropriate (trust) basis in the team and appropriate technological tools - New behaviours were first legitimized and then established by the experiment - Internal team obstacles to the use of "Work Smart" were overcome through regular reflection and open dialogue. - The experiment led to better planning of work location, work content and adaptation to individual productivity. - There were fewer idle times when visiting customers. - The team members were more motivated and perceived an increased entrepreneurial spirit because they felt more independent and more responsible. - The employees felt that the experiment has increased mental flexibility and agility in the team. - Team productivity has improved because there has been deliberate discussion and coordination of how the team must work together. - Shared times were perceived more valuable and thus were used more productively.
  16. 16. Seite 17An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf LEARNINGS FROM THE EXPERIMENT (1/2) - Cultural barriers that hinder the promotion of "Work Smart" must be removed - Physical presence as a necessity for a positive performance assessment - Command and Control - Intolerance towards different working styles - Employee obedience ahead of time - Sticking to old habits - In order to make work more flexible, various pitfalls must be avoided - Rigid home office days or office hours - Lack of coordination in the team - Too many meetings - No clarification of expectations
  17. 17. Seite 18An Experiment aimed at fostering learning culture | Joël Krapf LEARNINGS FROM THE EXPERIMENT (2/2) - The necessary skills must be developed to make optimum use of "Work Smart". - Know the technology and its possible applications - Maintain networks even when absent - Ability to change - Both managers and team members must give trust in advance so that the new working methods can be tried out and applied in a sustainable manner. - Establish and strengthen team reflection and team dialogue in order to use the increased need for coordination to increase productivity - Start with an experiment to try out the unfamiliar. - Individual reflection during testing to find out what works and what doesn't (e.g. Work Journal) - Exchange of good practices between teams
  18. 18. Renegotiate Collaboration Virtual Collaboration «Working 9to5» Coworking Co-Creation Enterprise Social Networking Offline Time Time present virtual synchronous/internal asynchronous/external Space
  19. 19. lowValueIndividualhigh low Value Organisation high Agile Work Cultures are not about Wellbeing but Strategic Advantages — does it make us faster? — does it bring us closer to the customer? — does it allow to learn about new needs and new markets? — does it drive a culture of entrepreneurship? — does it help us to attract talent?
  20. 20. volatilty incremental learning cycles uncertainty transparency & orientation complexity diversity & participation ambiguity experiments & prototyping
  21. 21. From Rules to Shared Values Rules Values 1 2 3 4 5 Degree of Autonomy & Flexibility
  22. 22. ‒ Communicate Vision & Purpose ‒ Be Aware of the Attitude of the Leaders ‒ Encourage Personalization of Space
  23. 23. Participation: Motivation, Agile Mindset & Response to Complexity Information und Partiziptation (Wright et al. 2O1O)
  24. 24. Be Aware of the Signals
  25. 25. Skills CultureMindset Based on Teresa Amabile (1983) Ingredients of a learning Organisation Processes & Platforms

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