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@TrainingJournal42 | January 2017 |
K, I’m biased.We all are.Yet
for this article I’m biased
because I experienced some-
thing in 2012 that reshaped my entire
view on learning and the world of work.
What I experienced was an alter-
native university run by students, built
on autonomous learning where the sole
reason for its existence was the love of
learning and the disdain for the conven-
tional models of learning that were not
serving the learners’interests or needs.
I believe we’re in a time when we
can not only take a more active part
in our lives, but be informed better
about that activation ... once we see
past fake news and algorithmic echo
chambers on social networks, of course.
2012, Bucharest: I was invited
to speak at a conference and I had
a translator buddy for sessions in
Romanian. I asked my translator, Ana,
whether this was her job – translating.
“No,” she said, “I’m a student at an
alternative university in Bucharest.”
Stopped. Dead. In. My.Tracks.
I asked questions galore and got to
see this first hand that very evening.
A house in urban Bucharest turned
into a learning ‘studio’of rooms
and posters, and resources and
people who were there
This concept was
started by students
education.This was a
university in spirit with
no formal ratification or
qualifications.Yet this was a
It allows learning
professionals to stop
being the players of
others’ music and be the
conductors of outstanding
symphonies of learning
last standA v i e w o f t h e w o r l d w i t h a w i t t y q u i p o r t w o !
Perry Timms sees the power
of learner-led academies
place where learning bound everyone
together.Where collaborative learning
and scenario-led exploration exploded
from every room in the learning house.
It has continued to grow and
Cros.ro is now a WorldBlu-certified,
freedom-centred workplace. It is attract-
ing interest from corporate sponsors, has
rotational and optional leadership and
is still powered by the love of learning.
It influenced me so much that
I recalibrated my entire working
proposition to become more of a
constituted and self-managed
advocate. I’ve now researched and
spent time with some of the world’s
most liberating organisations.
All because I saw the power in a
learner-led academy. Not a rebranded
intranet site. A truly self-managed
process of enterprise and discovery
that is driven by a thirst for better.
So what does this mean for our cor-
porate learning machinery and tenders
of development? I think it signals a
need and an opportunity to co-create. I
think it allows learning professionals to
stop being the players of others’music
and be the conductors of outstand-
ing symphonies of learning.
It is the successful operating
model in organisations
like Buurtzorg in the
is self-managed. In
in the US where
pair-learning thrives in digital
creation. In Next Jump in the US
and UK – where learning partners have
replaced line managers. In Nearsoft
in Mexico where learning powers
invention, service and success in IT.
So I’d encourage all L&D
professionals to consider more
learner-led academy creation,
and here are my tips on how:
`` Start creating the self-organised,
adaptable organisation through
self-organised, adaptive learning
programmes. Make a declaration
of learner independence.
`` Reposition L&D as the most
advanced aspect of intelligence,
insight and trends: not the busiest
order-takers. L&D leads the charge
by being the most autonomous,
tuned-in learners there are.
`` Teach autonomy in learning and how
to help others learn. Build the capa-
bilities. Cull bureaucracy but increase
impact assessment, data collection
and story-telling from autonomous
learners. Don’t adapt old processes,
create an entirely new model and
set of supporting activities.
Perry Timms is the founder of PTHR
(People & Transformational HR). He
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org;
on Twitter @PerryTimms; through
LinkedIn at PerryTimms; on
Google+ at +PerryTimms, or via
Tumblr at PerryMTimms
42 TJ last stand Timms SUBBED.indd 42 19/12/2016 14:04:33