headshot of George Dinwiddie with books he's written

iDIA Computing Newsletter

January 2023

The Learning Organization

Fostering An Environment to Support Excellence

Uh-oh! Help me! I started writing another book!

I was thinking, again, about an organization's need to foster an environment for learning if they are to achieve excellence. I touched on this topic back in 2018 in a "spark" I presented at GLASScon (Government Lean-Agile Software & Systems Conference organized by Paul Boos). More recently, I did some consulting with a large corporation that wanted to change the way their IT department developed software. The approach they were trying included bringing in multitudes of technical coaches to teach the software developers, and they couldn't find enough coaches. Given the size of the organization and the normal churn of employee turnover, I wasn't surprised. I don't think they could ever find enough coaches.

Learning is important, and especially so in technology which changes so fast. These days, what company isn't in technology, even if it's to support their operations doing something else. Our world is changing faster and faster, and companies have to keep up if they are to survive and thrive. As individuals, we can choose to learn what we think will support the future we want to have. We cannot, however, force others to learn. The best we can do is facilitate their learning and provide an environment that encourages it, or at least doesn't discourage it.

I decided to take some of my notes on the topic and start building a book with them. This book I'm doing a bit differently. I'm actually working iteratively and incrementally. I've got a walking skeleton up at https://leanpub.com/learningorganization/ that you can "buy" for free. The "catch" is that I would like your feedback. Which techniques interest you most, and would like more detail earlier? How does this fit into the situation you're facing where you work? What's missing from the book? What questions or suggestions do you have? I'm looking to make this book as valuable as possible as early as possible. This is the way that LeanPub was intended to be used, but I haven't really used it that way.

When I update the book, you'll get an email informing you that there's a new version. I hope each update will bring more value to you. And I hope that you'll not be shy about helping me learn from your reactions.

/signed/ George

P.S. For comments on the book-in-progress, there's an email address in the footer of the book's pages. If you want to talk one-on-one, schedule a Zoom Session with me.

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Or for other topics, you can also simply reply to this email or send an email to newsletter@idiacomputing.com to continue the conversation. There's a person, not a bot, on this end. I'd really love to hear from you.