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Continuous Learning


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Evangelization on the importance of having a culture of continuous learning: first a bit of theory on learning, practices around the culture of learning, then examples of concrete initiatives to …

Evangelization on the importance of having a culture of continuous learning: first a bit of theory on learning, practices around the culture of learning, then examples of concrete initiatives to support that

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  • 1. Continuous Learning Training
  • 2. Purpose of this training • Developing a New Culture of Learning – The pace of change in our market and on the web in general forces companies to adapt fast. To be adaptive as an organization, that organization must intentionally engage in Continuous Learning. – When you learn as a team, you become more adaptable and achieve much better results, especially when the pace of change is fast. Teams that learn quickly are more adaptive than teams that don't. Adaptive teams are teams that can get better results, by rapid response to change.
  • 3. Levels of learning • 3 levels: 1. Individual 2. Team 3. Organization
  • 4. Continuous Learning at Individual Level • Learning requires time and effort, as well as the decision to want to learn. • Make individuals understand the value of continuous learning, and how it will not only help the organization, but most importantly, it will be a great benefit to the learner as well. • Examples: trainings, coaching and mentoring, seminars and workshops, also through actual application and practice of skills and knowledge
  • 5. Continuous Learning at Team Level • Means collective individual learning: if the members of the team acquire and share new knowledge and information, then team learning takes place. • Involves a set of learning processes that support and aid team performance • Examples: reflections, feedback, experimentation, group discussions, and Q&A sessions.
  • 6. Continuous Learning at Organization Level • Comprises change of interaction patterns, change of policies and procedures, new culture and new innovations. • Example: feedback from the employees themselves, from clients, and from customers. Getting comments and ideas.
  • 7. Culture Hacking • Software Hacking in the 1980s transformed in Culture Hacking in the 21rst century: – Rapid change driven by technology – Change in interactions and social structures – Agile manifesto  Active, intentional and iterative modification of existing cultural norms in the existing organization, with intent to create a stronger culture of learning.
  • 8. Agile : a learning laboratory • Agile means that teams must first become skilled at learning as a group: – Retrospective – Auto-organization: estimate, design, self-management – Safe space: safe to take risk. Experiment / trial-and-error: fail or succeed. • Agile teams are in fact small Learning Organizations.
  • 9. Scaling Agile at enterprise level • Very complicated task. Hard to achieve. • Agile teams operate in a safe space for learning. • Creation of enterprise-wide safe space is a non-trivial problem to solve.  Tribal Learning: start below the enterprise, above the team, by Managers, for groups of 20 to 150 people.
  • 10. Tribal Learning: practices • Encourage good group behavior on top of Agile patterns to facilitate meetings and group work: • paying explicit attention, • being punctual, • honoring Scrum values: Focus, Commitment, Openness, Courage, and Respect.
  • 11. Tribal Learning: automatic authorization • As a manager, you have implicit authorization to try and change a few things around. • You are pre-authorized = empowered. • Leverage your formal, positional authority as a manager to direct your staff, convene meetings, and so on. Don't ask permission! • Example: change meeting rules if people are usually late.
  • 12. Tribal Learning: tribal leadership • Encourage and influence other groups to try your practices. • Identify and align with other managers who share values with you. • Starting small: 1 or 2 other managers • People will begin to share values, to participate in continuous improvement and will eventually be part of the tribe. • Remember the wildfire metaphor
  • 13. Learning and Change • All learning is change, and all change is belief-change. When you learn, you modify your beliefs. • People who are always learning are constantly changing their models. • They have become adept at responding and adjusting to new information and knowledge as it becomes available to them.
  • 14. The learning cycle • For instance: – Agile holds 4 core values, underlined by 12 principles. – Those generate actions and results, from which we compile our experience. – Our experience changes our beliefs.
  • 16. Be Purposeful / Announce your intent  State your purpose early and often. Make it easy for those who follow you to understand your vision, your mission and your intent.  This clarity helps everyone around you, and increases levels of group learning.
  • 17. Facilitate and Game Your Meetings  Optimize the meeting process, by guiding the members to share and achieve a common goal and action plan  Make meetings fun, enjoyable, and engaging by gaming them.  Try other types of meetings, such as Open Space Meetings
  • 18. Examine Your Norms  Normal is what you willingly tolerate. Examine your norms, because what you tolerate is a minimal level of what you insist on.  What you insist on is more likely to happen. Insist on norms that encourage greatness.
  • 19. Be Punctual  Punctuality associates with focus, commitment, and respect; these in turn associate with individual and group greatness. The whole group cannot learn together if the whole group is not present.  Punctuality as a norm explicitly devalues lateness and tardiness. It takes openness and courage to establish punctually as a norm.
  • 20. Conduct Frequent Experiments  Frequent experimentation means frequent learning. Make learning into a game, by scheduling frequent, cheap experiments. Failing cheap means learning economically.
  • 21. Manage Visually / Be Playful  Use visual artifacts to convey messages and influence thoughts and perception.  Play games to get work done. Use games for simulation, work, and learning.
  • 22. Inspect Frequently / Pay Explicit Attention  Use iteration and frequent inspection to make a game of change. Inspect and retrospect frequently at all levels.  Pay attention to what is working and what is not. Zoom in on details and focus on results. Discuss with the specific intent to be excellent.
  • 23. Get Coached  Coaching helps the learning process and is a best practice. A coach will see what you do not and cannot.
  • 24. Understanding Delays • Delays in achieving good results are common. • Good steps taken today usually do not have an immediate positive effect. The truth is that you often get worse before you get better, because of the investment period.
  • 25. Bad Moves Make You Better, Then MUCH Worse • Example: adding more people to a late project. • So use practices that produce small results with low delay. • Experiment cheaply. • Avoid the tendency to backslide to old habits, even if changing is painful.
  • 26. Values 1. Serve Others 2. Be Purposeful 3. Communicate Honestly with Respect 4. Create Relationships 5. Increase Learning 6. Be Open-Minded 7. Adapt to Change 8. Create Fun 9. Be Focused, Committed, and Courageous
  • 28. Mini-training cycle • Raise team awareness about continuous learning • Explore new topics with curiosity • Improve communication skills by being a speaker in a safe environment
  • 29. Blogs • Internal o Share, Communicate, Serve Others. o Increase Learning • External o Promote Betclic IT team, Motivate, hire, retain top engineers o Contribute to team learning and performance, by reflecting, formalizing and sharing our practices (with the peer pressure of making it public) o Attracting external contributions
  • 30. Conference Be a speaker or participate to a conference. • Learn and discover • Meet other people. Create relationships. • Open your horizon • Share your knowledge and experience
  • 31. Hack days Take some time off to make a break and innovate: – 2 times a year, take 1 day to build prototypes, demo them, vote for the best and reward the best team, follow up to put in production the best ones. • Be creative • Work with other developers • Learn and have fun
  • 32. Bug Fixing Day Organize a one-day contest where all developers try and fix as many bugs as possible. Reward the best bug fixers. – Possible rule is to do pair-bug-fixing • Have fun and be productive together. • Reduce bug count.
  • 33. Lab Days Regularly organize days where developers are allowed to do other stuff (IT intelligence, training, clean up code, prototype, code for external projects, write blog articles…) – Agenda for each person to be explicit. • Auto-learning
  • 34. Developer Exchange Program Switch developers between teams or companies to share and learn. • Discover and learn other practices • Be open-minded • Create relationships
  • 35. Code Dojos & Coding Katas • Train your programming skills with small exercises, challenge your abilities and encourage to find multiple approaches. – Play with code without fearing any consequences! Also discover & learn new methods, areas, algorithms, languages, libraries ... – – –
  • 36. Programming and Logic Puzzles • To tickle the brain and challenge your logical/mathematical/programming skills – – – – – – – – –
  • 37. IT intelligence Take some time to review state-of-the-art blogs and articles, based on your interests and learning domains. – Build a RSS library of feeds • Auto-learning
  • 38. Play & Learn Make IT fun: set up avatars, trophies, points… – Game what you do: coding, meetings, learning… – – -powerofplay36 • People learn better while having fun • Create relationships • Create fun
  • 39. External projects Encourage senior dev to participate in an external project: – – – • Learning with others • Practice other areas of coding • « Peer pressure » on code cleanup
  • 40. References • The Culture Game, Dan Mezick • center/performance-development/importance-of- continuous-learning.html • whatsinitforyou.htm • development/2011/06/06/how-many-steps-to- continuous-learning-none/ • Tribes & Chapters (Agile at Spotify): yScaling.pdf
  • 41. Find out more • On