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Thursday, December 11, 2014



 By Del Albright

Caroline Cornell interviewed Edward Hess, author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization, in Communication World Magazine (Dec. 2014), the voice of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).  The link is below.  I took Mr. Hess's words and just substituted "companies" and "businesses" with our OHV words like Groups and Organizations to show how his wisdom and advice applies to off-road groups as much as it does to today's business world.    

So when you read this really valuable article (link below) about technology and learning, see if this hits you the way it hit me as to how it relates to off-roaders and backcountry recreation groups.  Here are some highlights that slapped me across the face as applying to those of us in the recreational world, especially those in leadership positions.
  • Those groups that best incorporate the science of learning into their culture, processes and practices will be the winners.  Winning groups learn better and faster.

  • That learning environment will be a humanistic, positive, emotional environment that results in high employee engagement—designed to mitigate the two big learning inhibitors, Fear and Ego.  (Note, back in the 80’s the big thing was “Japanese Style Management – known as Quality Circles where the guy putting the widgets together had a huge say in the way the widgets were made.  Factory workers helping designers).

  •           Emotionally we are defensive “thinkers” seeking to protect and affirm our self-image.  Real learning (old dog new tricks) requires optimizing our humility and opening the door to better listening.  Most folks in our organizations listen to confirm we were right in the first place and have trouble suspending judgment while the other person is still talking.  It makes our motivation appear more to look smart than to learn. (Read more on my take on "aerobic listening" here on my website:

  •   Many OHV group leaders have yet to figure out how to be an open-minded, non-defensive, good listener who is willing to subject his beliefs to challenge by others.

  •   One of the big tricks to “being smart” for our organizations is to KNOW what we DO NOT know, learn how to overcome that and learn from our mistakes.
   So I'm curious how this applies to what you've seen in OHV/Recreation groups and organizations, even clubs?  For me, to take this info and build it into our strategic plans, training workshops, business plans, club bylaws, whatever, just the way we do business, might give us a heads up to win more and back-track less.

Good information on how we can get better with using our technology.


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