of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority.
While all cultures are different, in many non-modernized societies children enjoy wide latitude to learn by free play, interaction with other children of multiple ages, immersion in nature, and direct participation in adult work and activities.
These challenges revolve around verbal and written skills, and the processing of information and the relaying of information.
In organizations where processing and relaying ideas and concepts is of paramount importance and where the two primary venues for disseminating this information is through collaboration and electronic formats, the work environment needs to play an increased role of importance.
In fact, in their book REWORK, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (founders of 37Signals) have a whole little sub-chapter titled “Meetings Are Toxic”.
They describe meetings as the worst type of interruption because “They’re usually about words and abstract concepts, not real things” and “They usually convey an abysmally small amount of information per minute”. If you are at a point in your career where you are hosting your own meetings, or if you just want to be ready to step in when your boss needs help, In my adult work life, I have participated in around 3,000 meetings. Of those 3,000 meetings, I have been involved in the development or facilitation of around 1,200.
The child in a classroom generally finds herself in a situation where she may not move, speak, laugh, sing, eat, drink, read, think her own thoughts, or even use the toilet without explicit permission from an authority figure.
Once learning is institutionalized under a central authority, both freedom for the individual and respect for the local are radically curtailed.
The world of learning differences can serve to highlight additional problems found within today’s workplace design solutions.
Individuals with learning differences face particular challenges within the workplace, especially in dealing with work typologies that are increasingly found to support innovation.
In part one of this series, I outlined the attributes and challenges associated with learning differences.
The first thing you should do before setting up a meeting is decide if you really even need to have one at all.
Ask yourself “Does a decision need to be made, or am I just relaying information?