Friday, March 19, 2010

Problem Solving - When will we wake up?

“Habits of Mind are the characteristics of what intelligent people do when they are confronted with problems, the resolutions of which are not immediately apparent,” (Costa & Kallick)

Speaking yesterday at the 3rd annual blended learning conference, I was challenged by someone that said they believed that application of learning and knowledge management did not gain traction because of cognitive habits. Hence my Costa and Kallick quote to begin with. It got me thinking and ruminating......

The definition of a problem is any stimulus, question, task, phenomenon, or discrepancy, the explanation for which is not immediately known. Thus, we are interested in focusing on employee performance under those challenging conditions that demand strategic reasoning, insight, perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship to resolve a complex problem.

Not only are we interested in how much stuff employees don't know, but also in knowing how to behave when they don't know. Habits of Mind are performed in response to those questions and problems the answers to which are NOT immediately known. We are interested in observing how employees produce knowledge rather than how they merely reproduce knowledge. The critical attribute of intelligent human beings is not only having information, but also knowing how to act on it.

Are your employees stuck in a habit of mind? Do they rely on reproducing knowledge rather than building it? And if they reproduce is this an indicator that they lack the skills to create/produce new knowledge? or merely a habit of mind?

Well worth ruminating over........

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