Name: Meir Jacob

Organization: Optimum Team (1994) ltd. - OD Consultants

Position: Associate Manager

Title of Presentation: Peer Learning Groups

Type of presentation: Workshop Presentation

This era of crisis and change calls for new, different ways for adaption. It calls for adaption of organizations to a dynamic ever-changing reality, adaption of workers and executives to such organizations - and a streaming balance between the two.
These challenges of fast change, of need to adaption within and without, changes organizations have to face in every aspect of their life - can not be approached by familiar conventional ways.

  Some of the challenges we dealt with through our practice with organizations were:

To gather, elaborate and share the knowledge at the workplace, in the organization.
To form communities of learners, sharing the same values focused on growth of the individual, the team, the department and the organization.
To implement among executives and workers the motivation to learn, seeing the learning process as an integral part of the job, and moreover, to see it as part of the benefits one gets from being part of a particular organization.
The setup of our intervention was based on several conceptual models:
Peter Senge's 'Fifth Discipline' - especially the emphasis on Shared Vision, Team Learning and Mental Models.
Nonaka & Takeuchi's ideas about 'The Knowledeg Creating Company' - emphasizing the effort to 'crop' and cultivate the knowledge there is inside an organization - 'the tacit knoledge', turning it into 'formal knowledge', public domain.
Gib Akin's ideas about 'Andragogy' as opposed to 'Pedagogy' - emphasizing the simple truth, where workers and executives can contribute their own questions and educated answers (deriving from their vocational experience) in order to form the most relevant and dedicated syllabus.
The basic ideas of leadership, empowermet and coaching.

Peer Learning Groups kept runing at Coca Cola Production Department (to mention but one of several such projects) for three years (38 sessions), led by the senior management, coached by Optimum Team facilitator. After three years, responsibility was delivered wholly to the department leader - and the groups are still meeting.

During the workshop presentation we intend to discuss our experience, present results of this interventions and demonstrate salient parts of the model.