In a previous post “The Ambidextrous Learning Community” I shared it is the ability to embrace a duality in their thinking that builds an Ambidextrous Learning Community. To hold two opposing ideas in their minds and reach a creative solution creates an ambidextrous learners, making them more flexible, innovative, and effective. It is ability and, more importantly, it is an attitude.
As a team they are constantly learning so they can better respond to the needs of their of their church or organization. Seeking out learning opportunities to increase the group’s knowledge and cognitive diversity is something all Ambidextrous Learning Community members are constantly aware of.
The Ambidextrous Learning Community seeks within themselves for the knowledge, ideas, and information they need to respond to church or organizational needs.
But the Ambidextrous Professional Learning Community also knows that the answers they need lie outside of the team as well.
The Ambidextrous Professional Networked Learning Community believes that the answers to questions, necessary information, important strategies and methods, or key knowledge may lie outside of the team members sitting at the table.
The team understands that boundaries of department, role, ministry, job function, church, denomination, etc. that have previously isolated people should not be allowed to prevent the necessary knowledge reaching members.
Team members, therefore understand, that anyone anywhere can be a valuable and or necessary resource to them.
Technology allows teams to connect to islands of expertise located in any geographic location. Technology allows teams to archive their learning and share with others. The sum result is that technology allows the Ambidextrous Networked Learning Community to “Know What Others Know” (K.W.O.K.). Knowing what others know and sharing what you have learned is what I refer to as Lateral Wisdom. Technology makes it easy for people, churches, and organizations to be good stewards of available wisdom—to know what others know.
Microsoft research sociologist Marc A. Smith put it this way. “Whenever a communication medium lowers the cost of solving collective action dilemmas, it becomes possible for more people to pool resources. And ‘more people pooling resources in new ways’ is the history of civilization in seven words.”
This model allows teams to solve problems, increase innovation, share strategies, etc., with people who are physically present “at the table” and with people who are virtually present from anywhere on the globe. The Ambidextrous Learning Community leverages not only their knowledge, but also the knowledge of others from anywhere else-virtually.
The Ambidextrous Professional Learning Community knows they have the knowledge and information they need to be effective, but they also know that the answers they need lie outside of the team as well and expands the boundaries of the team to include useful outsiders in person or virtually.