A Paradigm Shift in Leadership in Workflow Learning – Workshop Tip #237

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Application: Try this idea. In your training session or conversations, present a work problem that has multiple confusing facts surrounding it. For example: a policy with different interpretations, an equipment that needs a new part but the manufacturer has stopped producing the part, or a new chemical that was discovered but has no prior history with the extent of the risks.

Ask your team, what are their views on how to solve the problems? You will see that many more ideas will surface from the conversation that you may have considered by studying alone. This is an exercise in shifting roles from instructor expert to a facilitator and assistant problem solver.

In Workflow Learning, the dynamics of learning in interaction and engagement becomes different as the learning responsibility shifts from the role of instructor (expert, teacher, manager, and supervisor) to that of the learner/worker.

Traditionally, the instructor is the key decision-maker of what is there to learn. He/she becomes an end to the “command and control.” However, with the need to constantly update and reskill the team, the learner/worker takes on a new responsibility. He/she now initiates and pursues his/her own learning on the issue at hand. The teacher/instructor becomes the facilitator guide on the side – enabling, encouraging, empowering, and facilitating the learner in his/her own learning process in the workflow to “get the results.”

Given this shift in the leadership role, we see a redefinition of the concept of a leader as “he/she keeps an eye to the future” to guide the worker/learner for his/her own growth.

The mind-sets and behaviors that leaders must learn (and unlearn) in order to meet the needs of their people and their organizations in the age of reskilling and to dial up their levels of empathy and humility and focus on enabling the best in their people rather than commanding it from them.”

The members of Consortium for Advancing Adult Learning and Development (CAALD)

What would it take for the leaders and managers to “THINK & ACT DIFFERENTLY” and to develop the culture of learning for workers using the Workflow Learning framework of engagement? What would the leaders gain/lose should they shift their position of authority to the position of influence with no imposition but to support the culture of learning in the workplace?

To stay ahead as an organization, it is important to continuously include learning in the workflow. Leaders and workers must be able to adapt and be flexible with the demands of today, including taking on new roles that might be challenging and unfamiliar to them.

Develop expertise in creating learning experiences and overcoming the challenges. Join the Instructional and Experience Design for Workflow Learning online workshop.


Mckinsey Quarterly (2019). “Redefining the role of the leader in the reskilling era”

Ray Jimenez (2019), “Workflow Learning: Through Work We Learn”

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

One thought on “A Paradigm Shift in Leadership in Workflow Learning – Workshop Tip #237

  1. Yes, we too have “shifted!” That is to also say, “flip the script” or “flipped classroom.” Workers are always too busy to slow down and take training as they see…not relevant. Instead of pushing training to workers, now we are pulling those same learners, into their own learning. As this article suggested, “Ask your team, what are their views on how to solve the problems?” Pull them in. For our company, we have been encouraging workers to search for information, then to continue communicating among piers within their sphere of influence. Next step is to partner with one of the workers at each location (or bubble) so they share what was learned with others outside their “bubble” so Trainer L&D can share solution with others so we all learn. See you in November at Work Flow – Learning Workshop. Thank you Ray Jimenez!

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