Since the look and feel of Emergent Learning disciplines varies widely
to match an organization’s needs and culture, the best way to understand
them is through examples of real-world challenges and solutions:
Forward-looking executives at Power Construction, a $300 million, 400
employee, 78 year old Chicago firm recognized that their highly successful
family-style organization was growing too large to be able to rely on
informal mechanisms to transfer knowledge and skills in completing complex
projects. Time is money, and many projects face "never done before"
situations that call for adjusting as you go. These sorts of lessons learned
on the job were too valuable to lose.
Their major projects require close working relationships
between multiple organizations — architect, general contractor,
owner, subcontractors, etc. As their core business strategy has always
been exceeding customer expectations, leading to over 90% repeat business,
this requires a very pro-active approach.
So Power built an Emergent Learning practice they call
"Lessons Learned Workshops" (LLWs) into the phase transitions
of major projects — pre-, 50% and post-construction. They track
key performance indicators and use emerging lessons to plan for challenges
around the corner. They use these workshops as a straightforward hands-on
way to keep the multi-firm project teams aligned and on the same page.
The experience-validated knowledge produced by the LLWs is presented peer-to-peer
in quarterly all-company forums.