Our learning support
Helping organisations and groups to learn is a large part of what we do. We care about learning and we believe that taking learning seriously is one of the core components of meaningful systemic change. We know from our own research that learning is a luxury for most organisations, and we want to change that.
What do we do?
We provide learning support to a range of organisations, partnerships, systems, and projects. Exactly what that support looks like is different every time. Here are a few examples: we’ve hosted a collectively-owned learning space for a local system. We’ve helped an organisation develop an internal culture of learning. We’ve developed highly-structured learning infrastructure for a regional systems change experiment. You can find out more about these examples, and more besides, on the ‘Our experiments’ page.
Through this work, we’ve learnt a lot about learning. We know that learning is essential to adaptation and improvement. We know that learning is a fundamental human need. We know that learning can be a therapeutic and even a transformative experience – for people and for systems. And we’re eager to keep learning about learning, to share our learning with others, and to support other people in their learning.
Why do we do this?
The world is complex and constantly changing, and the future is unpredictable. Despite this, often in organisations we set ourselves targets for (for example) what we want to deliver over the next five years, as though we can know with a good deal of certainty what the world will be like over that five years and how we’ll need to respond to it. Rather than do this, we need to fundamentally reorient our organisations and our systems around learning. Only deep learning will drive the constant process of adaptation and iteration that our complex world requires.
At the Collective Impact Agency, we work to challenge assumptions around learning, moving beyond notions of ‘evaluation’ and ‘training in best practice’ (though both have their place). We’re interested in emergent learning – what people found when they tried doing something differently. We’re interested in uncovering what surprised people, not just what they expected to learn about.