I’ve certainly forgotten more than I ever learned from a Kinesiology course in college many years ago. Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of body movements. One vivid definition of a body movement that was presented one day by an exceptional educator, Doctor Ralph Barclay, has always stuck with me. I am willing to guess that this definition will stick with a few of you as well:
Running = a controlled fall
Simple. Clear. If you think more deeply, it becomes even more apparent.
You tilt the upper body forward and alternately drive a single leg forward as you swing your arms as counterbalance and to generate additional force forward. If your timing and sequencing become uncontrolled, you fall.
Similar to the simplicity and clarity of the definition of running, organizations also have a term that to me accentuates a simplified definition of the mechanics necessary for its movements. Thames and Webster in their book, Chasing Change, applied the term Dynamic Stability that has stuck with me for years as well. Think deeply and it will also become more clear to you. How can an organization be both dynamic and stable at the same time?
Dynamic Stability (Thames and Webster)
Organizational stability taken in the context of change is the ability to hold steady amidst the disruption of moving forward (sound like a controlled fall?). The core capabilities of the organization (what’s working) remain to be at the stable core amid the change. Organizations need bounded instability (run dynamically) to become a learning organization that applies what it is learning within change to continuously improve and to thrive with consumers, clients and stakeholders. Persisting nearer to the edge of chaos, rather than sheer control (dynamic, but stable), drives the learning organization forward. Organizations in dynamic stability are those that are aggressively learning and applying what they have learned to be relatively immune to disturbances.
As some of you may have noticed, I feature a moon as a defining symbol for the Applied Learning blog. What’s the point of the moon? Well, “The moon is saved from falling by it’s very motion” (Pharnaces). I would like for you to equate your self-initiated practice of applied learning to being in motion, to be in a controlled fall with dynamic stability, to continue learning and applying what you are learning to generate a greater impact.
Learning each day, if merely from being “coached” by a man in the moon (MITM) referenced blog each morning, may feed a curiosity. A curiosity to set you in motion and reflect upon a learning concept more deeply. To then connect a learning concept into your applied work.
Applied Learning = a practice of learning for impact