Bridging the Knowledge-Readiness Gap

Bridging the Knowledge-Readiness Gap

Leadership - Bridging the Knowledge-Readiness Gap
Bridging the Knowledge-Readiness Gap

Organizations have a lot of institutional knowledge. And, there is no lack of resources to get new ideas, how-to tips, and options to explore. Still, many face challenges in getting ready to embrace what’s new and changing. What’s the recipe to bridging this knowledge-readiness gap?


Top 5 Learning Points

  1. How does an organization bridge the gap between knowledge, learning and applying that learning?
  2. How do leaders motivate the teams within an organization to use their learning to implement change?
  3. Change requires agility, how do leaders induce this agility in their teams?
  4. Even while doing their own job, how to implement that cohesive cumulative effect of the learning, which is going to enable people to move towards readiness?
  5. How would you measure the RoI for learning, and make adoption of learning a holistic process across organizations


Show Notes

  • A big part of the change is adopting the technology, but an equal part is understanding what to do with it.
  • Individuals need to be made agile as well, to adopt learnings and use them.
  • To implement new systems needs a new approach to communicate to individuals why it’s so important because that helps to drive the adoption of innovation
  • RoI for leaning shows up in financial benefit of adopting change.
  • Learning should be made into a holistic process that is adopted and implemented to daily work, across the organization.
  • How do you identify resources that will lead the learning process, to take the organization to the next level of market efficiency?


Transcript Summary

Despite an overload of information, enterprises today have a challenge in displaying the benefits of the learning from this information available. What is the technology-driven as well as the human-driven method is to utilize this data to learn best practices that can be followed throughout the company, adding value to the brand? A discussion on how leaders ensure he value trickles down to each team member, and creates benefit, and helps in making agile, informed decisions.



Sanjog: Our topic today is “Bridging the Knowledge Readiness Gap” and our guest Daniel Gandarilla, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, Texas Health Resources.

The reason we picked up this topic is that we have an overload of knowledge or information, but when they have to take the initiative, that knowledge that readiness doesn’t seem to exist. We want to explore why that happening is, where are the gaps and how can organizations get better at it? If possible, where technology executives who are our prime listeners can benefit from it or perhaps take charge create the bridge between the knowledge and readiness.

The first question, Daniel is, we have a lot of unknowns, unprecedented disruptions happening. We have to move forward and cannot afford just to keep status quo, or we will perish. In that environment, do organizations invest in learning to ensure it keeps pace with the speed of business?

Daniel: We are at a critical time in business. With new technologies, information and data have almost become like a commodity. It’s how we translate that information and what tools and resources we use to translate that information and make it as effective as possible, that matters.

Organizations are continuing to invest in technology, and one of the things that we often forget is that the technology by itself doesn’t necessarily run the business. We have people that are doing it, so underlying all of this are some elements for humans. A big part of that is change, and another part is understanding and knowing what to do with the technology. One of my favorite articles is the Leaders Framework for Decision Making, by Dave Snowden, really lays out this framework for how we make decisions, which information should really play into. There are four key buckets – simple decisions and the simple notion of the framework, where cause and effect can be determined, so it’s really easy to make a decision. But there’s another part of the framework that’s about complexity, and this is where Dave Snowden has really made an impact on the notion of complexity theory.

Organizations are continuing to invest in technology, and one of the things that we often forget is that the technology by itself doesn’t necessarily run the business

In this haze of unknown, it really requires experimentation or a mindset for managers and leaders to utilize these tools and the data, to make some decisions that help them reach the point of learning. We need to be able to synthesize that information. In the world of AI, we’re hoping for machines to do that, but right now, we have to realize that our people will have to learn by trial and error through safe experimentation.

Texas Health is one of the trailblazers that relates to the electronic health record implementation. We made its meaningful use a long time ago and implemented fast because we knew we need to this world that uses data. Through different trial and errors, we have learned how to implement and train people. We have taken a stages approach, and learnt from each implementation area, slowly putting a tool that will enable clinical decision making throughout the system.

We know this is the tool which will be used by our staff and on the backend, people will be looking at data and learning from what’s working and what is not.

Sanjog: It is good you brought up the people side because the learning is to be done by people and to be used by people. But even though the audience is information technology leaders, they are there to help business leveraging technology. That means, the way the business is fundamentally shifting, new technologies and even in business models are getting disrupted, the very business ecosystem is getting disrupted, and unexpected things are happening at the business level.

This learning has to be across the board. But there is a lot of inertia when people are supposed to be going in a brand-new direction which they never thought is going to happen. They need to go very fast, which means organizational learning has to become part of the DNA. Is that even thought of as a critical strategic approach to learning in organizations today?

Daniel: Typically, this is where the notion of the learning function individuals and my role have really been trying to play a larger role of understanding, not just the core competencies of the business, but also what does that mean for individuals. Also, how are we making sure that individuals are capable of agility? How are we reinforcing that agility? Building systems around it, so that people are rewarded for the agility in being able to change. It is that we’re seeking out people within the organization that can guide people down this path. Because 10 years ago, we would never have thought that Amazon is going to be moving into a pharmacy business!

If you’ve read the New York Times, they’re moving into the insurance business; they have got a proposal on to make a purchase of health insurance. So these landmark shifts are occurring that require our senior-most leaders to understand the direction that we now have to take and what these partnerships mean. Then to help convey that message down to the organization so that people understand why. If we are trying to implement new systems and taking a new approach to communicate to individuals why it’s so important, that’s an approach we have to take because that helps to truly drive the adoption of whatever that system is. We need better information to take a new strategic direction. It could be life or death of the business, and we have to make this change because look at the competition that is coming!

We find that the more that we can do that, even down to the local level, and build that understanding in, the easier it is to help steer a massive ship in a different direction. Every organization does that, but here at our organization, we use 10-year strategic sort of plans or visions where we lay out where we’re going. We just completed our last one. To use a mountain metaphor, we were climbing the mountain, and we were able to tell people at the very beginning, what we were trying to do and why we were trying to do it. Then, we made little incremental steps along the way saying, “Here’s what we’re doing now,” and communicating that down, and engaging people in the metaphor of climbing this mountain. Every three years, we’d bring our mountain pictures and have people take them with them.

If we are trying to implement new systems and taking a new approach to communicate to individuals why it’s so important, that helps to drive the adoption of a new system

They realize, here’s what we’re doing and here’s why and connecting the dots for them so that we can shift. That’s a planned approach, and then on the dime, part of that is got to be, look, here is what we thought and its transparent communication and making some shift along the way. But I don’t know of any organization that really does it extremely well. There’s always some pain in making those quick on the dime shifts, and it really comes down to finding the right people that fit within that organizational model that you’re looking for and developing them to keep that mindset open and to be willing adaptive to change as it comes along.

We need better information to take a new strategic direction. It could be life or death of the business, and we have to make this change because look at the competition that is coming.

Sanjog: the Business case of true learning is not as difficult to make because they understand that without new learning or new capabilities, we will not be able to grow. Humans are learners, and even if you did not say, they are learning somewhere, in pockets in and in piecemeal. But then the challenge is, are they learning, keeping in mind where the business wants to go? That learning not always structured but becomes part of their doing, what they do and even while they’re doing their own job, is it cohesive that that cumulative effect of the learning is going to enable them and move them towards readiness? Because learning is a means to an end. How do you make that learning process even though happening? It’s like a swarm of ants. If you have to move them in a given direction, they have their own antennas, and they’re figuring that out, you want learning to happen in such a way that they all are learning in their own right, but they’re moving towards one direction. What’s the art and the science of that?

Daniel: You mentioned a quite a variety of things in there. One, to your point, that the notion and this is one of these older adult learning principles that’s been out there for a long time, it’s the notion from John Dewey that individuals cannot be... Read Full Transcript v  


Daniel Gandarilla, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, Texas Health Resources

Daniel Gandarilla, M.B.A., M.Ed., FABC, serves as vice president and chief learning officer (CLO) for Texas Health Resources. In this capacity he is responsible for the strategic oversight of leadership and management development initiative... More   View all posts
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