Love Water : Love Learning

By engaging with customers to understand how we can learn together to create a more sustainable water future, rather than by telling customers what the ‘water-wise rules’ are, the early indications are that enough customers are changing their water use behaviour.

Jim Bentley MD Hunter Water.

Dr Jim Bentley is sprinkling his customers with love in a new campaign to save water, encouraging residents of Newcastle and the Hunter region to think twice before turning on the tap. Hunter Water has challenged the traditional ways of thinking for infrastructure providers and monopoly utility businesses. This has opened up more adaptive, incremental and innovative opportunities as we now value ‘keeping our options open’ overbuilding certainty too soon. As a result, Hunter Water has reduced the volume of water loss from their system by nearly 20% in a little over two years and embarked on a range of initiatives and engagement approaches with our community under the Love Water banner.

Here Jim describes the changes at Hunter Water to The CEO Magazine

Jim: One of the most exciting things has been to understand how we could become a learning organisation. We wanted to change the relationship we have with our customers and bring about a different kind of water future, and apply those principles to our messaging in terms of how we use water.

A lot of utilities in Australia talk about water-wise rules and how you must comply with them. So, I looked at hope and optimism,belonging, curiosity, creativity, and realised that telling people what to do all the time doesn’t tick any of those boxes. I told our marketing team to go away and come back with the outline of a campaign around people’s water behaviour without mentioning rules.

“I told our marketing team to go away and come back with the outline of a campaign around people’s water behaviour without mentioning rules.”

What was the result?

The result was going from Water Wise Rules to Love Water, a brand we use for events and sponsorship. It’s two blue water droplets in the shape of a heart, which sounds very twee but fundamentally is a signal to us, our community and customers that we’re all in this together.

Dr Jim Bentley Managing Director of Hunter Water
Jim Bentley MD Hunter Water

The kind of events we sponsor now are very different. Rather than sponsoring big macho things like the rugby league, we sponsor Music in the Podium at Lake Macquarie, where thousands of people from the community enjoy light music by a beautiful lake.

It’s very different, less about strength and robustness and more about togetherness and belonging.

The relationship we have with those stakeholders and partners has been transformational, while the message to our community is that we’re not here to tell you what to do, but we’re here to learn and build with you.

It’s been amazing how this has taken off throughout our organisation in each department.

If it was just a piece of marketing it would be a bit naff, but this is the very essence of how we are working with people under the Love Water banner, which all links back to those learning power principles.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given or heard?

To help people connect with purpose. At an organisational level, spending time understanding and communicating what we’re here for and why it matters has always paid off for me. And at an individual level, working with colleagues to help them identify their purpose and values, and how these align with the organisation’s purpose, has often proved to be very powerful.

https://www.theceomagazine.com/executive-interviews/utilities-energy/dr-jim-bentley-2/

Learning Power: new research identifies Mindful Agency as central to resilience

For learning in the complex world of risk,  uncertainty and  challenge, what matters is being able to identify, select, collect, collate, curate and collaboratively re-construct information to suit a particular purpose. This is why there has been a sustained and growing interest in learning dispositions and the personal qualities people, teams and communties need to flourish. As Edgar Morin says:

edgar morinWe need a kind of thinking that reconnects that which is disjointed and compartmentalized, that respects diversity as it recognizes unity, and that tries to discern interdependencies. We need a radical thinking (which gets to the root of problems), a multidimensional thinking, and an organizational or systemic thinking

Ruth Deakin Crick 2015After fifteen years of experience in the research and practical application of learning power using a survey tool called the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI), Professor Crick, one of the originators, led the research team in a thorough review and reanalysis of the data.  Supported by the Learning Emergence Network of international researchers, the results are now published for the first time in the British Journal of Educational Studies:

Ruth Deakin Crick, Shaofu Huang, Adeela Ahmed Shafi & Chris Goldspink (2015): Developing Resilient Agency in Learning: The Internal Structure of Learning Power. British Journal of Educational Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2015.1006574. Open Access Eprint:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2015.1006574

Interestingly, the support for this re-analysis came from the Systems Engineers in the Engeering Faculty at the University of Bristol  as part of the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures, rather than ELLI’s original home in the Graduate School of Education….where Crick, Broadfoot and Claxton began in 2000.  Perhaps Morin would have something to say about this — we think so!

The new self assessment tool, called the Crick Learning for Resilient Agency Profile (CLARA) identifies Mindful Agency as a key learning power dimension — which predicts the set of active dimensions: Creativity, Curiosity, Sense-Making and Hope & Optimism.   Two distinct Relationship dimensions measure Belonging and Collaboration.  Finally, an Orientation to Learning indicator measures a person’s degree of Openness to change — in contrast to either fragile dependency or rigid persistence.

Internal Structure of LP with simplied view 19 August

The new measurement model represented by CLARA resulted from a detailed  exploration of the patterns, relationships  and interdependencies within the key constructs through structural equation modelling (diagrammatic summary above).  It is a more robust, parsimonious measurement model, with strengthened research attributes and greater practical value. The research  demonstrates how the constructs included in the model link to the wider body of research, and how it serves to integrate a number of ideas that have hitherto been treated as separate. For more details from a user perspective see  Introducing CLARA.

The CLARA model suggests a view of learning that, after Siegel is:

an embodied and relational process through which we regulate the flow of energy and information over time in order to achieve a particular purpose.

Learning dispositions reflect the ways in which we develop resilient agency in learning by regulating this flow of energy and information. They enable us to engage mindfully with challenge, risk and uncertainty and to adapt and change in a way which is positively alinged with our purpose.

Resilient Agency is our capacity to move iteratively between purpose and performance, utilising our learning power and generating and re-structuring knowledge to serve our purpose.

Learning JourneyLearning, from this viewpoint, is a journey which moves between purpose and performance – to put it another way, without having purpose we’re not really going to learn in a context of complexity and information overload. To learn, when the outcome is not known in advance (which is most real world learning) requires that we are able to navigate learning as a journey, utilising our Mindful Agency, restructuring information to achieve the outcome we need.

BlueThe Learning Emergence Network has teamed up with eXplorance Blue, one of the world’s leading survey providers based in Montreal, to create the SOLA platform (Surveys for Open Learning Analytics) which can host CLARA and other assessment tools, and importantly, provide rapid feedback to users for improvement purposes.

Slide2
Visual feedback to the learner from CLARA

The rapid analytic feedback to users who complete the questionnaire is returned in the form of a spider diagrame which forms a framework for a coaching conversation which can move between learning identity and purpose and the formulation of strategies for change.  The new assessment tool is a focus for research and development around the world. Crick and Buckingham Shum are now based in the pioneering Connected Intelligence Centre and the School of Education at the University of Technology Sydney, where CLARA forms part of a research programme into dispositional learning analytics — alongside other learning analytics approaches designed to make visible – to learners and educators – the dynamics of lifelong learning qualities.

by-nc-nd (1)CLARA, and the knowledge and know-how in the research paper, have been made available for research and development under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License. This permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

We welcome all contributions to the ongoing research and development of this work which has applications in education, industry and community.  We have translated CLARA into Chinese, Russian and Spanish. For more details and opportunities for collaborative research and development please contact info@learningemergence.com