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Social Learning: The Core of a Learning Organization

With the Bootcamp on Learning Strategies less than a month away, Ellicom is pleased to present a little sneak preview of the themes that will be covered by its speakers. On June 1, from 1 :30 p.m. to 2 :45 p.m., France Lefebvre, Phil LeNir, Nathalie Sabourin and Eve Zeville will lead a workshop presenting an innovative adaptation of the 70/20/10 approach that reinforces a sense of community, stimulates the sharing of ideas, and promotes team spirit.

By France Lefebvre, Phil LeNir, Nathalie Sabourin, and Eve Zeville

Did you know that only 27% of leaders say they feel ready to face the challenges of 2020? With training funds slowly coming to a standstill, how else can you nurture the development of managers in your organization?

Have you ever asked yourself how you learned to be a manager? It certainly wasn’t done in a classroom, lecture hall, or in front of a computer with an online training program.

Developing leaders through social learning

Learning exists in two major forms: Cartesian learning and social learning. The Cartesian approach asserts that “knowledge is a kind of element, and that pedagogy is concerned with how best to transfer this element from teachers to students.

Social learning, on the other hand, is “based on the premise that our understanding of content is constructed socially via conversations about the subject in question, and interactions with others to put our understanding into practice.”  The majority of a manager’s learning and development occurs this way.

For example, reading this article could be considered a Cartesian activity, and it would have a relatively small effect. However, if you were to discuss this article with your colleagues in an attempt to understand the concepts and see how they can be applied to solve a current problem, then this could be considered an act of social learning and thus have a much greater effect.

Social learning: two methods on the rise

Many organizations around the world have turned to two skills development methods based on social learning:

The Professional Co-Development Learning Group, created by Professor Adrien Payette and industrial psychologist Claude Champagn, fosters professional development through group experiences. This approach promotes reflection on concrete situations through a six-step consultation method that stimulates learning new skills. As affirmed by the vice-president of a telecommunications company, “The opportunity to express my business problems and learn from participants’ experience with the support and tools offered by the co-development learning  group has allowed me to foster and accelerate the growth of my business.”

Professor Henry Mintzberg’s “Coaching Ourselves” approach is a peer coaching method. This innovative adaptation of the 70/20/10 approach to skills development and organizational transformation is a leadership development methodology that reinforces a sense of community, stimulates the sharing of ideas, and promotes team spirit. This testimony from the senior manager of a marketing company perfectly illustrates the benefits: “The ROI can be found in our solid working relationships, our managers who have become better at working with employees and making decisions, our improved processes and efficiency, and a greater organizational well-being!”


Social learning, a powerful development tool for managers, meets the needs of organizations that wish to do more with less. Participants learn from and train one another, while organizations ultimately enhance their self-development by improving their culture of collaboration between teams, and building a learning community focused on sharing and action.

If this subject interests you, come join us on June 1, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. for our workshop called “Traditional trainer or modern learning professional: Creating a learning culture using two social approaches

France Lefebvre, CRHA is CEO of Fortuna Consulting Group, a firm specializing in talent management. She gives trainings, including “Leading Co-development Groups” and “Turnaround 180: Break Bad Habits Without Using Discipline.” She is a talent development expert, and her clients benefit from her vast business experience. Her presentations are inspired by innovative approaches, such as co-development, and lead to concrete results. A popular speaker, she also teaches at ÉTS Formation. []

In 2007, Phil Le Nir founded CoachingOurselves, in partnership with McGill University professor Henry Minzberg, to bring an approach to management education directly into the workplace. As President of CoachingOurselves, Phil works to introduce this peer-development approach to organizations throughout the world. []

Nathalie Sabourin, CRHA, M.Sc provides coaching solutions for action, co-development, leading collaborative approaches and training to boost team potential and individual leadership. A human resources instructor at HEC Montreal, she specializes in the development of skills and learning strategies through professional experience, in addition to being active in the Association de codéveloppement professionnelle. []

Eve Zeville, CRHA, M.Ps has more than 25 years of experience and recognized expertise in OD and change management. She helps her clients manage the “human or emotional landscape.” By turns a strategist, speaker, facilitator and consultant, she guides organizations with the goal of building organizational skills for greater agility and a competitive advantage. As a partner of CoachingOurselves, Eve uses content developed by management gurus to help managers effectively lead change. She will act as a moderator and bring her expertise in strategic transformation guidance. []


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