ach employee possesses a unique learning style. Companies with a general understanding of their team members can determine the most suitable method of learning which can boost the company’s performance. This report gives reference to Honey and Mumford learning style compared to my learning sequence and the implications as it contributes to an agile organization.
DEFINITION OF LEARNING STYLE
Learning style refers to “the concept that individuals differ in regard to what mode of instruction or study is most effective for them” (Pashler, 2009). Employees need to understand their style and seek the opportunities within to maximize their learning.
COMPONENTS OF HONEY AND MUMFORD LEARNING STYLE
Honey and Mumford identified four distinct learning preferences namely:
The Activist, these are persons who learn by doing. Activists are very hands-on by gathering information and act without hesitation. Blurting an open-minded approach to learning, involving themselves fully and welcome challenges and new experience. Mistakes are seen as building blocks and a motivator towards success. Learning activities include brainstorming, group discussion, puzzles and problem-solving (Honey, 1982)
Inherent Theorist learner seeks to understand the theory before taking action. They highly appreciate models, concepts, and facts for better engagement. They position themselves backstage analyzing and synthesizing before preparing new information into a systematic and logical concept. Rely heavily on statistics, stories, quotes and background information for support. Theorist learner’s weaknesses derive from not having the ability to think outside the box and possessing a low tolerance for uncertainty or intuition. Overthinking is very keen on “should”, “ought”, and “must” (Singh, 2018).
Pragmatic learners dislike abstracts and concepts unless they see an opportunity to convert ideas into actions. They are experimenters with theories, ideas, and techniques and take the time to think how to apply what they have learned to the real world. This requires time to think, case studies and discussions play an integral role. Generally impatient and inclined to settle on the first solution to a problem and pay less attention to underlying principles weakens their performance (Honey, 1982).
Finally, the Reflector learners grasp by observing and thinking about what had happened. They have a tendency to pause and view experiences from different perspectives, collecting data and taking the time to work towards an appropriate conclusion. Decision making takes longer than expected, resulting in lost opportunities. These learners are too cautious, and not good at small talks (Cameron, 2009). A summarized view of Honey and Mumford learning style can be seen in Fig 3.
Figure 3 (Howes, 2014)
MY LEARNING STYLE
An opportunity presented itself three years ago, both a personality and learning style test was compulsory. The results highlighted my core components that best describes who I am. This generalized my understanding and made me lead a life with less friction and more happiness. From the DISC test, my personal traits lied between Steady and conscientious on the quadrant where stability, consistency, peace-seeking, and relationships altered my personality. Being a critical thinker, decisions are made from facts and rules and supported with questions as to “why” And “How”. However, my learning style is categorized as highly Activist and low on Theorist.
The Activist learning style blends perfectly with an agile organization having the notion and adaptability factor to garner success. As part of the management board, different styles exist among team members, all of whom learn differently. Successful project achievements stem from the potential, flexibility, and capabilities within myself, hence issues or weaknesses encountered are tackled immediately. Each project is a new learning experience, an opportunity to understand and absorb information. Possessing an open-minded, doubtless thoughts and enthusiasm trying new activities without intense consideration paves way for creation and innovation. This contributes to the achievement of constant development, helping business objectives to be met. Being part of a team with this type of culture contributes to morale and motivation, in turn, enhances staff retention.
On the contrary, Activist like myself has a tendency to take the immediately obvious course of action without weighing up other possibilities. This can result in repeat failures, preventing the company from moving forward. Preparation is necessary for success, however being unprepared can make the company lose easily to achieve opportunities. Inclined to do too much at times while taking on unnecessary risks can prove futile but to avoid boredom and implementation such behaviors are portrayed. In an agile organization, there is no room for overthinking, a culture to act more and think less proves success.
In order to strengthen my weaknesses, as an activist learner doing something out of the ordinary can help, for example, reading an unfamiliar newspaper with my own views. Being more engaged by initiating conversations with random individuals maybe at conferences or at meetings.
From this in-depth research that was executed on Perfumes Guyana, various issues, threats and of course competitiveness stemmed within its operations. From the Just In Time inventory perspective, the advantages of incorporating JIT did outweigh the cons. However, due to the geographic location of the supplier, buying stock in bulk ensures adequacy of inventory.
Working as a team defines Collectivism. This classification of culture exists within the company ensuring collaboration and minimizes malice and other factors that may contribute to demotivation. Being responsible taking accountability for one’s assigned duties exhibits a high degree of power distance. Each staff report to their superior upon completion of the assigned task seeks advice and articulates respect for those in authority. Fearing negative outcome from making decision demonstrates strong uncertainty avoidance and service oriented, caring and value for relationships also defines the cultures practiced.
Incorporating manuals, systems and guidelines is a practice from Taylorism. These processes minimize mistakes ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in all areas of the company by creating a competitive edge. Strongly embedded in the company’s operation, there is little room for mistake and drawbacks.
Effective communication proves success. Selecting the most appropriate channel to convey a message, speaking clearly and avoiding noisy background can guarantee feedback. As a consultant, I hereby recommend to the management of Perfumes Guyana to avoid the use of jargons, wrong medium and information load in everyday processes.
It is important to understand each staff learning style to gain more from their presence. However, each learning style has its own weakness and strength. Identifying one’s learning style gives them the opportunity to develop and excel in their performance. An Activist learner can adjust and work together with an agile organization exploring and taking the risk to seek and capture opportunities for growth and success.