I hope you have been enjoying the weather and are feeling particularly motivated this week, i know i am! This weeks blog comes from the October 2006 edition of perform and deals with learning. If you enjoy reading these posts why not sign up for the monthly newsletter at www.motivationmatters.co.uk you never know, you might learn something!

“The world is just a great big onion!” Baby-Boomers among you will recognise this as the title of a Marvin Gaye song. I want to use an onion as a metaphor for the world, life and our perceptions to show they are multi-layered like an onion.

Whatever we investigate, we see the surface and as we drill down, we uncover layer after layer of reality – just like an onion.

Sometimes the surface layer – or common sense – can be dramatically different to the deeper truths in the deeper layers.

These thoughts spring from two workshops I attended recently. Both put over ideas that were “outer layer” rather than “deep truths”. Consequently, as commonsense, they made sense, but in fact, the ideas were false at deeper levels.

This highlights two fundamental practices of learning:

* critically evaluated experience
* informed experimentation

It is not enough to observe. We have to question our observations and test them. We need a questioning style of learning.

Drilling down through this particular onion, I realise that this is not a new idea: That a great man has been here already.

That man is Reg Revans – the founder of Action Learning.

He defined the Learning equation  L = P + Q

where P is Programmed knowledge, i.e. books, taught subjects and Q is Questioning insight, i.e. informed experimentation, thought.

Do you use “Questioning insight” when evaluating “knowledge”?


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