I admit it: I don’t buy organic foods. I drive an SUV (a small one, but whatevs). I understand the importance, and I do what I can, but I’m not what you’d call a tree-hugger. But I was sitting in a meeting recently and said something that made me laugh, so I wrote it down to think about later.
What I said was, “I’m a learning hippie.” Naturally, the response was a few strange looks from my colleagues. Here’s what I meant:
Dictionary.com defines a “hippie” as “a person, especially of the late 1960s, who rejected established institutions and values and sought spontaneity, direct personal relations expressing love, and expanded consciousness, often expressed externally in the wearing of casual, folksy clothing and of beads, headbands, used garments, etc.” Okay, let’s remove the era and the clothing description, and focus on this: They rejected established institutions…and sought spontaneity.
I am probably the worst person to “work in HR”. Sure, that’s where my team naturally falls in the grand org chart scheme of things. But I do not like having my team’s work described as “that training that HR does”. *rolling eyes*
We are – or should be! – our own entity within the organization. We are in the business of facilitating learning opportunities…and not all of them happen while staring at a slide deck in a conference room! HR is often associated with “dirty words” like policy…compliance…mandatory…process. Those are not the words I want people to think of, when they think of our program. Learning is collaborative. Learning is community. Learning is everywhere. Building awareness to this is so important!
So, while I may not wear flowers in my hair and sing folk songs while driving my psychedelic VW van, or organize protest rallies with fellow learning professionals, I am kind of a learning hippie. I believe it’s possible to have a blended approach to learning – where employees can share and learn in harmony.