Can we measure learning?

Somewhere in recent conversations someone came up with the line “if we can’t measure it we can’t manage it”. I have heard this many times before and I’m not sure of its origin – if I was asked in a pub quiz I would suggest Jack Welsh of GE but I could be wrong.Anyhow, the axiom is part of everyday management speak and is often cited as a core principle used in change management and strategic planning.We’ve had a good example of this recently where financial systems and governments appear unable to ‘measure’ the extent of the bad bank loans (aka toxic debt) and, so the argument goes, we need to get these bad loans out of the system not because they are ‘bad’ as such but because they are unmeasurable.The Irish Government plan is to establish a new agency – the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) – this will take all the bad loans out of the banking system in order to free up the regular banks to continue to do business in the normal way.I can see how all this will be used in case studies to further reinforce the axiom of ‘can’t measure can’t manage’. The problematisation … Continue reading Can we measure learning?