The prime directive of the Mithya Institute is to research learning. We investigate two kinds of learning: one that leads to tool building (information and knowledge management) and the other that leads to wisdom. We attempt to understand the nature of human learning in individuals and in organizations as learning shows up in creativity and innovation, strategic and systemic thinking, leadership and inspiration in addition to impacting how much new intellectual capital develops in an organization. On an individual basis, learning is connected with our self development and fulfillment. On a daily basis our own energy and stuckness, intrinsic motivation, meaning vs. overwhelm, stress vs. challenge is connected with learning about ourselves.
In other words, learning is the engine behind all knowledge development, skill building, feeling of competence and capacity building.
In this section, you will see stories, articles, a book manuscript and models based on our research for past 11 years. We are attempting to come up with an integrated learning framework that maps the entire learning and development cycle from womb to tomb. Tell us what we are missing and what insights you have. Thank you! Click here for article abstracts, brief descriptions of each article in this section.
These articles serve the purpose of communicating our thoughts, research results and our questions with you. We would like to hear your comments, any questions it has generated in you and your opinions and reflections on the subject, style and content covered in the articles.
We use three styles in our articles: One is stories. They have a way to get to the essence and evoke emotional responses. The second style is objective reports. They are to share our research results in a more linear and logical way.
The third style is reflection pieces. We may share an incident or an experience or an inquiry that does not have an ending. You might call it a half woven story. We would like to hear your responses and reflections to develop it together. The main purpose of the third style is to evoke a dialogue.
All of them are about provoking your own questions and generating new possibilities and ideas for you to reflect on. Inspiration is the foundation for new creation and that does become the ground of being when you are willing to stay with the insights and ideas and mine them fully till they become part of your second nature. That is when knowledge becomes lived experience and wisdom begins to emerge!
Feel free to send your contributions to be posted on our website in the related areas too!
Please choose an article on learning from the menu above. Do you want help in figuring out where to begin?
A bicycle built for Two: This is a short story that gives you an idea about various stages of a learning cycle. A good article to begin!
Learning Coaching and Inspiration: John learns how to use computers and the coach learns how to coach and unlearn! This is good for people who are interested in learning and coaching relationship and would like to go deeper in understanding learning framework that we have developed.
A dialogue with my son: It is a reflective story about how every interaction has many components and learnings. More we pay attention, more we can turn each moment into dialogue with ourselves!
Six Accomplishment Principles from Vedanta: Here are six principles that allow you to bring greater accomplishment to your life. They are extracted from Indian spiritual texts called Vedantic literature. Original texts are in Sanskrit and this article was first written for a souvenir of Siva Vishnu Temple of Livermore, California. It was also published later in expanded form in January 1999 issue of Chinmaya Management Review.
The Art of Accomplishment: This is a larger article that starts with the six principles of accomplishment and introduces the concept of passion-possibility-creativity-discovery cycle. This PPCD cycle works hand in hand with PDCA cycle of continuous improvement! By the way, this article was conceived using a tetrahedron or a pyramid as the design basis. You can look at that accomplishment pyramid on this website too!
Open Space At Work: In applying our work in business organizations, one of the effective meeting tools we use is called Open Space Technology. It was originally conceived by Harrison Owen. In this article, a CEO of a software company tells the story of how open space principles were used in his company and shares the lessons they learned. This article was published in Open Space At Work special issue in 1997 (published by Berrett-Kohler.
Designing Organizations That Learn: This article is the most detailed report of our research on how people learn, and how to design organizations based on organic principles. We use Boeing 777 program design as an example for understanding basic ingredients for designing learning organizations. This article was first published in June 1998 issue of Chinmaya Management Review.
An Application of Dialogue in an Organization: This is a case study of how we used dialogue methodology as the starting point for bringing major change in a information services division of a health care organization.
New Sciences: This autobiographical article talks about role of synchronicity, chance, chaos played in the life of the writer and how a physicist turned into a learning researcher! This was written for a special issue of Inner Edge journal on new sciences and is yet to be published!
The Learning Framework: It is a graphical representation of our learning cycle and it is elaborated in Bicycle Built for Two story, Learning, coaching, Inspiration story, Igniting Your Natural Genius book manuscript and Designing Organizations that learn article.
What is Unlearning? Many people ask us that question because we believe that unlearning is critical to deep learning. It is not giving up what you learned but it begins with selective forgetting of your past and sometimes could involve letting go of your ego.
How to Unlearn? It is easy to talk about it and and takes time and effort to practice it. Here are some stories and examples of unlearning. More can be found the stories on this website and the chapter on unlearning in the book manuscript 'Igniting Your Natural Genius.'
Igniting Your Natural Genius: It grew out of a special issue of 'An Ongoing Dialogue on Learning' journal that we used to publish in 1990-1992. It was conceived as a book in the home of Anne Stadler (who has been an avid supporter and inspirer of our work) and after about 1000 copies and 6 publisher rejections, showed up on our web site one day. It is one of our best works and very non-linear work too! Let us know what you think!
Rural Education Project: It is a report of how a private school (started by Jiddu Krishnamurti) in south-central India has created a project called 'school in a box' and is working with 16 satellite schools and thousands of other schools in India. Rural Education Project has proved that a child could be educated in less than 12 months to bring 5th grade competence starting from scratch. We request your generous support and donations to this project.
Interview with J.M. Sampath: Sampath is the managing director of Arpita in India and is a Ashoka Fellow. He has devoted his life to values clarification and is the creator of Discovery kit and value profile instrument. You can learn more about his work by going to www.discoverself.com. He is interviewed in this article by Prasad Kaipa during his 1998 visit to USA.
Interview with Patterns: Patterns, the newsletter of an ASCD working group interviews Prasad Kaipa on emerging patterns in business education, unlearning and spiritual development.
The Coaching Relationship: A reflective essay by our friend Chris Newham on coaching and relationships.
Copyright 1998, 1999, The Mithya Institute for Learning. All rights reserved.