Is Yours a Learning organization?

Learning organization is a culture, a mindset, and a way of doing business. Organizations must recognize that learning is a continuous process that must be structured and disseminated over a long period of time.

Why should you consider transforming yours into a learning organization?

To become a learning organisation, especially for organisations with inflexible hierarchies or certain ways of doing things, might seem like a great effort. “A learning organisation”, as Garvin said, “is not easier to cultivate”. This comes from a number of specific procedures and wide-ranging activities, which do not differ from the operation of commercial processes such as logistics, billing, order fulfillment and product development”. Let’s take a look at these following examples:

Improved continuously and sustainably

A corporation has to evaluate and learn from its errors or failures in order to become a learning organization. The desire to try new things, the admission process that something worked out and moved on is essential to produce the sort of changes and innovations your organization needs to make to flourish.

Enhanced cooperation

As learning organizations are formed from teams who engage and share information, these firms have a strong feeling of community and support. Conflict is less prevalent since everyone works towards a shared objective and learns from one other.

Unlocks a collective potential that can increase interest, commitment, and success

A truly learning business including everyone may raise staff interest and involvement, and can boost happiness – which thus has a direct influence on the bottom line of an organization. A collaborative learning culture supports a successful learning organization. Every person is recognized but, in the general context, they also play a major role. The system as a whole and each individual component involves corporate learners. They must, for example, understand how conformity and business policy promote more efficient working environments and assure safety of employees. Collaborative culture of learning also has different points of view. Corporate learners should respect and honor the ideas of their peers. There is always opportunity for creativity and every voice must have weight.

Five characteristics of a learning organization

Before starting transforming progress, take a deeper look at the concept of learning organization.

A learning organisation, pioneered by Peter M. Senge, is a relatively new idea for modern management. Dr. Senge is a senior lecturer of leadership and sustainability at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is the founding chairman of the Society of Organizational Learning. In his book The Fifth Discipline, learning organizations are discussed.

According to Dr. Senge, a learning organization is an organization that fosters and promotes learning to continually transform, survive, and excel in a rapidly changing business environment. The extremely complex, interconnected and integrated 21st Century global economy offers managers and staff new difficulties to compete effectively in such a dynamic economic environment. The qualities of a learning organisation, including tools for creative insight, effective learning and working together and adaptation to change, can assist managers and staff tackle these difficulties.

Systems thinking

This discipline acknowledges the links between the pieces that make up an entire system and is regarded to be the conceptual cornerstone of Senge’s approach. It recognizes that organizations are complex systems consisting of many interconnected components, and it is vitally crucial to understanding how the major components interact dynamically to provide life to the system they include.Instead of short-term challenges in each area of the system, organizations must learn to think at the “system level,” with a longer term effect of system dynamics.

Personal mastery

Personal mastery refers to a person’s discipline that can continually clarify and deepen his or her own vision, concentrate his or her efforts, acquire patience and view the actuality freely and honestly. Individual learning does not guarantee organizational learning, but the second cannot do without the first. Therefore, people should strive to learn and live from a creative rather than a passive perspective. Having a very clear personal vision of how things should be and a very objective understanding of what reality is will help the individual determine the gap between his vision and reality, and encourage him to learn in the process of actively seeking continuous improvement.

Mental Models

This feature is truly two-fold for learning organisations.  Initially, corporate learners must be able through self-reflection to examine and analyze their existing insights.  This enables individuals to confront the restrictive ideas that hinder advancement. Then everyone can see how they fit into the larger picture and how they serve the “greater good”.

Secondly, it is necessary to encourage corporate learners to try new theories and practices. The risk is part of the equation, since it enables individuals to learn from their errors and to grow constantly. In order to go beyond undesirable practices and assumptions, Senge says that mental models need to be recognized.

Shared vision

This characteristic refers to a group’s capacity to construct and have a shared picture of its members’ desired future. “Shared vision is essential for learning organizations because it provides the focus and energy for learning.” When there is a genuine, widely shared vision within the organization, people strive to learn and excel not because they are told to, but because they want to.

Team Learning

In learning organisations, cooperation is essential. Each group member must be aware of the learning goals and the expected results, and operate as a group problem-solving team to achieve its objectives. This often requires an infrastructure for knowledge sharing. For example, an online training repository where business trainees may exchange links and online training information developed by learners with their colleagues. Everyone benefits from the team’s professional knowledge and skills. They can also increase their understanding by sharing information with others, because it includes active remembrance and strengthening.

Organizational learning in the current corporate environment, where things change quickly and information is passed on nearly immediately, is becoming increasingly vital. Only truly adaptable and adaptive firms will flourish in such ever-changing environments, which means that learning from the past is key to future success.

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