What a Learning Organization is? An organization that develops itself and its context in a process reciprocally linked to the development of its members and stakeholders. We call it ‘Learning Company’ partly to differentiate it for the more normal term ‘Learning Organisation’ (as opposed to Organisational Learning).We mean it in the original and literal sense of people working together. We certainly see it as relevant to the public and third sectors as well as the private sector.
What the benefits of being a learning organisation are:
Surviving and thriving in a changing world
Consistently meeting targets for all stakeholders( profit returns on investments in public and private secto)r, consistently over time
Climbing Senge’s ladder from reactive(the damage which has already occurred is addressed) to adaptive (99.95% organizations are adaptive, it is pre-adjusting to the rate of change as it comes in the environment).
How Does Learning organization work? The notion of treating the organization as a complex system composed of smaller (often complex) systems. This requires an understanding of the whole, as well as the components, not unlike the way a doctor should understand the human body. Some of the key elements here are recognizing the complexity of the organization and having a long-term focus.
What makes it happen? A learning approach to strategy, participative policy making, information, formative accounting & control, internal exchange, development reward strategy, enabling structures, environmental scanning by boundary workers, inter company learning, a developmental culture and self development for all.
How to diagnose the degree to which an organization is a learning one? To do so we can use the 11 characteristics or practices questionnaire and/or exercise based on the e-flow model to diagnose. Based on that diagnosis we can decide which areas to deal with to make the most difference and design and implement initiatives accordingly. In this way we can evaluate using repeat of the diagnostics and other measures whether the organization is a learning one or not.