In business management, a learning organization is a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. The concept was coined through the work and research of Peter Senge and his colleagues.
A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.
David A. Garvin, Building a Learning Organization
Create a climate for learning.
Dan Weston, Business Consultant and Coach, Dallas, TX
I included these lines:
My job is to teach.
For the people I teach, their job is to learn.
I’ve had a conversation or two about this since I wrote that post. And I think I understand the need for teaching and learning more fully.
The idea of a Learning Organization is this:
an organization does not yet have everything right. The people do not yet know enough. There is always the next new thing to learn. And, not only do they need to learn that next new thing to learn, they need to keep their learning muscles in top shape.
Start here: a Learning Organization requires both… Teaching… AND Learning.
Being able to keep learning is as important as learning any one specific new thing to learn. Maybe more so.
And, for leaders, they need to model the learning role. If the top leaders are seen as energetic, fellow learners, that will serve as a powerful example for all in the organization to strive to keep their learning muscles in top shape.
Therefore, an organization needs to provide plenty of learning opportunities. Scheduled times of learning, which in and of themselves teach important insights, while also cultivating the hunger to keep learning among all within the organization.
A Learning Organization is an organization filled with people who are avid, energetic, open-minded, fellow learners.
Thus, as Dan Weston put it, leaders and members throughout the organizaiton have to create a climate for learning.
A climate for learning.
With plenty of active, energetic fellow learners.
With continual opportunities to keep learning.
Coupled with self-initiated sessions of learning.
With all always seeking to find the next new thing to learn.
And then, putting those new things learned into practice.
Do this, and you will be ready to take the next steps into the future.
Leave any of this out, and your claim to be a learning organization is just wishful thinking…