Which of the following is not a characteristic of a successful learning organization?

Insight No. 3

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The Learning Organization
No. 3

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The "discovering organization" has actually its origins in carriers like Covering, wbelow Arie de Geus described learning as the only sustainable competitive advantage. The Learning Organization is seen as aresponse to an significantly unpredictable and also dynamic service environment. Here are some meanings by key writers:

"The essence of organisational learning is the organization"s ability to use the impressive mental capacity of all its members to produce the sort of procedures that will improve itsown" (Nancy Dixon 1994)"A Learning Company kind of is an organiaation that facilitates the finding out of all its members and also continually transcreates itself" (M. Pedler, J.Burgoyne and also Tom Boydell, 1991)"Organizations wbelow civilization continually expand their capacity to create the outcomes they truly desire, wright here new and expansive fads of reasoning are nurtured, wright here collectiveaspiration is collection totally free, and where human being are continually learning to learn together" (Peter Senge, 1990)

We have drawn on these and also more to build a definition to assist guide managers wanting to build LO capabilities:

Learning establishments are those that have actually in location systems, mechanisms and also procedures, that are supplied to continually enhance their capabilities and also those who work through it or for it, toachieve sustainable missions - for themselves and also the areas in which they get involved.

You watching: Which of the following is not a characteristic of a successful learning organization?

The important points to note about this definition are that finding out organizations:

Are adaptive to their external environmentContinually boost their capability to change/adaptDevelop cumulative as well as individual learningUse the results of learning to accomplish much better results Why the Interemainder in "Learning Organizations"?

Basically, it"s the search for the (unattainable) Divine Grail. Companies are seeking to boost existing products and also solutions (constant improvement), and also development (breakwith strategies).This has actually led to a plethora of initiatives such as TQM (Total Quality Management) and BPR (Firm Process Reengineering). But carriers are finding that such programmes succeed or faildepending upon huguy components, such as abilities, mindsets and also organisational society. It likewise shows up that many kind of implementations are geared to highly specified procedures, identified for anticipatedcases. The present interemainder in the "discovering organisation" stems from the recognition that these initiatives, by themselves, often perform not job-related. Something more is essential to:

Cope via quick and also unmeant alters wright here existing "programmed" responses are inadequateProvide flexibility to cope with dynamically altering situationsAllow front-line staff to respond through initiative based on customer requirements vs. being constrained by organization procedures established for various circumstances

As assorted administration authors put it:

"Organisations have to develop a capacity for fast-paced invention.. learn to love change" (Peters)"As the competitive atmosphere becomes even more complicated and also variegate, the need for greater hereditary array - a wider range of managerial beliefs, and also a higher arsenal of managerialactions - grows apace" (Hamel and also Prahaled)."Top service providers seem to organise about people ..honouring these requirements - feeling of control, something to believe in, challenge, lifelong learning, recognition" (Waterman)

With the pace of adjust ever before accelerating, the must build mechanisms for consistent learning and development is greater than ever.

Types of Learning

A finding out company is not about "even more training". While training does help develop certain kinds of ability, a learning organisation involves the breakthrough of better levels of understanding andability. We have developed a 4-level model:

Level 1.- Learning facts, expertise, processes and also procedures. Applies to recognized instances where transforms are minor.

Level 2.- Learning new project skills that are transferable to other situations. Applies to new instances wright here existing responses need to be changed. Bringing in external expertise is a usefultool right here.

Level 3 - Learning to adapt. Applies to even more dynamic cases where the solutions require developing. Experimentation, and deriving lessons from success and also faiattract is the mode of learningright here.

Level 4 - Learning to learn. Is about development and also creativity; creating the future quite than simply adapting to it. This is wright here presumptions are challenged and understanding isreframed.

Additionally this design (or adaptation of it) can be used at 3 levels - to the finding out of individuals, of groups and also of organisations. Organizations that achieve discovering to Level 4 will"redesign not simply their company however their industry" (Hamel and also Prahaled in Competing for the Future)

Characteristics of a Learning Organisation

Observation and research identifies 4 types of factor:

Learning Culture - an business climate that nurtures discovering. Tright here is a strong similarity through those characteristics associated through innovation.

Processes - processes that encourage interactivity throughout limits. These are facilities, development and management procedures, as opposed to business operational procedures (the typicalemphasis of many BPR initiatives).

Tools and also Techniques - approaches that assist individual and also team learning, such as creativity and also trouble addressing methods.

Skills and Motivation - to learn and adapt.

Here are some additional points on the first 3 of these.

A Learning Culture Future, external orientation these organisations build expertise of their environment; senior teams take time out to think about the future. Widespread usage of exterior resources andadvisors e.g. customers on planning teams.Free exreadjust and flow of information - devices are in place to ensure that field of expertise is accessible wright here it is needed; people network extensively, crossing organisationalboundaries to build their knowledge and also expertise.Commitment to finding out, personal development - support from height management; world at all levels urged to learn regularly; finding out is rewarded. Time to think and learn(expertise, experimenting, showing, developing)Valuing people - ideas, imagination and "imaginative capabilities" are engendered, made use of and also emerged. Diversity is recognised as a strength. Views deserve to be challenged.Climate of openness and also trust - individuals are encouraged to build ideas, to speak out, to difficulty actions.Learning from experience - learning from mistakes is frequently even more powerful than finding out from success. Failure is tolerated, offered lessons are learnt ("discovering from fast failure" -Peters).

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Key Management Processes Strategic and also Scenario Planning - ideologies to planning that go past the numbers, encourage difficult assumptions, thinking "outside of the box". They also alfind a propercent ofsources for testing.Competitor Analysis - as part of a procedure of constant surveillance and evaluation of all vital aspect in the outside atmosphere, including innovation and political components. A coherentcompetitor evaluation procedure that gathers information from multiple resources, sifts, analyses, refines, adds worth and redistributes is evidence that the proper mechanisms are in area.Capcapacity Planning - profiling both qualitatively and also quantitatively the competencies of the organisation. Profiling these on a matrix can be advantageous to planning adjustment:Team and also Organisation development - the use of facilitators to aid teams via work, project and also organisation design and team breakthrough - reinforcing values, occurring vision, cohesivenessand also a climate of extending purposes, sharing and supportReward and also Recognition Systems - procedures and also devices that identify acquisition of new skills, team-work-related as well as individual initiative, celebrate successes and also success, andencourages constant individual development. Tools and Techniques

Too countless to cover in information, but encompass a broad variety of discovering and creativity abilities in the adhering to groups:

Inquiry - interviewing, seeking informationCreativity - brainstorming, associating ideasMaking feeling of instances - organising information and also thoughtsMaking options - deciding courses of actionObserving outcomes - recording, observationReframing knowledge - embedding new expertise into mental models, memorizing

Collective (i.e. team and also organizational) discovering require abilities for sharing indevelopment and understanding, especially implicit expertise, presumptions and beliefs that are traditionally "beneaththe surface". Key abilities right here are:

Communication, especially throughout organisational boundariesListening and also observingMentoring and also supporting colleaguesTaking a holistic perspective - seeing the team and organisation as a wholeCoping via difficulty and also uncertainty

Many kind of (yet not all) of these will be found explained in The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Peter Senge et. al. The 5 self-controls are PersonalMastery, Systems Thinking, Team Learning, Shared Vision, Mental Models. Anvarious other advantageous resource is Techniques for Structured Problem Solving by Arthur B.van Gundy.

Inhibitors to coming to be a Learning Organization

These are some of the the majority of prevalent obstacles to becoming a learning organization:

operational/fire fighting preoccupation - not producing time to sit back and also think strategicallyalso focused on systems and process (e.g. ISO9000) to exclusion of other factors (bureaucratic vs. thinking)reluctance to train (or invest in training), various other than for evident immediate needstoo many hidden individual agendastoo top-down driven, overtight supervision = absence of actual empowerment Getting Started

Similar to many "interventions", tbelow are many great places to start, relying on the particular context. Some ones regularly recommended are:

Start at the top
- beneficial to provide an impetusStart with a chronic problem - always a good area to get the thinking caps onInitiate a Task Force - a common response, however they will certainly need drive and visionStart through an Organizational Diagnosis - the HR consultants favour this one!Link to an existing procedure or initiative - go wbelow tright here is existing energyReview existing units and also processes - an audit to identify a "capability" gapNew Product Development

We specifically favour the last. It is tangible, is an possibility to be innovative, and also requirements most "boundary crossing" to succeed. It draws on many of the processes, devices and also methods toend up being effective at learning.

The Role of Systems

It is our idea that many finding out organization efforts are high-jacked by the HR function or exterior experts. This need to not be the situation. Developing a learning company is around doing it from within and taking a holistic systems perspective. MIS departments and IS specialists have actually a significant contribution to make.

they have a units approach and mind-set: a strong background in logical methods and also process and are generally capable of developing artistic remedies and holistic views.they regularly provide some of the ideal project supervisors within an organisation, capable of co-ordinating multiple tasks throughout a number of functions and entailing considerable readjust in workprocesses.an information infrastructure that enables indevelopment flows, including netfunctioned relations between interior systems and access to exterior networks and also databaseshave actually units integration knowledge, necessary element of making effective relations between information, and more importantly knowledge

In conjunction through library Information services attribute they play a crucial component in the administration of indevelopment and understanding resources Providing the systems and also processes for the administration ofexpertise and flow of information is, we believe, a crucial and underrated aspect of the discovering organisation, , making use of approaches such as IRM - Information ResourcesManagement.

The Management Challenge

The difficulty encountering supervisors today is to make the effort essential to learn some of the new skill and also approaches, and also to put in procedures that communicate their workpressure in programmes of continuouscapcapability breakthrough. Learning have to be incorporated right into the doing, as part and parcel of everyday job-related. It must likewise be energising, stimulating and also fun. Getting the finest out of everybody,including yourself to accomplish the challenges ahead.

David sarkariresultonline.info, October 1995.


The concepts of the Learning Organization and Knowledge Management are progressively seen as 2 sides of the very same coin - as you learn you get expertise which you use andlearn more (watch additionally our short article E-learning: Which Side of the Coin?). Organizational learning programmes such as those at Anglian Water and Glaxo Wellcome have over time advanced into expertise monitoring programmes. More on the links between the LearningOrganization and also Knowledge Management have the right to be uncovered in Chapter 6 of Creating the Knowledge-based Company.


The Organizational Learning Cycle, Nancy Dixon McGraw-Hill (1994). More Details.

The Learning Organisation, Bob Garratt, Harper-Collins, (1994). More Details.

The Learning Company: a Strategy for Sustainable Growth, Mike Pedler, John Burgoyne & Tom Boydell, McGraw-Hill (1991). MoreDetails.

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Peter M.Senge, C. Roberts, R.B. Ross, B.J. Smith, A. Kleiner, Nicholas Brierley (1994). More Details.

Techniques for Structured Problem Solving, Arthur B. van Gundy, Van Nostrand also Rheinorganize (1989). More Details.

Stanford Learning Organization Network

Related Insights on these peras include No. 1 The Netfunctioned Organisation, No. 2 The Virtual Corporation, No. 4Telefunctioning for Enterprise or see full list.

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Management Insights are publications of David sarkariresultonline.info Associates, who uses strategic consulting, presentations and also workshops on many kind of of these topics.

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