Learning Organizations

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 04/10/2012 01:29 PM

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For organizations wishing to remain relevant and thrive, learning better and faster is critically important. Many organizations apply quick and easy fixes often driven by technology. Most are futile attempts to create organizational change. However, organizational learning is neither possible nor sustainable without understanding what drives it. Organization, people, knowledge, and technology. Each subsystem supports the others in magnifying the learning as

it permeates across the system.

A learning organization values the role that learning can play in developing organizational effectiveness. It demonstrates this by having an inspiring vision for learning and a learning strategy that will support the organization in achieving its vision.

The leadership of a learning organization is committed to the importance of learning and clearly communicates that learning is critical to organizational success. The leadership recognizes the importance of providing the motive, means, and opportunity for learning:

(i) The motive being the “why?”—the purpose and reason for learning;

(ii) The means being the “how and what?”—the models, methods, and competencies required; and

(iii) The opportunity being the “where and when?”—the spaces for learning.

Leaders take an exemplary leading role in creating and sustaining a supportive learning culture.

The structure of a learning organization takes into account the common obstacles to learning so it is carefully aligned with strategy, avoiding the development of “silos” and minimizing unnecessary levels of hierarchy.


Knowledge is a critical asset in every learning organization. Because learning is both a product of knowledge and its source, a learning organization recognizes that the two are inextricably linked and manages them accordingly.

The units of knowledge production are both the individual and the collective. Learning organizations understand that while knowledge is created in the minds of...