What is a Learning Organization and how to become such

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What is a Learning Organization and how to become such

June 21, 2017

“The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge was published in 1990 where author determined Learning organization as a place “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole (reality) together” .

Now, the concept of Learning organization becomes indispensable to implement because given huge information flow such organizations have great capabilities to get data, analyze, interpret and use it for better business results.

Learning is not limited to mere accumulation of experience; rather, the main idea is that by solving any problem, either on operations or management levels, people learn and increase flexibility and adaptability of the whole organization.

Peter Senge points out five principles – “disciplines” by which every organization will become a Learning organization:

  • Team learning – the success is hardly achieved if team members are aimed at separate goals instead of moving in one direction. Each employee must realize common targets and learn collaboratively with others in order to achieve the key aims;

  • Building shared vision – a shared picture of the future should be used as a powerful tool. It motivates more than strict control and tyranny. It usually makes sense to use Storytelling to promote the vision among employees;
  • Personal mastery – each employee should review himself or herself and the current state of affairs and enhance his/her vision to be in a constant state of learning;
  • Mental models – each of us has own assumptions, generalizations, patterns that influence how we perceive the world and how we act. These patterns must be recognized and considered consciously to open the mind for new concepts and ideas;
  • Systems thinking – the fifth discipline that integrates all the previous. According to this discipline, the organization is a complex system composed of smaller systems. Like a doctor understands the human body each member of the organization should know its system.

How to reinforce the organization’s learning? So, there are some tools that can help:

  • Mentoring – the informal mechanism of transmission and accumulation of knowledge and experience between employees;
  • Corporate University – a set of dedicated divisions with teaching functions;
  • Information infrastructure – a set of tools and mechanisms for self-education;
  • Learning culture – a favorable for learning and development environment. Managers should encourage self-education and set a good example by their participating into the learning processes.

If you want learn more follow Official Peter Senge site and find out more details.


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