By Sue McKinnon
There has been research and publications about learning organizations for many years but when we talk about learning organizations, what do we really mean? How does an organization embark on the process of becoming a learning organization?
There are several definitions written about being a learning organization. Below are a few examples:
The definitions are different yet share many characteristics. These include, providing continuous learning opportunities, use learning to reach their goal, link individual development with organizational development, foster inquiry and dialogue, making it safe for people to share openly and take risks, embrace creative tension as a source of energy and renewal and are continuously aware of and interact with their environment.
There is no one-way or right way to be a healthy thriving learning organization. Each will take their own path. The one key ingredient, however, is that there must be strong desire and support from leadership to put some time and resources aside to invest in learning processes. Otherwise it’s just a good idea.
Being a learning organization is a process, not a destination. If you are interested in more information how you and your organization can begin this journey there are several interesting resources to dive into.