Most organizations aspire to be “learning organizations”, i.e., organizations that are continuously learning, adapting and evolving. According to Harvard Business Review, a learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights. Learning organizations are a lot more capable of retaining and nurturing talent, innovating and staying ahead of the competition.
But, nurturing a truly successful learning organization is easier said than done. While there are countless learning programs held throughout the year, the number of failures often tends to surpass the number of successes.
This is mainly because organisational learning is not just a step to be taken by the company, it is a culture to be adapted and nourished. It has to become a consistent part of one’s daily work routine. Else, a one-time act will be forgotten easily.
So how can organizational learning be embodied, especially with the ever-changing work modes? Let’s look at how these three experts approached organizational learning in their work.
Lisandro Morón is a learning and organizational consultant at Implement Consulting Group, a Scandinavia-based consulting company. His typical workday involves facilitating organizational learning at client companies. The clients are from varied industries such as banking, engineering and retail.
According to Lisandro, the key to facilitating organizational learning is through daily work. As 70% of learning happens through work, being able to actually implement the learnings in the work is essential. This can be done by getting a better perspective of learning as a whole.
Learning can be segmented into structural, technical, and cultural aspects. The structural perspective involves the various skills and abilities one would gain from the learning. The technical aspect involves the different technologies required to facilitate continuous learning. The cultural perspective is to create and nurture an environment for learning.
Chris Evans is the Executive Vice President of marketing and business development at Eagle’s Flight, an organizational training & development company. The company specializes in experiential learning and has a varied global clientele, running from middle-market companies to Fortune 500 companies. Eagle’s Flight drives organizational learning for their clients on specific topics such as safety, sales transformation, leadership, etc. This is executed in 5 steps.
First, the senior team aligns on the objectives of the training. Next, the training entails a co-creation journey with inclusive discovery and customization. Then, there are some virtual and/or classroom sessions where fun activities are imbibed with learning experiences. For this, Eagle’s Flight uses Howspace for the digital sessions. The fourth step includes the application of these learnings, followed by the final step that has the measurement of the learnings and the performance.
According to Chris, the first step of aligning with the management is crucial as it explains the need for the program. For impactful learning, clear communication is necessary, by making people feel included and important.
Vilma Mutka is the CEO and founder of Mukamas, a Finnish learning design company. She creates transformational learning processes for organizations and public sector networks. Her company aims to imbibe agile learning culture in more and more workplaces by building the learning capabilities within teams and individuals as a part of their daily work. Her program ensures that learning is always available through tools like Howspace.
Vilma and her team support people by building individual learning skills and enabling learning. The leadership model cultivates an environment for continuous learning and growth. By creating a community of people interested in similar topics, they can learn from each other’s experiences and learnings.
In all of the above examples, the main emphasis has been on collaborative and continuous learning. There is an emphasis on making learning a part of the daily work and routine for individuals and for teams. These organizational learning experts have shown how learning is co-created in teams and communities.
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