Outperform your competition by becoming more creative and innovative by building and fostering a learning organization.
A Learning Management System Isn’t Enough
As companies grow and become increasingly complex, leaders tend to seek the help of tools such as learning management systems (LMS), which keep track of training records and deliver learning, often as a series of prepackaged courses offered through the internet. But such systems can be limited if innovation and creativity are already lacking in the organization. An LMS tends to automatize learning, which can save money but can’t ever really support creativity and innovation.
If your organization has succumbed to inertia and developed an immunity to change, chances are that change strategies have failed. In such cases, what leaders need is a comprehensive, systematic understanding of the organization and how it functions. Gaining this understanding helps leaders develop comprehensive strategies to move the organization and its members toward desired goals—to create a winning strategy supported by a learning organization.
Peter Drucker is credited with having said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” What he meant was that a company’s attempt to implement a strategy that was incompatible with its culture was doomed to fail if that strategy was incompatible with the culture. Organizations are then faced with a difficult choice—change the strategy or change the culture. This is a choice made all the more difficult because each organization’s culture is unique and largely invisible to the leaders and employees, so often an outside perspective and analysis is needed.
Teleos works in the space of helping clients build learning organizations with a list of clients ranging in size from Global 100 companies to your neighborhood co-op, from entire nations to local governments and agencies. Our organization development, leadership development, and team development programs each are designed to deepen awareness and understanding of leadership, team, and organizational needs, as well as how to meet those needs effectively.
Building a Learning Organization
As organizations grow, processes and structures increase, and individual thinking becomes rigid. For some companies, this state of affairs may be just fine. However, many other companies need to remain creative and insightful just to stay competitive in today’s market. A learning organization is one that facilitates learning among its employees and is continually adapting to a dynamic environment.
Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, notes that learning organizations share the following five characteristics:
- Systems thinking
- Personal mastery
- Mental models
- Shared vision
- Team learning
People work more productively when they feel connected to their organizations through relationships, a strong identity, and a shared vision. They contribute better to teams and they share mental models that allow them to work cooperatively with others across the organization.
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