Top Ten Signs of A Learning Organization
The practice of effectively pursuing and applying new information has become a business necessity given the uncertainty of today's corporate environment. A Learning Organization is made up of people who, by continually learning from experience and observation, have an enhanced ability to anticipate and respond to change and complexity. How do you know if your organization is a Learning Organization? Here are a few signs:
1. Continually test experiences. Examine both successes and failures in the organization. The lesson learned from a setback is often the most instructional.
2. Challenge the status quo. This encourages people to think proactively and initiate beneficial changes.
3. Employees are encouraged to manage their own development. When actively involved in the learning process, people not only learn faster, but take responsibility for achievements as well as setbacks.
4. The organzation provides learning opportunities. Learning opportunities are built into daily operations, programs and tasks.
5. Outside trends are monitored. Organizations, through various means, e.g., attending conferences, examining published research and benchmarking successful processes, are conscious of leading edge practices.
6. Innovation is encouraged. Employees are not afraid that making a mistake would result in harsh consequences. A climate that supports and recognizes the importance of learning is where growth occurs.
7. The organization is dynamic. It is always reevaluating goals and questioning company processes to maximize both employee and client satisfaction.
8. E-learning is encouraged. The Internet is one of the fastest and most productive ways to gain access to knowledge and facilitate learning.
9. Information is shared openly. Active listening, effective feedback and person-to-person problem solving create an honest and productive workplace.
10. Everyone is treated as colleagues. All levels of the organization interact with respect, treating each other as equals. This type of environment provides the ideal atmosphere for learning.
The rate at which a learning organization learns is crucial. In today's market, the ability of an organization to respond to new information could be the only lasting competitive advantage. St. Aubin, Haggerty & Associates works with companies to assess, design and implement learning programs that keep their business on the cutting edge.
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