"Organizational learning is the process of creating, retaining, and transferring knowledge within an organization. An organization improves over time as it gains experience. From this experience, it is able to create knowledge. This knowledge is broad, covering any topic that could better an organization."
It is imperative for companies to put in place an effective and structured learning strategy with realistic opportunities for implementation which aligns with both the mission and vision of the company.
A high-impact learning culture has a direct impact on employee productivity-showing a stupendous rise of 37% according to a research by Bersin & Associates.
In book The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire. His main focus is on finding synergies among and between pockets of knowledge thus empowering to create knowledge useful to the organization.
What Necessitates a Learning Culture?
Every organization has to gear up to the fact that it has to incorporate a root and branch concept. It has to make a shift from its combat style of working and adapt to an open culture of trust and enquiry. A learning culture promotes association and teamwork with open lines of communication as opposed to rivalry amongst individuals and groups.
Contented employees lead to a lower turnover, ameliorated performance standards, a change in the mental make-up which is associated with the sense of ownership and accountability. Employees acclimatize efficiently in an erudite culture which promotes inquiry and sharing.
An effective learning strategy enables an organization to grow, thrive organically as opposed to a belligerent business environment, and have a competitive advantage.
Organization learning or knowledge creation can be operational on individual, group or team, organizational or inter-organizational levels.
Argyris and Schorn had introduced the Learning original model way back in the 90s which has been remodeled from the time of its inception taking into account the vagaries of human nature and evolving business scenario.
The major approaches to organizational learning are:
Conceptualization – This focuses entirely on the organization’s proficiency in conducting a scientific research and technological experience. It focuses on logic, idea, and concepts.
Experimentation- Here the focus is on the organization’s proficiency in applying the acquired and accumulated scientific knowledge to create new technologies. Experience lays an emphasis on doing, more than observing, a pragmatic concern with what actually works than what is represented through data and research.
Reflection focuses on an organization’s ability to connect their technological skill back to science and derive conclusions from it.
A competent organization knows that only conceptualization alone will not guarantee transformation unless it adroitly experiments and reflects and uses the experience to bring about innovation.
Learning experiences are like journeys. The journey starts where the learning is now and ends when the learner is successful. The end of the journey doesn’t know more, it’s doing more.
While working on the job or through formal training organized in the organizations individual learning takes place
Both formal and informal training given to select groups expedites team learning.
These are ongoing developmental programs and opportunities which the organization which provides learning on a continual basis.
Learning often happens through routine day to day dialogue or conversation through formally set up inquiries.
When people or teams are entrusted with more power and responsibility learning happens through empowerment.
Actions and behaviors of leaders act as learning tools when employees emulate them accepting them as role models.
The perceptions and feedback of several stakeholders should be taken into consideration while evaluating a learning program’s effectiveness in engineering a change/growth in an individual or organization.