Tips to move towards a learning organisation

A learning organisation may be more of a vision than tangible reality for most, but here are some thoughts that might help move your organisation a little closer to that reality.

The major imperative is to start by working on your leader’s behaviour and contribution.

You can do this in a number of ways:

1. Encourage leaders personal learning and developing of self awareness

Provide diagnostics such as 360 feedback or psychometrics and coaching support to help your leaders become aware of how others see them and the impacts of their behaviour. This facilitates their own personal learning and should make them more positive about the benefits of developing a learning culture.

2. Help them develop communication and influencing skills

This is critical for sharing vision, getting engagement and collaboarting with others in the organisation.

3. Get them visibly involved in organisational learning events

Let people judge them for what they do as well as what they say.

4. Educate leadership group about learning and change adaptation and link to strategy

Pu the business case together for a learning culture and learning organisation. How will it help the organisation? what pressures make this a more compelling argument?

5. Get culture and visioning on the leadership agenda and start working on it

If you don't have this already strart integrating what you have, or start working on it right now. Culture and leadership are two crtical sources of competitive advantage regardless of whether you work in the private or public sector.

6. Develop a shared vision across the organisation

Enough said.

Check out a video on informal learning in organisations here

More on learning theory here

Accelerate learning with reflective learning

5 things you can you do as a HR Leader to promote a leanring organisation?

1. Create knowledge management strategies

2. Focus learning strategies primarily on maximizing on the job learning

3. Start to align your people systems and processesMake sure you systems and processes like for example appraisal remuneration, recognition, promotion and selection, training and development , business planning reinforces learning

4. Change your language to learner friendly Review intranet, job descriptions and employee communications and align

5. Get the HR information and management reporting systems you need to enable you to measure and track learning and distribute and share knowledge

The best way to get traction towards a learning organisation is to tackle a number of these ideas at once.

You can't have a learning organization without a high performing top team

What immediate organisational changes can you make to move towards a learning organisation?

Debrief every project and initiativeMake it an cultural norm that all significant work is reviewed and reflected upon and provide the tools and training to allow groups to manage this for themselves.

Build individual development plans quarterlyTake a 90 day focus to development. Make actions a little and often and tie development into business as usual .

Put each person directly into contact with customers.Make sure all employee get customer contact so they can understand the “Sharp end” and put themselves in the customers shoes.

Use cross-functional teams to solve problemsScout for new opportunities, and cross-fertilize units with new ideas

Hold brainstorming (idea generation) sessions on specific topics. Bring "experts" in to help you to stimulate thinking.

Foster an environment of collegiality.Define that in management competencies and desired culture

Coach improved performance from all members of the organization. Work constantly to enable people to set and achieve their next goals. Spend time with people thinking about and planning their next objective.

Foster learning by encouraging and subsidising education for all employees. In fact, some forward thinking organizations have determined learning is so important, that they pay for any educational pursuit, not just those related exclusively to the individual’s current job.

Meet regularly across departments, or in a smaller organization, as a whole company.

Attend training and conferences.

Reduce barriers to learning

Provide alternative sources for learning such as CDs and online learning and make them accessible to all .

Again a combinaiton of the above will help you build some mommentum towards a learning organisation.

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