May OD Cafe – The Learning Organisation
A few farsighted executives—Ray Stata of Analog Devices, Gordon Forward of Chaparral Steel, Paul Allaire of Xerox—have recognized the link between learning and continuous improvement and have begun to refocus their companies around it. Scholars too have jumped on the bandwagon, beating the drum for “learning organizations” and “knowledge-creating companies.” In rapidly changing businesses like semiconductors and consumer electronics, these ideas are fast taking hold. Yet despite the encouraging signs, the topic in large part remains murky, confused, and difficult to penetrate.
Peter Senge, who popularized learning organizations in his book The Fifth Discipline, described them as places “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.”1 To achieve these ends, Senge suggested the use of five “component technologies”: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning.
In a similar spirit, Ikujiro Nonaka characterized knowledge-creating companies as places where “inventing new knowledge is not a specialized activity…it is a way of behaving, indeed, a way of being, in which everyone is a knowledge worker.”2 Nonaka suggested that companies use metaphors and organizational redundancy to focus thinking, encourage dialogue, and make tacit, instinctively understood ideas explicit.
Sound idyllic? Absolutely. Desirable? Without question. But does it provide a framework for action? Hardly. The recommendations are far too abstract, and too many questions remain unanswered. How, for example, will managers know when their companies have become learning organizations? What concrete changes in behaviour are required? What policies and programs must be in place? How do you get from here to there?
Come and join as at our next café where we will explore these questions and specifically look at practical ways to work towards what we may call Learning Organisations.
Book Your Seat Now
Seats are limited, so please confirm your attendance to reserve a seat well in advance!
Date: Wednesday 23 May 2018
Time: 8H00 am – 10H00 am
Venue: WorldsView™ Academy
150 Kelvin Drive
Cost: No charge, but we do need confirmation of numbers for catering purposes, so book your seat now!