Mohr, N. And Dichter, A. Building a Learning Organization. Phi Delta Kappan. Vol. 82, Issue 10, p. 744, June 2001. This article discusses the stages that a school or other teaching organization goes through as they change from a static facilitative teaching center to a learning organization. There is necessarily a change in dynamic paradigm as the change process occurs, and the authors identify the steps which the organization can expect to encounter.
The honeymooner stage: high expectations, high degree of cooperation
The conflict stage: high expectations, but the cooperation is dwindling
The confusion stage: where are we going?
The messy stage: things are getting worse as new lines of communication are developed, but not functioning.
Scary stage: who is in charge?
Mature group stage: out of the confusion comes a new order as the group begins to function in new roles and facilitate a new group culture liked this article as it demonstrated that the change process is one which must necessarily encounter disorder on its way to a new order. The group does not progress from one successful high point to another without traveling through a reorganization valley.
Barchan, M. Capturing Knowledge for Business Growth. Knowledge Management Review. Vol. 1 Issue 4. p 12. 1998, September - October. Capturing knowledge is not like counting widgets which a business produces. The organization must develop a new system for capturing and utilizing knowledge. The Swedish-based Celemi created a system which they call Tango for capturing and using knowledge within an organization. Organizations must:
Identify what to monitor
Understand the scope of their knowledge management task
Link the knowledge management to strategic planning and individual decisions.
This article helps the business find the important link between knowledge management, and empowering the individual worker to use the knowledge in their everyday decisions.
Davies, H. And Nutley, S. Developing learning organizations in the NHS. British Medical Journal. Vol 320, Issue 7240, p998. 2000, 8 April. The British National Health Service is recognizing that improving health care means improving the extent to which it is a learning organization. Its national quality strategy includes:
Identifying that becoming a learning organization is a path to more successful healthcare delivery
Learning is achieved by individuals, and at different levels
Learning organizations are maximized by utilizing double loop and meta-learning frameworks
Learning organizations can learn from each other the common facets of a successful learning organization model.
A like this article because is digs into the people aspects of becoming a learning organization. The organization must address existing culture, and unlearning the current structure in order to change.
Ritchie, K. Corporate Card Games. Business Date. Vol. 8, Issue 3, p. 1. 2000, July. An innovative approach to changing learning concepts is discussed in this article. The managers of a retail chain spend time sorting groups of cards in order to facilitate changes in: reaction to problems, learning new thinking procedures, behavior, and positive results focused work.
This article demonstrated that changing a learn gin paradigm can be facilitated by a fun activity that challenges leaders to think differently so that they can work and communicate differently.
Hill, I. The use of Assessment in organizational learning. Assessment Update. Vol. 11, No. 6. 1999, Nov-Dec. In order for a higher learning institution to become a learning organization, they must structure themselves to learn, to collect and retain knowledge, and to review that knowledge on a regular basis. By doing so, the organization establishes patterns which can enable it to continue to grow, interact with tier environment, in order to maintain their reputation, relationship and effectiveness.
This article demonstrated that becoming a learning organization means not a change in structure which again becomes fixed, but a change in the processes of the organization which enable it to continue to change and learn.
Hebard, C. A Story of Real Change. Training and Development. 1998, July. This case study of a bank in Utica NY changed itself into a learning organization which empowered it's employees to solve problems in the daily course of their work on their own. Their program, Working to Achieve Visions of Excellence (WAVE), brought employees into creative sessions to teach them to learn beyond their daily tasks.
Teaching employees to change their thinking processes was brought about by breaking down traditional thought paradigms. By using tasks such as marketing pantyhose to men, and making whirly birds for competition, the groups were trained to think differently so they could learn to learn, and act differently
Collins, K. Penetrating Barriers: Communicating Clearly in the International Organization. Communication World. Vol. 20, Issue 4. p 26. 2003. June- July. Teaching the individual to act as part of a learning organization only starts the process. The organization must be taught to learn and act together in order to fully utilize the power of a learning organization. Individual development includes: culture and language, while group development must add: transparency, questioning, flexibility, an inherent restlessness and inclusiveness. Finally Leaders must be in place to guide the newly distributed freedoms.
A liked this article because it identified the different facets of human communication dynamics which can clog the pipeline of effective learning. To empower the person, and then not have an organizational structure which allows the person to function with his or her new paradigm is a wasted effort.
Bohmer, R. And Esmondson, A. Organizational Learning in Health Care. Health Forum Journal. Vol. 44, Issue 2. p. 32. 2001, March - April. This article examines the learning process in the health care industry. Too often, according to the authors, learning is considers as linear. Organizational learning occurs when the group recognizes that in the health care field, double loop, or cyclical learning needs to happen and then learning must be managed if the information is to be utilized.
A like this article because it applies the principles of the learning organization to a specific field. The principles must be applicable in order to be facilitative, and benefit the organization, and this article shows how those principles can be applied.
Burress, A. And Wallace, S. Brainstorming across Boundaries at Shell. KM Review. Vol. 6, Issue 2. p. 20, 2003, May-June. How can a multinational organization which is scattered across the globe work together to create a learning organization. This question is addressed by the authors, and they suggest:
Creating a cross discipline group in order to facilitate the change
Meet face-to-face to solve difficult tasks
Have clear agenda's for face-to-face interactions.
Recognize that leadership and learning are facilitated by relationships, and design events to promote continuing relationships.
The authors point the entire article in one direction. They believe that the purpose of a learning organization's methods is to bring the right skills and knowledge together at the right time for a positive impact on business performance. I agree with the authors.
Gogus, I. Becoming a learning organization at Oracle. KM Review. Vol 6, Issue 4, p. 12. 2002, Sept / Oct. In the areas of Oracle's software development, the learning organizations structure is the key to bringing together the talents of a design team into the products and services which are created. Knowledge management isn't just a fun theory; it is the key for the company's success. Oracle has been driven into developing a learning organization by the competitive business environment.
This article talks about both the qualitative measures and quantitative measures of a learning organization. This article helped me understand that a learning organization is not a theory, but a consciousness paradigm which needs to influence the entire organization.
Kelner, S. And Slavin, L. The Competitive Strategy of Mutual learning. Training and Development. Vol. 52, Issue 6. p. 72. 1998, June. This article addressed the 'how to' of developing a learning organization.
Use a common language as a tool
Make sure management is using the same language.
Teach people how to talk with the new terms
Develop a weakness oriented culture which swarms around a weakness in order to strengthen it, rather than a culture which looks to assess blame for that caused the weakness.
Beware of obstacles and roadblocks
Make use of an internal company web site, managed and updated regularly with the knowledge of the organization.
Again the practical steps which are included in this article are encouraging. Some of the examples of companies using ideas from individual employees to double sales or cut shipping costs are proof of the advantages which a learning organization has over the traditional top-down management structure.
Miller, R., Stewart, J. Walton, J. Opened University. People Management. Vol 5, Issue 12, p. 42, 1999, 17 June. Just jumping into the pool of learning management theories will get a company wet, but will not necessarily teach them how to swim. The company must set their personal strategy.
Learning and the business strategy are closely linked
Individuals, groups and the organization are not only learning, but learning how to learn.
IT serves to support learning, not control it.
Systems must be managed and balanced in order to create a successful…