In the early 1990’s two things surfaced that focused organizations on systemic learning and the need to become “learning organizations”. These were Peter Senge’s book, THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE – The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization and the introduction of the balanced scorecard by Robert Kaplan and David Norton.
“Organizational learning” includes learning from and connecting the dots/identifying the relationships between internal and external information, events and experiences and then acting on this knowledge. The Holistic Organizational Effectiveness Survey includes many questions that directly or indirectly address organizational learning. Following are the questions that directly address the learning organization and their respective overall ratings in descending rating order where 5 = Effective and 1 = Ineffective:
- 3.71 – Developing Skills/Competencies to Support Socially Responsible Practices/Ethics/ Governance
- 3.35 – Fostering Continuous Learning/Knowledge Sharing
- 3.47 – Ensuring Employees Have Skills/Abilities to Meet Demands of the Business
- 3.33 – Using Information Technology to Support Learning/Innovation
- 3.33 – Building Skills/Competencies in Multi-Cultural Sensitivity and Supporting Diversity Across the Organization
- 3.20 – Sharing Essential Business Knowledge Across Organizations/Functions
- 3.15 – Making Targeted/High-Impact Development of People a Priority
- 3.03 – Building Skills for Workforce Innovation/Flexibility
- 2.62 – Creating Knowledge Management Systems So Critical Knowledge is Retained When People Leave
The ratings indicate that most organizations are not doing a good job of creating the environment needed for organizational learning and executing on that learning. How effective is your organization at learning and executing on that knowledge to increase the organization’s performance and competitiveness? What needs to be done to strengthen your organization’s learning abilities and who needs to lead the way?