What is a Learning Organization? Complete Guide
To practice a discipline is to be a lifelong learner. You never “arrive.” The more you learn, the more acutely aware you become of your ignorance.
– Peter Senge
According to the World Economic Forum, the average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company is 40 to 50 years. While many of them are bought, sold, split, or merged, many simply cease to exist—ending years of blood, sweat and tears for a beloved product or cause.
Many succumb because they cling to the status quo; operating using outdated corporate models such as top-down force-feeding of company ideology and practices; doing what’s comfortable or familiar instead of taking risks and challenging the status quo. In fact, there’s a term for this practice: William Samuelson and Richard Zeckhauser introduced “status quo bias” to describe how most of us prefer to stick with what’s familiar.
Companies who shift from the familiar top-down corporate structure to a learning organization model have a better chance of creating an environment of continual growth, risk-taking, continual learning, collaboration—and a better chance of surviving in a very competitive environment.
3 GREAT EXAMPLES OF ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING IN 2021By Hanna Liimatainen
Very few organizations do not aspire to be “learning organizations” – i.e. organizations with an innate capability to learn and evolve in an agile way. According to Harvard Business Review, for example, a learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights. Organizations capable of this are superior to their peers when it comes to retaining and nurturing talent, staying on top of competition and developing innovations.
Truly successful organizational learning is, however, more easily said than done. While countless learning programs are organized in the world every year, in general, failures tend to surpass successes.
Quite often this is because organizational learning is always a culture. This means it is not (only) a program but something continuous – part of everyone’s daily work. Otherwise, it will be forgotten as soon as the program is over.
But what does this really mean in practice? There are many ways to approach organizational learning from the cultural perspective. In this article, three experts share their examples on how they approach it, along with some practical tips.
Because of the various drivers of change currently transforming the world, organizational learning is even more crucial in 2021 than it was before. Read on if you want to learn more!
A New Model For Corporate Training: The Adaptive Learning OrganizationBY JOSHBERSIN
Among all that’s happened this year, one of the most important parts of business has been learning. More than 40% of Americans have changed jobs; reskillling and upskilling continues to be critical; and there’s even evidence that there are labor shortages in certain critical roles again. How have companies dealt with all this? Through a massive investment in training.
Many years ago I studied best practices in corporate learning (The High-Impact Learning Organization) and we found that a unique combination of a highly federated operating model, a focus on standardized tools and practices, and a strong expertise in performance consulting were key. Well this year we just completed a massive new study of this topic and the answer is in: Adaptive Learning practices are now the key to success.
This research was done in partnership with NIIT, one of the leading L&D consulting and outsourcing firms, and we identified 15 critical practices that drive success. The report is called The Adaptive Learning Organization, with a focus on helping you understand how to build learning strategies that are both “high-impact” and “highly relevant.”
18 KEY L&D TRENDS FOR 2021
Very well thought, futuristic design for a forward looking, adaptive L&D organization. Must read.
The Practices That Set Learning Organizations Apart
Companies committed to building workforces equipped for the future apply seven key principles to training and development.
- As a first step in their research, the authors conducted focus groups with professional bodies, government offices and policy bodies, educators, and employers.
- They collected interview data from 21 organizations in six countries across a variety of industry sectors, such as banking, technology, health care, and insurance. In each company, they conducted a minimum of two interviews: one with an L&D leader, and another with either a business or HR leader. They followed up with seven of those organizations during the pandemic.
- The authors validated their initial findings through a survey of learning and development (L&D) and HR professionals, with 251 responses.
- This research was funded through support from two Irish government organizations: the Trainers’ Learning Skillnet and the Irish Institute of Training and Development.
Organizations are struggling to keep pace with the new skills needed in their workforces, thanks to large-scale trends such as the shift to digital business models and the increased adoption of workplace automation, AI, and advanced analytics. The pandemic accelerated those trends, putting an increased premium on learning and development (L&D) as a means of equipping companies to handle both long-term challenges and short-term crises.
To understand the implications of these changes, we recently engaged in more than 60 in-depth conversations with CEOs, chief human resources officers, chief learning officers, chief operating officers, and other senior HR and business leaders across six countries. We supplemented that research through surveys of more than 250 professionals worldwide about their approaches to L&D. The results show that relatively few organizations had strong L&D programs in place before the pandemic.
3 Steps To Becoming An Adaptive Learning Organization Michael Hruska
We are living in a state of accelerated change.
As learning leaders, we all have our toolkits for thinking about change, dealing with change, or making change. These tried and true tools may have worked to some level of effectiveness in our worlds. Most of us worked in a challenging environment pre-pandemic, and we likely face a different set of challenges in addition to the already existing set.
Organizations face broad and rapid changes to market shifts, customer experience, supply chain, workforce, and many others. If organizations want to survive, much less thrive, they cannot conduct business as usual. They need to adapt to external conditions. In fact, a ready stance around change is becoming a normal expectation for people supporting organizations.
This new required agility and flexibility for a transformative level of change requires adaptation at the organizational level. Given the function and outcomes that L&D can produce in organizations, the L&D team is more important than ever to power the adaptive organization of the future.
The whole organization, not just leadership, will need to think differently, act differently, and work differently. There are mindsets, steps, and tools that can help your organization move towards becoming an Adaptive Learning Organization to support your organization’s needed stance to thrive and become future-proofed.
Transformation implies that this is a one-time move to make a change. These types of changes are more complex. They require thinking about transformation pathways that will evolve incremental working elements of our L&D organization. We need to consider our transformation pathways and the signposts as we evolve and make progress
Why its time to update elearning with adaptive learning and personalization
According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report, 64% of L&D professionals globally agreed that Learning & Development was a critical corporate strategy in 2021. The report goes on to share that L&D leaders have ranked their top three priorities as 1. Upskilling and Reskilling 2. Leadership and Management and 3. Virtual Onboarding.
Adaptive Learning is proving to be a highly effective method for addressing the wide variety of learning demands within an organization. The LinkedIn Learning report indicates that employees at all levels of an organization are on the hunt for ways to improve their skillsets. But one size does not fit all; learning must be laser-focused, engaging, relevant, and effective use of time
Future proofing your organization through learning and development
What is Going on?
The business landscape is shifting faster than ever. Technology acceleration in areas like Mobile, the internet of things (IOT), VR, and AI will continue to disrupt most marketplaces. In addition to this combinatorial innovation, exponential growth organizations, like Uber and AirBnb, are shifting markets in unprecedented ways. The question is: What is going to disrupt your company’s position and what (if anything) can you do about it?
The Merger of KM, L&D, and ISO QMS – Part 1 and Part 2 by Dennis L. Thomas
There is an old saying that has proven to be useful across all professions and industries. When everyday operations start to get crazy, “go back to the basics.” This common-sense statement might have been valid several years ago for the KM (Knowledge Management), L&D (Learning and Development), and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) industries, but it’s not valid anymore. The focus and practices of these industries have overlapped to such an extent that there is no turning back. “The basics” barely exist anymore.
Where management only had to make choices between data systems or LMS (Learning Management Systems) to fulfill knowledge-oriented requirements, they now need to think differently. The C-Suite in particular, is thinking about KM/L&D/ISO as an overall strategic organization solution, rather than as separate functional solutions. Now, the goals and objectives are on how to capture, manage, and deliver structural, procedural, functional, and analytic knowledge across the enterprise. As a result, going back to the basics has become, “adapt, or watch your competitors pass you by.”
‘How do you think the current global situation will change L&D for good (or for bad)?
A superb survey of thought leaders on life post pandemic. In the near term, it has led to faster adoption of technology, provided solutions for innovation amongst others.