This is one of those 'fads' which should never have been a fad in the
first place. It is common sense that we keep learning, but human nature in
its tendency towards stasis means that it can be well worth highlighting
as a separate agenda.
The trouble with learning is that it means stopping what we are doing,
stepping outside the 'regular job' (i.e. it requires time). It also may
well mean admitting that we are not perfect and that we have been doing
The agenda for a learning organization has been described as:
- Skills: Learning how to do your job (and get better at it).
- Alignment: Learning how the company works, how the jigsaw of
different processes and jobs fit together, so you can fit in with
other people, helping one another succeed in your individual jobs.
This should result in minimization of suboptimization due to focusing
only on point 1.
- Future: Learning about future opportunities and threats. Using
scenarios etc. to view possible different futures and planning
- Context: Learning about the larger operating environment. This
includes the whole 'value chain', up and down to customers, suppliers,
- Change: Learning how to challenge existing paradigms, staying agile
and mobile. This includes changing horses whilst seamlessly and
consistently delivering products and services to customers.
- Remembering: Developing an organizational memory such that you do
not need to relearn the same lessons time and again.
Above all, it is about attitude, admitting the possibility of error,
welcoming failure as opportunity, and constantly seeking opportunities to