New light on The Learning Organization
It has been some years since I really dived deep into this topic. To see an organization as a living organism, adapting to its environment, is a concept that always interested me. So I decided to search on the internet to see if there is any new, more modern insights concerning this topic. My question is: Is the learning organization as a concept still considered a modern topic within academic views?
Wikipedia discribes the concept of the leaning Organization as: In business management, a learning organization is a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. The concept was coined through the work and research of Peter Senge and his colleagues. This book “the Fifth Discipline” was very popular between 2004 and 2010 but then lost following.
Peter Senge declared “the ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage”. Transferring knowledge into new ways of acting and behaving is key in this process.
From what I read and understand is that the concept of “The learning organization” has been replaced by the term “organizational learning and development”. It has become a mainstream element within consultancy for businesses. In the article in comprehension360.com by Corsair’s Publishing the writer comments on what is a learning organization. Does an organization require common definitions to be considered a real organization. To define these common metrics has been proven to be a difficult task when people form groups. In that perspective, what is a learning organization? When is an entity considered a learning organization? New things get blurry. As I understand it’s just a concept of thinking, not something you are. Every organization learns in one way or another. What is important is that management of an organization should concentrate on this matter and stimulate development of knowledge and skills within different fields within their organization to stay ahead of the competition and to be considered “modern” in the eyes of the public and their employees.
A whole new era
So the conclusion is “great organizations learn” period. Great organizations don’t need such a term, as learning is a natural part of their growth process. Even if the term or concept is no longer popular it still holds a way of thinking that will help organizations excel and stay ahead of the game. Learning organizations stimulate new knowledge to flow into all levels of their organization. And also to adapt and refine new ways of looking at problems. This to stimulate more effective ways to provide services or create better products. On management and personnel level organizations must invest in acquiring new skills and stimulate mental development. A result can be a better organized organization. Is this the definition of a learning organization in 2019? How is your organization or the entity you work for doing in this respect?
About the author
Derek Durgaram is an entrepreneur with a background in business consultancy. He is the brains behind Green Media, a media production company based in Curacao. GreenLine Communication is a spin off of his company, a service that offers insights and project management within the digital media domain.