A learning organization is a group of people who are continually enhancing their capabilities to create what they want― Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
The five disciplines of learning organizations presented on the picture above are interrelated. Each discipline cannot stand independently.
The only sustainable competitive advantage for a company is to learn faster than the competitors —Arie de Gues
According to Peter Senge, to accomplish excellent functional team dynamics, team-learning is a primary importance. It is crucial for the teams to consider others as team members instead of rivals.
It is the first step to set up dialogues wherein people dare to be vulnerable and express their real personality. The working environment should be safe where honest mistakes are forgiven.
Team Learning happens when teams start ‘thinking together’ by sharing their : experience, knowledge, skills and insights with each others about how to do things better.
Leaders must promote and support this learning by creating a conducive environment.
Organizational leaders need to lead by example so they need to share their own experience, knowledge and skills as any other organization member. They need to show their interest for any learning experience.
In your organization, you can initiate this culture of learning by organizing internal events like :
At Agile Partner, we have created our own tools for team learning :
A technique that allows people to read 2 books in 1 hour in a collective way. The format has been created to stimulate the collective intelligence and learn new stuff in group.
A technique that allows people to discover new topics collectively. We use this format for our technological watch. At the end of the exercise, each group of 2 or 3 share their discoveries to the rest of the audience just like in a lightning talk. Combined with the usage of a technology radar it is a really powerful tool.
We love to use gamification for our day to day coaching. To share the craft culture (culture of technical excellence) for example we have created a game called “craft-challenges”. The game is a powerful tool to spread knowledge and build new capabilities as well.
At Agile Partner we have created a role play game we use during our brown bags to help our colleagues to improve their facilitation and speaker skills.
Starting your journey to the learning organization by stimulating team learning is a good place to start. If you set one discipline, the interrelation between them will enable the organization to identify complexities and opportunities both internal and external to the organization.
Need help to become a learning organization? Want to experiment one of our tools?