Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Learning Organization

As mentioned before, the successful implementation of this knowledge theory in a corporate environment could only be possible if we include Learning Organization's theory explained by Peter Senge's book "The Fifth Discipline". I only make a short overview of the main disciplines and what a Learning Organization is about. There is a tremendous amount of material behind the concept.
Definition : organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. (PS)

Some companies try to make an approximation to this , an example is GE: "The second management concept that has guided us for the better part of two decades is a belief that an organization's ability to learn, to transfer that learning across its components, and to act on it quickly is its ultimate, sustainable competitive advantage. That belief drove us to create a boundary less company by de-layering and destroying organizational silos. Selflessly sharing good ideas while endlessly searching for better ideas became a natural act.“ Jack Welch
Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric Company
In summary:
The organizations that will truly excel will be the ones that discover how to tap people's commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization. Learning organizations are fundamentally different from traditional authoritarian "controlling organizations." (Peter Senge)

Personal Mastery: Is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision and focusing our energies to develop patience and seeing reality objectively. People become committed with their own lifelong learning. Mental Models: are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Includes the ability to carry “learningful” conversations that balance inquiry and advocacy, where people expose there own thinking effectively and make that thinking open to the influence of others. Building Shared Vision: The leadership skill most understood for thousands of years that inspired organizations has been the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create. When there is a genuine vision, people excel and learn, not because they are told too, but because they want to. Team Learning: How can a team of committed managers individual IQ’s above 120 have a collective IQ of 63?The discipline of TL confronts the paradox. It starts with “dialogue”, the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter in a genuine “Thinking together”. Systems Thinking: It is the discipline that integrates all , fusing them into a coherent body or theory and practice. Without it, there is no motivation to look at how the disciplines interrelate


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