A Learning Organization, more current than ever

The world around us changes. Only organizations that are able to adapt to these changes, can survive and compete. Learning is essential: learning from what happens outside and inside the organization. So, a learning organization.
Wikipedia describes a learning organization as follows: “ … a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself” (source Wikipedia). Most articles about organizational learning are relatively old and refer to Peter Senge’s well-known book “The Fifth Discipline; The art and practice of the learning organization” (Amazon). Published in 1990, this book still is a standard work in the field of knowledge management, and more current than ever.

Continuously adjusting to what happens inside or outside the organization won’t happen with leaders who tell from above the employees what they should do. This stiffens an organization, because everybody will look up instead of acting. Employees should signal changes, make adjustments and get the space to do so. Leaders support this process and direct. That’s why a learning organization requires rather a change in culture than application of the right technologies.

The KCS-method fits well in this picture of (becoming) a learning organization. Sharing knowledge, the double-loop model, these are examples from KCS that refer to a learning organization. Only by sharing knowledge, an organization is able to react in a flexible way to new challenges. Everybody has a role in a learning organization and has the responsibility to not withhold his or her knowledge but to share it with others. This shared responsibility for quality and completeness of the collective knowledge, is one of the strong characteristics of KCS. In the end, happy customers contribute to the reputation of the whole company.

A following blogpost will continue with this topic and discuss the double-loop model.
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