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The concept of learning organization describes an organization that continually fosters an ideal learning environment. The environment is aligned with the organization’s objectives. Peter Senge popularized this concept as a place that enables workers to expand their abilities to achieve the results they desire. It is a workplace in which new patterns of thinking are encouraged and where team members are continually learning together to reach organizational goals.
This type of work culture seeks to achieve:
The effective implementation of this discipline involves adopting five dimensions:
1. Systems thinking. This concept sees the organization as a complex system comprised of smaller systems. This means you must understand the whole organization as well as its smaller components. This requires the ability to comprehend the complexity of the organization while maintaining a long-term focus. You will frequently encounter systems maps that illustrate the connections.
2. Personal mastery. This is where you strive to clarify your focus and vision while maintaining a continual state of learning.
3. Team learning. Team members work to achieve common objectives. It builds upon effective collaboration and shared vision.
4. Mental models. This process entails recognizing ingrained generalizations, assumptions, and presumptions that impact your view of the world. In a learning organization, you must continually challenge these mental models and make room for new ideas.
5. Building a shared vision. A shared vision needs buy-in from all team members. A leader can effectively communicate what the future needs to look like; however, in the learning culture, all members have a voice. This builds enthusiasm and commitment throughout the organization.