Compare learning and non-learning institutions.
The non-learning institution is a place that is stuck, has rigid thinking and is unwilling to consider change or development. In the non-learning institution: •
The old ways of doing things is the best way.
Mistakes get made but no-one asks why or how they can be avoided in the future. •
Individuals get rewarded for personal work.
Shared delivery is not encouraged.
There is little opportunity for joint problem-solving.
People rarely meet to discuss how they work.
Mistakes do not get aired - they get buried.
People avoid asking for help.
There is little encouragement to go on training courses. •
Knowledge is not shared - it is held by the individual. •
The structures of the institution do not support reflection and sharing. •
The institution is reactive and based on survival rather than proactivity.
The learning institution takes the opposite approach to that illustrated above. The learning institution: •
Thrives in situations of rapid change.
Is flexible, adaptive and productive.
Can discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels. •
Continually expands its capacity to create a future with a fundamental shift of mind among its members. •
Provides tools and guides ideas to make sense of their work. •
Makes people feel they are part of a great team.
Gives people a sense of meaning in their work experience. •
Have people who talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being connected, of being creative.
Peter Senge (1994) defines learning organisations as "organisations in which individuals continuously learn and try to 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 how to learn together." According to him a learning organisation exhibits five main...
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