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What is a Learning Organization?
A learning organization is one whose design actively seeks to acquire knowledge and affect behavior as a result of the newly acquired knowledge. In learning organizations, experimenting, learning new things, and reflecting on new knowledge are the norms.
Learning organizations accept the introduction of new information at various levels of the organization in various manners:
- Experimentation – This includes testing potential outcomes from new processes or procedures. This happens in response to environmental challenges as well as a self-directed discovery.
- Experience – This includes learning from the process undertaken and outcomes of current and prior situations.
- Learn from Others – It can also include learning from the acquired knowledge of others with prior experience. This often comes from vigorously studying competitors and similar companies in other environments. This includes analyzing the industry, employee, customer/client aspects.
- Formal Study – This may include exposure to accepted or novel theories and procedural practices often learned through formal educational programs.