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Learning Organisations

Organisational Learning vs. Learning


There is a difference between Organisational Learning and Learning Organisation. Argyris (1977) defines

Organisational Learning as the process of "detection and correction of errors" while Senge (1990) defines

Learning Organisation as "a group of people continually enhancing their capacity to create what they want to

create". He further remarks that "the rate at which organi ations learn may become the only sustainable source of terms of process versus structure.

competitive advantage". Ang ! "oseph (1996) contrast Organisational Learning and Learning Organisation in



A Learning Organisation is an organisation that learns and encourages learning among its people in an effort to create a more knowledgeable and fle#ible workforce capable to adapt to cultural Some definitions$
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%The learning organisation is an organisation which facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself" (Pedler et. al., 1989). "Organisations where people continually e#pand their capacity to create the results they truly desire& where new and e#pansive patterns of thinking are nurtured& where collective aspiration is set free& and where people are continually learning to learn together" (Peter Senge, 1990). According to Sandra 'erka (1995) most conceptualisations of the learning organisations seem to work on the assumption that (learning is valuable& continuous& and most effective when shared and that every e#perience is an opportunity to learn).

Learning Organisations *haracteristics
The following are some common characteristics found in Learning Organisations$
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Are adaptive to the e#ternal environment *ontinually enhance their capability to change and adaptation +evelop collective as well as individual learning ,mbrace creative tension as a source of energy and renewal -oster in.uiry and dialogue& making it safe for people to share openly and take risks Link individual performance with organisational performance /rovide continuous learning opportunities 0se the results of learning to achieve better results 0se learning to reach their goals 1995) & (Knowledge Connections,



1991) /ractices The adoption of Total 5uality 6anagement practices 7. 1990) and that %the pressure of change in the e#ternal environments of organisations. 8. is such that they need to learn more consciously& more systematically& of ever increasing change1 (Pearn. 3nnovation ! *reativity Organisation learning is the process by which the organisation constantly .The basic rationale for such organisations is that in situations of rapid change only those that are fle#ible& adaptive and productive will e#cel. and more . *ulture %A learning organisation should be viewed as a metaphor rather than a distinct type of structure& whose employees learn conscious communal processes for continually generating& retaining and leveraging individual and collective learning to improve performance of the organisational system in ways important to all stakeholders and by monitoring and improving performance1 (!rew & S"it#. they must learn not only in order to survive but also to thrive in a world 1997).. *ontinuous +evelopment Organisation *oncepts The ma2or Learning Organisational concepts focus on %*ontinuous 3mprovement1& %*ulture1 and %3nnovation and The concept of Learning Organisation %A learning organisation should consciously and intentionally devote to the facilitation of individual learning in order to continuously transform the entire organisation and its conte#t % (Pedler et al.uestions e#isting product& process and system& identify strategic position& apply various modes of learning& and achieve sustained competitive advantage -acilitation of learning and knowledge creation9 focus on creative .uickly than they did in the past. 1995) *reation and maintenance of learning culture$ adopting to cultural change& collaborative team working& employee empowerment and involvement& etc...uality and value innovation . Learning *reativity1. The key ingredient of the Learning Organisation is in how organisations process their e#periences and how they learn from their e#periences rather than being bound by their past e#periences. -ocus 4.. -or this to happen& it is argued that organisations need to (discover how to tap people)s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels) (Peter Senge.

ank in 4BB4.ank ?A6:O@ merged to form A.ank <ederland ?A. :elationship between Strategy and Learning Organisation 6int berg (1987) says %the key is not getting the right strategy but fostering strategic thinking1. Learning should be embedded in any organisational strategy in order to survive. The ability of an organisation is not measured by what it knows which is the product of learning& but rather by how it learns which is the process of learning.< A6:O is an international bank with roots stretching back to 4C7D.<@ and AmsterdamA:otterdam . The key ingredient of the Learning Organisation is in how organisations process their managerial e#periences.< A6:O is Holland)s leading bank operating over CEE offices in Holland together with 7&FEE worldwide offices in GH different countries with over 44E&EEE employees. A. Case A.urope and 48th in the world based on total assets. A. A.< Study: A6:O ABN = AMRO An Bank 3ntroduction <etherlands> former two largest banks Algemene . *oncept 4$ *ontinuous 3mprovement A Learning Organisation . The 6anager is responsible for building organisations where people are continually e#panding their capabilities to shape their future.< A6:O .< A6:O ranks eighth in .The :ole of the 6anager in the Learning Organisation Senge (1990) argues that the role of the 6anager in the Learning Organisation is that of a designer& teacher& and steward who can build a shared vision and is responsible for learning.

< A6:O is attributed to its commitment towards employee learning and personal development9 learning is a ma2or priority for the organisation.#ternal courses o *oachingImentoring programmes o Short term assignments in overseas offices 6anagement programmes Leadership programmes o eALearning o /roducts and /rofessional skills training +evelopment /rogrammes o Structural talent management ! succession planning o 6anagement and leadership programmes o -ull range of training for new and diversified products o 3nternal mobility programme to encourage hori ontal moves across business units for more challenging roles and opportunities. 3n order to support the personal development and career development of employees& A.The ongoing success of A. eAlearning eAlearning is a training channel which is effectively utilised by A.uisition success& 0ndated@. "Je need to make training accessible to people when and where they need it.< A6:O.. .< A6:O offer continuous learning programmes such as$ • "obArelated training o 3nduction programmes to help new employees integrate into the new work environment o 3nAhouse training seminars o 3nAhouse training programmes o .. • • • Learning is an investment and an ongoing process in A. eAlearning is an innovative learning solution and is the only way forward for a global Learning .eing a dynamic and a fast growing organisation& there is the need for staff fle#ibility& staff mobility and staff adaptation to new technologies& practices& situations and challenges. Je)re very close to implementing intranetAbased systems to bring training to people)s desks" said "udi +avenport& +irector of Training ?Aggressive training key to A. Our multimedia training is available in every city where we have people...< A6:O adding value both to the organisation and to its employees.< A6:O ac.

*hange *ommunity A.< A6:O where staff is deployed worldwide.uisition and restructuring process& A. *oncept 6anaging *ultural 7$ *hange through *ulture Learning One of A.ual opportunities and will be given all the necessary training to enhance their skills and personal development in an effort to adapt effortlessly to the new culture and environment. All staff will be given e. *ontinuous improvement is achievable through the continued upgrading of the organisational Total 5uality 6anagement practices as an ongoing learning e#perience. "Je)re going through so much change&" says +irector of Training "udi +avenport "that 3 think everybody realises we need to help people through that change. . as people need new skills and knowledge& we need to be there to give it to them and not let that happen by chance" ($ggressi%e training ke& to $'( $)*+ ac. A. T56 can be achieved by having a knowledgeable workforce who continuously strives for selfAimprovement and through personal development for the benefit of both the organisation and its employees.< A6:O set up a community program referred to as (The *hange *ommunity) with the purpose "to live& plant and support action at A. Together& members e#change ideas and dilemmas with the intent to support the integration of sustainable development in the organisation.. This will ensure a smooth transition which ultimately will benefit the organisation& its employees and its customers.ank in the 0SA.ank and the *ragin -ederal .< A6:O)s ma2or strategies is the ac.< A6:O towards more meaningful and inspiring workIlife. As part of the ac..-isition s-ccess.< A6:O ensures that during the transition of the merger of the new staff with the old staff no one will be left behind.uisition of -inancial 3nstitutions such as the LaSalle <ational ." The community meet at regular intervals to engage in dialogue and reflection regarding issues of importance to the organisation and society such as diversity& workAlife balance& bringing individual values to work and sustainable development.< A6:O is an active Learning Organisation and has an aggressive program aimed to change the traditional banking culture to meet today)s challenges. ndated).Organisation such as A.

Sharing e#periences with the consortium partners once again brings new knowledge and enhances the organisational culture. ($'( $)*+ C#ange Co""-nit&. A.< A6:O 3nnovative Sustainability . 3nnovation and *reativity will contribute towards potential increased efficiency in an organisation provided that its employees learn . *oncept 8$ 3nnovation ! *reativity 3nnovation and *reativity is a main pillar in any Learning Organisation. This should also deliver benefits to customers who will gain from the increased scale and efficiency of the businesses.uickly how to adapt themselves to new technologies and innovations in an effort to position the organisation in a competitive edge.< A6:O utilises in addressing its Learning Organisation ob2ectives.< A6:O has begun a new learning e#perience in its history.nvironmental A A core strategy at A. Social and .< A6:O bringing a new challenging learning e#perience to the organisation. A.< A6:O is clearly creating and maintaining its learning culture through the adaptation of cultural changes& through collaborative team work and through employee empowerment by focusing on employee involvement as a workIlife e#perience.< A6:O in cooperation with its new consortium partners -ortis& The :oyal . The combination of the consortium businesses together with that of A. A.oard. This is an outstanding opportunity for A. "*hange is underway and we are in good shape to forge aheadL" said 6ark -isher& *hairman of A.< A6:O 6anaging . ndated) An Opportunity for Krowth A.< A6:O should result in an enhanced market presence& strengthened products and growth prospects.ank of Scotland and Sandanter& have 2oined their e#periences to integrate and grow their businesses to their full potential.This is another channel that A.< A6:O is always in search of reaching new heights by e#ploring new ways for business growth and business development.

ecause banks are a part of society& we want our activities to reflect the needs and problems of that society&" says A.@ +eployment /ro2ect A.nvironmental causes form an integral part of A. 3n 7EED& over 4H&EEE employees were involved in various initiatives around the world such as the Akatu pro2ect in . The challenge was to provide user training with minimal impact on business operations and without taking the user away from their desks for long periods of time.< A6:O)s business.< A6:O on both the environment and society.< A6:O as a Learning Organisation is helping employees enhance their knowledge and skills in areas which are not related to their line of business& brining new opportunities for personal development.Sustained Social and .< A6:O)s *O. /006) Jorldwide *ommon Office .nvironment ?*O. This pro2ect impacted 4E different countries being 0'& 0S& <etherlands& -rance& Kermany& Hong 'ong& Singapore& Australia& "apan and <ew Mealand which are key to the A. ".< A6:O involves employees to practice and promote e#ceptional philanthropy. . This task was entrusted to 3LN Kroup which is a specialist provider of customised training and implementation solutions and services with considerable e#perience in the financial sector. The bank strives to include a concern for social and environmental issues in its decisionAmaking and encourages other businesses to create benefit in society. The innovativeness of this sustainability mindset has led to numerous activities that are creating a shift in the impact of A.< A6:O manager Lucian Toia. A. Jholesale *lient Services business brought innovation and new practices for over 8EEE Traders in the organisation with the ob2ective of streamlining common standards across its global business.ilit& a core strateg& at $'( $)*+. Through its lending practices& the bank seeks out and supports business activities that support social or environmental causes. Through this initiative A. (S-staina.< A6:O Social :esponsibility business strategy.ra il which is a program that builds environmental awareness.

< A6:O . A.uirements. :i2kman Kroenink& who heads the new .ank 3ntroduces Service 3nnovations %-ocus 7EEH1 is a H year longAterm plan with the ob2ective of redesigning the organisation for more effective customer service in an era where technological developments such as the 3nternet are rapidly altering service re." added /athlore *. "Jith this initiative and our investment in information and communications technology& A.3LN deployed a simple and unobtrusive global solution whereby users can self train with a practical handsAon approach from their own /* through graphical stepAbyAstep guides and simple e#ercises.O Steve Thomas. "The /athlore learning management solution also handles the >commodity activities> associated with getting people into training A things like logistics and registrations. This solution enables employees to analyse their training needs and to receive feedback on how to improve their performance. (Pat#lore 3or #ig#4tec# training 5lat3or". /006) Again this solution engages the organisation in innovation& creativity and continuous development as a Learning Organisation. HighAtech Training /latform A /athlore Learning 6anagement Solution A.< A6:O has partnered with /athlore to deploy a learning management solution in its organisation. (0nternational 1earning 2c#ange. This was a new learning e#perience for the organisation taking advantage of innovative technology as a Learning ndated) Organisation process. .uropean +ivision.< A6:O . This gives the bank>s training team an opportunity to concentrate more on the evaluation of the effectiveness of its programmes and to create new and strategic training initiatives rather than wasting its resources on Administrative tasks.oard member 6r. This solution also automates many of the employee development activities handled by a bank>s training department such as the registration of employees for training and the launching of courses.ank is further developing the successful formula of the integrated multiAchannel concept&" says 6anaging .

A. says Tony de . ($'( $)*+ 0"5le"ent Co"5liant '-siness Processes and Create a 7le8i. Through the deployment of innovative solutions& A.The bank is investing considerably in 3nformation *ommunication Technology giving the organisation a competitive edge. /005) A.< A6:O 3mplement *ompliant .< A6:O opted for an 3T solution named edge *onnect to reach its ob2ectives through which it was able to standardise its processes across each 2urisdiction& providing each user with a consistent way of working& regardless of location& business function or business role. This solution ensures that the proper A.le ser 985erience.#perience A.< A6:O Trust working practices in order to create a more agile enterprise by improving its customer service.uired an integrated approach to its technology& strategy and business processes& yet again bringing innovation and new learning challenges to the organisation.< A6:O focuses on .ree& former pro2ect manager& A. %Je could introduce more products to the e#isting client base with the same staff levels because we could share information across A. The deployment of new service innovations also streamlines common standards across its business in an effort to fulfil global and legal obligations. The goal was to enable employees performing multiple tasks through a single interface together with a common customer information database.< A6:O)s 'O* procedures ?'nowAOourA*ustomer checks@ are followed throughout the organisation.< A6:O is second to none.< A6:O Trust. This re.< A6:O is facilitating learning and knowledge creation throughout the organisation. -urthermore& this technology provides advice to employees on whether a potential client should be accepted or re2ected thus enhancing the decision making process.uality& creativity and value innovation. ($'( $)*+ 'ank 0ntrod-ces Ser%ice 0nno%ations.< A6:O took the decision to change A.< A6:O Trust as a single entity thereby removing duplication of tasks&1 /005) 3nnovation and creativity is a pillar in a Learning Organisation and it is clear that A. Through innovative 3T solutions A. *onsiderations .usiness /rocesses and *reate a -le#ible 0ser .

dge 0sing human talents to the full all of which are characteristics of a Learning Organisation.e. A.ank which contributes towards the organisation)s success& survival and potential future growth. %*ontinuous 3mprovement1& %*ulture1 ! %3nnovation and *reativity1 are a living monument in A.3t is evident that A.< A6:O .ncouraging autonomy .ncouraging innovation .< A6:O is a dynamic Learning Organisation which is always in search of new opportunities for business growth. . The main pillars of a Learning Organisation i.< A6:O recognises that its survival depends on continuous development and innovation and creativity which can only be achieved through a never ending learning e#perience.nsuring employee morale and satisfaction -acilitating change and adaptation Harnessing creative energy 3ncreasing responsibility at all levels in the organisation 6aking work more en2oyable and productive 6obilising every ounce of intelligence in the workforce /roducing more with less Stimulating continuous improvement Striving for survival Switching on the brains of all employees 3s in a *ompetitive . A.< A6:O is committed and is engaged in this Learning Organisation process and from the research carried out we can conclude that A.uilding its organisation fit for human beings *reating a capacity for selfAtransformation +eveloping an entrepreneurial spirit .< A6:O is$ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . Living in an ever evolving environment& organisations need to be proAactive& to anticipate change& to develop new ideas and to manage resources with care.