Building Learning Organizations
Unit-1 Emerging Business Realities Unit-2 Why Organization Need to Learn Unit 3- Organization Learning- A capabilities Based View
Organizational Learning & Learning Organizations
LO is the generic term given to strategies and initiatives for improving organizational effectiveness through emphasis on developing the capabilities , capacities and qualities of the employees at all the levels. Corporate commitment for doing things in there preferred ways.
LO adopts strategic approaches to long term organizational security, continuity, viability, effectiveness-and therefore profitability- that integrates What is done and why- business and organizational policy, direction, purpose and priorities with, How it is done- the specific attention to the staff who have to implement it, and whose efforts depends continuing success or failure.
A "Learning Organization" is one in which people at all levels, individually and collectively, are continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about. An organization that learns and encourages learning among its people. It promotes exchange of information between employees hence creating a more knowledgeable workforce. This produces a very flexible organization where people will accept and adapt to new ideas and changes through a shared vision.
was Peter Senge’s 1990 book The Fifth Discipline that popularized the concept of the ‘learning organization'. Since its publication, more than a million copies have been sold and in 1997, Harvard Business Review identified it as one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years.
Peter Senge has defined Learning Organization in the following way,
people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning to learn together" - Peter Senge
Need for Learning Organization
Is your company is suffering with following problems? Do your employees seem unmotivated or uninterested in their work? Does your workforce lack the skill and knowledge to adjust to new jobs? Do you seem to be the only one to come up with all the ideas? And does your workforce simply follow orders? Do your teams argue constantly and lack real productivity? Or lack communication between each other? And when the "guru" is off do things get put on hold? Are you always the last to hear about problems? Or worst still the first to hear about customer complaints? And do the same problems occur over and over?
In current situations of rapid change only those organizations that are flexible, adaptive and productive will excel. For this to happen, organizations need to ‘discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels’ While all people have the capacity to learn, the structures in which they have to function are often not conducive to reflection and engagement. Furthermore, people may lack the tools and guiding ideas to make sense of the situations they face. Organizations that are continually expanding their capacity to create their future require a fundamental shift of mind among their members. According to Peter Senge, real learning gets to the heart of what it is to be human. We become able to re-create ourselves. This applies to both individuals and organizations. For a ‘learning organization it is not enough to survive. ‘”Survival learning” or what is more often termed “adaptive learning” is important – indeed it is necessary. But for a learning organization, “adaptive learning” must be joined by “generative learning”, learning that enhances our capacity to create’
How to create a LO
The Building Blocks- To build a solid foundation for creating a LO following parameters are needed : Awareness- learning must take place at all the levels Environment-organic structure, linear organization with open communication Leadership-Leader should foster system thinking Empowerment-Decision making power + Accountability Learning- Learning Labs, Simulation games
According to Peter Senge the dimension that distinguishes learning from more traditional organizations is the mastery of certain basic disciplines or ‘component technologies’.
PETER SENGE'S FIVE DISCIPLINES OF LEARNING ORGANISATIONS
Systems thinking-People in an organization are part of a system. Systems thinking is a discipline which integrates the other disciplines in a business. It allows the 'whole' (organization) to be greater than the 'parts (people, departments, teams, equipment and so on). Personal mastery.-This discipline allows people to clarify and focus their personal visions, focus energy, develop patience and see the world as it really is. Employees who possess a high level of personal mastery can consistently generate results which are important to them through their commitment to lifelong learning. Mental models- These are internalized frameworks which support our views of the world, beliefs in why and how events happen, and our understanding of how things, people and events are related. Senge advocates bringing these to the surface, discussing them with others in a 'learningful' way and unlearning ways of thinking which are not productive. Building shared vision-Developing 'shared pictures of the future' together so that people are genuinely committed and engaged rather than compliant. Team learning- Senge sees teams as a vital element of a learning organization. As there is a great significance in the ability of teams to 14 learn.
The Focus of Learning Organization Five Disciplines
The Learning Organization Focus
A Learning Organization: Key Disciplines
SYSTEMS THINKING: Integrating all the functions in an organization into a cohesive structure.
PERSONAL MASTERY: Personal and professional development that is in sync with the organization’s goals.
MENTAL MODELS: Internalized frameworks and generalizations of how an organization works and responds to its environment.
SHARED VISION: Developing commitment using “shared pictures of the future”; Everyone working for a common, agreed upon future. TEAM LEARNING: People working as teams and therefore learning as teams.
The Learning Organization Goal
Make Learning Part of the Every Day Office Environment
The Learning Organization
Encourages Continuous Learning Promotes Access to Learning Maximizes Information Sharing Increases Flexible Access to Training Works Efficiently Using Interactive Relationships Sees the Big Picture Shares a Common Vision
Why is it Important?
“The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization.” – Peter Senge “The rate at which organizations learn may become the only sustainable source of competitive advantage.” – Peter Drucker “The need for learning organizations is due to the world becoming more complex, dynamic and globally competitive.” – Gary Ahlquist
What is a Learning Organization? - Debate
Many pundits – among the most respected business thinkers:
Drucker – “The Information Age” Peter Senge – “The Fifth Discipline”
No clear consensus on the definition Learning Organization is an ideal that could exist in may forms
Peter Drucker – “The Information Age”
Competitive advantage is created through “informationbased organizations” Four Critical Areas: Develop rewards, recognition and career opportunities that stimulate information sharing Create a unified vision of how the organization will share information Create the management structure that enables crossboundary information sharing Ensure the continuous supply and training of staff and volunteers that can use the information
Peter Senge – “The Fifth Discipline”
“Learning organizations are where people continually expand their capacity to learn” “Five disciplines are key to achieving an effective learning organization” Personal Mastery – enhancing ability to be objective Mental Models – continually scrutinizing our assumptions and picture of the world Shared Vision – creating a new picture for the future Team Learning – creating the capacity to “think together” Systems Thinking – knowledge and tools that allow people to see inter-relationships
Shared Characteristics (across many differing views)
Provide continuous learning opportunities for all employees and volunteers Use learning as a way to reach the organization’s goals Link individual performance with organizational performance Make it safe for people to share information and take risks Embrace differences as tension that generates creativity Continuously understand and interact with targeted beneficiaries
This is the ability to see the bigger picture, to look at the interrelationships of a system as opposed to simple causeeffect chains; allowing continuous processes to be studied rather than single snapshots. The essential properties of a system are not determined by the sum of its parts but by the process of interactions between those parts. Systems thinking is fundamental to any learning organization; it is the discipline used to implement the disciplines. Without systems thinking each of the disciplines would be isolated and therefore not achieve their objective. The fifth discipline integrates them to form the whole system, a system whose properties exceed the sum of its parts. Systems thinking cannot be achieved without the other core disciplines: personal mastery, team learning, mental models and shared vision.
Popular concept of system
System is a
Personal Mastery Mental Models
Systems Thinking Shared Vision
System is Relationships
Construct and analyze
A system is a larger world
College (or College System) Classroom Parent Teacher Student
Community (home for this group of students)
Still larger view : we need to analysis
Meaning: Integrating all the functions in an Organisation into a cohesive structure. It is the discipline that integrates the others, fusing them into a coherent body of theory & practice.
The Tricky Part:
• People find it hard to see the
Making It Work:
whole pattern of change. Understand the concepts to put into place • Takes time to see newly Take feedback to reinforce system initiated ideas work. Look at the whole picture, not “snap • Easier to learn at an early shots in time”. stage rather than at later stage.
Have system maps Provide the right workplace conditions
Personal Mastery: How it can be Achieved?
Personal mastery is the process of continually clarifying and deepening an individual's personal vision. This is a matter of personal choice for the individual and involves continually assessing the gap between their current and desired proficiencies in an objective manner, and practicing and refining skills until they are internalized. This develops self esteem and creates the confidence to tackle new challenges.
Organizational Behavior: Conflicts in Organizations
Levels of Conflict 1. Intrapersonal Conflict 2. Interpersonal Conflict 3. Intragroup Conflict 4. Intergroup Conflict 5. Intraorganizational Conflict 6. Interorganizational Conflict
Organizational Behavior Conflict in Organizations
Interpersonal Conflict Management 1. Force 2. Withdrawal 3. Smoothing 4. Compromise 5. Mediation and Arbitration 6. Superordinate Goals 7. Problem Solving 8. Dialogue
Importance of ‘Dialogue’
It teaches fighting
Multi-way communication Take decision by voting
Dialogue is constructing
is art of listening. Here
people learn to listen to learn not only words but all facets of the presence of others in their context
is exploring for construction not an agreement
Dialogue is checking assumptions
Dictating: “Here’s what I say, and never mind Why” ( dysfunctional ) Asserting: “Here’s want I say, and here’s want I say it.” Explaining: “Here’s how the world works and why I can see it that why.”
Skillful discussion: (Balancing advocacyencouragement and inquiry) genuinely curious makes reasoning explicit asks others about assumptions without being critical or accusing)
Dialogue: suspending all assumptions creating
a “container” in which collective thinking can emerge
Politicking: giving the impression of balancing
advocacy and inquiry, while being closeminded (dysfunctional)
Bystanding: Making comments which pertain to the group process, but not to content. Sensing: Watching the conversation flow without saying much, but keenly aware of all that transpires. Withdrawing: Mentally checking out of the room, and not paying attention. (dysfunctional)
Interrogating: “Why can’t you see that your point of view is wrong?” (dysfunctional) Clarifying: “What is the question we are trying to answer?” Interviewing: Exploring others’ points of view, and the reasons behind them.
Special rules of dialogue
Circular arrangements; not rows and column type Agenda Chairperson Language Decisions
Personal Mastery creative tension in rubber band
Personal mastery beliefs, reality, vision
Personal & professional development that is in sync with the organisation’s goals. It is discipline of ‘continually clarifying & deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, & of seeing reality objectively’.
The Tricky Part • Resistance to PM due to difficulty in quantifying results. • Ideas behind PM have been heard before. • People forced to develop PM may do more harm than good.
Making It Work
Redefine employees job Provide the right conditions for employees to be proactive Generate a sense of purpose Develop competencies of employees Create situations for employees to have personal vision, holding creative tension & recognizing own strengths.
Each individual has an internal image of the world, with deeply ingrained assumptions. Individuals will act according to the true mental model that they subconsciously hold, not according to the theories which they claim to believe. If team members can constructively challenge each others' ideas and assumptions, they can begin to perceive their mental models, and to change these to create a shared mental model for the team. This is important as the individual's mental model will control what they think can or cannot be done. It is a framework for the cognitive processes of our mind. In other words, it determines how we think and act. Winning in arm wrestling means the act of lowering their partner's arm to the table. Most people struggle against their partner to win. Their mental model is that there can be only one winner in arm wrestling and that this is done by lowering their partner's arm more times than their partner can do the same thing to them.
Meaning: Internalised frameworks & generalisations of how an organisation works & responds to its environment.
It starts with turning the mirror inwards; learning to unearth our internal picture of the world, to bring them to the surface & hold them rigoursly to scrutiny.
Making It Work
The Tricky Part
• Managers not always very skilled in implementing new ideas • People find it difficult to challenge assumptions they believe to be “the case” • Some people act in reutilised ways when they are at work
Skills learnt must be
put into regular practice continually challenged
Strong role of manager to integrate mental modelling and systems-thinking skills. Allowing ‘learningful’ conversations that balance inquiry & scrutiny.
To create a shared vision, large numbers of eligible people within the organization must be empowered to draft it, and create a single image of the future. All members of the organization must understand, share and contribute to the vision for it to become reality. With a shared vision, people will do things because they want to, not because they have to.
Developing commitment using “shared picture of the future"; Everyone working for a common, agreed upon future.
Making It Work
The Tricky Part • Compliance not commitment • Extrinsic visions are usually personally held and are defensive • Vision is usually top-down – do not have as good an affect as they should
Foster genuine commitment & enrolment rather than compliance. focus & generate energy for learning;
put together by many not a few better when considered intrinsically at the organisational level.
Have discussion on vision for better clarity 54
Team learning focuses on the learning ability of the group. Adults learn best from each other, by reflecting on how they are addressing problems, questioning assumptions, and receiving feedback from their team and from their results. With team learning, the learning ability of the group becomes greater than the learning ability of any individual in the group. Learning stages are: Forming Storming Norming Performing
People working as teams & therefore learning as teams. It starts with a dialogue, the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions & enter into genuine ‘thinking together’.
The Tricky Part • practice, and consistency, no quick fixes • boredom sets in • open minded with one’s own views and the views of others
Making It Work
Everyone must pull in the same direction Teams must master the art of dialogue and discussion Conflict can still appear in good team learning BUT essentially a unitary frame of reference
Mental Models: you and around you
attitudes + perception attitudes + perception
those around you
Shared Vision evolves
Personal 2 Personal 3
Personal visions: variation
Division A Division B Division C Marketing R&D
Human Resources Manufacturin g Finance
Shared Vision: fully aligned
Team coherence and alignment
Knowledge of systems’ thinking is power
Management of systems is achieved by
Bringing changes outside and Changes inside yourself
'Organizations learn only through individuals that learn. Individuals' learning does not guarantee organizational learning. But without it no organizational learning occurs.‘
Senge, Peter, 1994
Senge (1990) defines the Learning Organization as the organization "in which you learn because learning is so insinuated into the fabric of life." Also, he defines Learning Organization as "a group of people continually enhancing their capacity to create what they want to create." Learning Organization is an "Organization with an ingrained philosophy for anticipating, reacting and responding to change, complexity and uncertainty." The concept of Learning Organization is increasingly relevant given the increasing complexity and uncertainty of the organizational environment. As Senge (1990) remarks: "The rate at which organizations learn may become the only sustainable 66 source of competitive advantage."
McGill et al. (1992) define the Learning Organization as "a company that can respond to new information by altering the very "programming" by which information is processed and evaluated."
Why there is a need for Learning Organisation
Business becoming more complex & globally competitive. Excelling in a dynamic business environment requires more understanding, knowledge, preparation & agreement than one person’s expertise experience provides. Continuous improvement is the order of the day – it requires a commitment to learning.
Jeanne Meister (2004) reports that “learning organizations whose performance correlated with excellent business results show mastery in seven key areas":
Executives are known as much for following as they are for their leadership. They enthusiastically invite and willingly take the good advice they seek from others. They are defined by openness to employee climate surveys, suggestion systems and work clusters that empower subordinates to contribute meaningful solutions.
They understand that innovation thrives wherever new ideas, diverse views, and vigorous debate are encouraged. They gather information from outside the four walls of their business. They go to great lengths to solicit help and wisdom from vendors and suppliers, learning from their understanding of market trends, technological directions and current competitive landscape. They understand that moving from commodity to experience begins and ends with the awareness of the customer view.
Learning Organization has the ability to learn faster than their competitors.
“Individual learning does not guarantee organizational learning," organizational learning can and does occur with no specifically related individual learning. That is, the environmental consequences of organizational behavior can be fed back to the organization and shape future organizational behavior without requiring individual learning at all.
Organization Learning (OL)
Organizational Learning (OL) has become very prominent in the current scenario. Managers see OL as a powerful tool to improve the performance of an organization. It is not only the scholars of organization studies who are interested in the phenomenon of OL but also the practitioners who have to deal with the subject of OL.
Two different processes of organizational change that are associated with OL: Adaptive learning, i.e. changes that have been made in reaction to changed environmental conditions .
Proactive learning, i.e organizational changes that have been made on a more willful basis. This is learning which goes beyond the simple reacting to environmental changes.
Adaptive learning is a process of incremental changes. Adaptive learning is more automatic and less cognitively induced than proactive learning. The adaptive learning compared to proactive learning is also expressed by the different labels which have been used to describe these two types of OL: “Single-Loop versus Double-Loop Learning” ( Argyris and Schön, 1978), “Lower Level versus Higher Level Learning” (Fiol and Lyles, 1985), “Tactical versus Strategic Learning” (Dodgson , 1991) “Adaptive versus Generative Learning” ( Senge, 1990 76
Argyris (1977) defines organizational learning as the process of "detection and correction of errors." In his view organizations learn through individuals acting as agents for them: "The individuals' learning activities, in turn, are facilitated or inhibited by an ecological system of factors that may be called an organizational learning system"
Huber (1991) considers four constructs as integrally linked to organizational learning: knowledge acquisition, information distribution, information interpretation, and organizational memory. He clarifies that learning need not be conscious or intentional. Learning does not always increase the learner's effectiveness, or even potential effectiveness. Moreover, learning need not result in observable changes in behavior. Taking a behavioral perspective, Huber (1991) notes: An entity learns if, through its processing of information, the range of its potential behaviors is changed.
“Organizational Learning is the process within the organization by which knowledge about action-outcome relationships and the effect of the environment on these relationships is developed" (Duncan & Weiss 1979). In his view, "a more radical approach would take the position that individual learning occurs when people give a different response to the same stimulus, but Organizational Learning occurs when groups of people give the same response to different stimuli."
Organizational Learning vs. Learning Organization
Ang & Joseph (1996) contrast Organizational Learning and Learning Organization in terms of process versus structure. McGill et al. (1992) do not distinguish between Learning Organization and Organizational Learning. They define Organizational Learning as the ability of an organization to gain insight and understanding from experience through experimentation, observation, analysis, and a willingness to examine both successes and failures.
Adaptive Learning vs. Generative Learning
Adaptive Learning or single-loop learning focuses on solving problems in the present without examining the appropriateness of current learning behaviors. Adaptive organizations focus on incremental improvements, often based upon the past track record of success. Essentially, they don't question the fundamental assumptions underlying the existing ways of doing work. The essential difference is between being adaptive and having adaptability. Adaptive learning is about coping.
Adaptive Learning vs. Generative Learning
Thus Adaptive learning is about coping. Senge (1990) elaborated that increasing adaptive ness is only the first stage; companies need to focus on Generative Learning or "double-loop learning" Generative Learning is about creating - it requires "systemic thinking," "shared vision," "personal mastery," "team learning," and "creative tension" [between the vision and the current reality] Argyris 1977- Generative learning emphasizes continuous experimentation and feedback in an ongoing examination of the very way organizations go about defining and solving problems.
Managers' Role in the Learning Organization
Senge (1990) argues that the leader's role in the Learning Organization is that of a designer, teacher, and steward who can build shared vision and challenge prevailing mental models. A Leader/Manager is responsible for building organizations where people are continually expanding their capabilities to shape their future -- that is, leaders are responsible for learning
The key ingredient of the Learning Organization is in how organizations process their managerial experiences. In Learning Organizations/Managers learn from their experiences rather than being bound by their past experiences. In Generative Learning Organizations, the ability of an organization/manager is not measured by what it knows (that is the product of learning), bur rather by how it learns -- the process of learning. Management practices encourage, recognize, and reward: openness, systemic thinking, creativity, a sense of efficacy, and empathy.
Optimizing Organizational Learning
1 -View learning as work and work as learning. Recognize learning in all it's forms in order to find ways to nurture it and connect it across the organization. 2 -Count on the informal. 3 - If there is a learning problem, look for patterns of social participation and exclusion.
Optimizing Organizational Learning
4 - Keep learning as close to practice as possible. Be suspicious of any process that attempts to extract knowledge from the communities of practice where it is kept alive, to transform this knowledge into a curriculum, and to deliver it outside of practice.
5 - Treat Communities of practice as assets. Encouraging learning communities by supporting reflection processes and access to information as part of the practice itself. Given the right conditions - enough understanding of circumstances, access to resources and control over their destiny - communities of practice can use their shared history86 a social resource to learn very much, very fast. as
Optimizing Organizational Learning
6-View individuals as members of communities of practice, not by stereotyping them, but by honoring the meaningfulness of their participation. Recognize, for example,
that the cadre of volunteers who staff the hospital's gift or coffee shops are not only members of the community of volunteers but also an informal public relations community who give people directions and information, and convey, with every contact, that the hospital is a friendly (or unfriendly) place.
7 - Encourage the formation and deepening of communities of practice by legitimizing the work of pulling them together and valuing the informal learning facilitate. If staff nurses come up with an idea for improving patient care over lunch, then take that idea to their supervisor, and are met with a response like, "Well, write up a proposal and the appropriate committee will review it,"
8 - Manage boundaries between communities of practice as opportunities for learning. Recognize
the strengths and weaknesses of objects and people in their ability to bridge across practices. A protocol, for instance, becomes useful to the extent that someone can negotiate its relevance to a specific patient.
Optimizing Organizational Learning
9 - Expect transformations, misunderstandings, and reinterpretations when people, artifacts and information cross boundaries of practice. Pay
particular attention to artifacts and documents that are supposed to create links across boundaries. When in doubt, have objects accompanied by someone.
Optimizing Organizational Learning
10 - Value the work of brokering learning among communities; it often does not look like work. The connection across departments provided
by a group of caregivers going to lunch together can be as essential to the quality of care as any protocol.
11 - Be attuned to the emergence of new practices at boundaries. The value of these new
practices may initially not be recognizable by the criteria of existing practices.
12 - View the organization as a constellation of interconnected practices. Give local communities
enough information and encouragement to negotiate how they fit within the whole and contribute to the 89 efficiency of the organization.
13 - Put communities of practice in charge of their learning, recognizing that they need access to other practices in order to proceed. No practice
can fully organize the learning of another. But at the same time, no practice can fully organize its own learning, because no practice has the full picture.
Optimizing Organizational Learning
14 - Make sure that the organizational apparatus is in the service of practices, and not the other way around. Avoid organizational demands that do not
somehow serve the practices on which they are made. The purpose of having organizations is not to replace communities of practice with an abstract sense of affiliation, but to recognize their existence and to provide the resources and information to help them locate their practices in a broader context and align with one another in order to work together. 90
Coaching Organisation Teaching Organisation Learning Organisation Industrial Organisation Top learns & guides Everybody is Learning Everybody is Learning Teaching & being taught Everybody is Learning Teaching & being taught Coaching & being coached