Skillsoft Blog

Throw Back Thursday: fundamentals of a learning organization

We receive so much valuable content from our customers, partners and
internal subject-matter experts. On Thursdays, we thought it would be fun to do
a “throw back” and bring back an older post that was valuable to our audience.
Today’s throw back is on the fundamentals of a learning organization.

Fundamentals of a Learning Organization

By Russ Howard

There are three
distinct levels of learning in organizations, and to be successful and
sustainable, learning needs to occur on all three levels.

  1. Individual level –When a person
    acquires a skill, gains knowledge, or achieves a change in attitude or
  2. Group level – The acquisition of
    knowledge, skills, and competencies within a group.
  3. Organizational level – The
    collective intellect and productive capability of all employees.

A key
characteristic of a learning organization is a general positive attitude about
learning that permeates throughout the organization, where leaders at all
levels encourage and provide ongoing opportunities for continuous learning.
When leaders consistently emphasize the importance of professional growth
through learning, this positive attitude filters down throughout the
organization, and over time, becomes integrated into its culture.

The value of organizational learning

learning brings many obvious benefits that yield positive results toward an
organization’s competitive advantage and growth potential.

  • Enhanced agility – Organizations
    are able to respond more rapidly to changes.
  • Greater commitment – Employees
    will be motivated and energized by a continuously evolving organization.
    Satisfied, energized employees are more engaged and
  • Improved performance –When
    employees are motivated and committed to self improvement, it promotes a
    greater focus on improved quality of the organization’s products and

Leaders who wish
to establish a culture of learning in their organizations must commit to a
long-term and sustained effort to develop and maintain an environment where
learning is aligned with the core goals of their businesses and learning
activities are encouraged, promoted, and celebrated.

Course: Fundamentals of Organizational Learning (lead_08_a01_bs_enus)

Book: Handbook of Organizational Learning and
Knowledge Management, Second Edition

Article: Creating a Learning Organization: 10 Actions For a Leader

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