In a world of smartphones, tablets, and computers that keep getting smarter, so do we. How many times a day do you find yourself following questions with, “I’ll Google it,” and having thousands of pages of results to learn from? It might even be what led you to this blog. And thanks to information being more accessible than ever, finding answers can literally take seconds.
But can you say the same for your company?
It’s employees who create solutions. Too often, however, they feel like their role is to just show up and complete their tasks without having any real say, their concerns given no merit. Ineffectual policies are just accepted, and ideas aren’t shared.
Which is exactly what you don’t want. Real success is rarely achieved without engaged employees – asking questions, gaining knowledge, and challenging themselves and coworkers.
It’s this thinking that lies at the heart of the learning organization, a corporate culture framework developed by Peter Senge. Companywide teamwork, driven by a genuine desire for growth, creates an environment 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.”
And learning to learn is a process when you pair different individuals, departments, and management styles together. But while the first two will always have their idiosyncrasies, it’s consolidating the third that catalyzes the transition from a traditional corporation to a pioneer. Rather than restricting – following the old way simply because “that’s how it’s always been done” – learning organizations foster an atmosphere of open communication and evaluation.
Why is that so important? Your employees are your greatest resource. And making them realize it leads to a whole new realm of benefits.
When ideas are not only welcomed but encouraged, more brainstorming, more collaboration, and more proactive—not reactive—initiatives begin to reach leadership’s ears, turning creative concepts into profitable reality.
2. Knowledge Sharing
It’s no coincidence that each of the five pillars of a learning organization revolves around information. Giving all of your employees access to the content they need lets them fully understand corporate challenges and goals, ensuring everyone’s on the same wavelength…and playing a part in improvement.
3. Problem Solving
“Teamwork makes the dream work,” and when problems are shared, they get solved. By opening up the conversation, sources you might never have thought to consult could be the ones with the best answers.
4. Strengthened Community
A sense of contribution doesn’t just boost pride in yourself, but it also boosts pride in where you work. Employees who have input in what goes on behind the scenes will naturally be more invested in the company.
5. Greater Efficiency
A collaborative mindset coupled with programs that prioritize learning is what help turn teams into perceptive powerhouses. Instead of relying on outside firms, businesses can resolve issues internally, with quicker turnaround times and reduced cost.
No matter your industry, building a learning organization has the same results: providing the tools to propel growth and generate a happier workplace. And that may be the answer to making your company – the success story you’ve always learned about.