A learning organization is an organization that is great at empowering employees to think critically and creatively to challenge the status quo. It is an environment where new knowledge is regularly gained, transferred and used to modify behaviors.
For the small business owner, creating a learning culture is key for long-term growth and sustainability.
What does a learning organization look like?
Learning organizations have visionary leaders that are quick to empower their employees for growth. They understand that the business environment is highly competitive and fast paced and also that customers preferences keep changing in the midst of numerous options. A learning organization is always thinking of the next improvement it can make to move its company forward. Where it is not able to provide training, it generously rewards and recognizes staff that gain this knowledge.
Is your Business a Learning Organization?
To determine if your company is a learning organization, ask yourself the following questions:
- How long have your core processes remained the same?
- Do you have an active means of collecting and measuring customer and staff feedback?
- Do your employees feel emboldened to suggest new ideas and voice their opinions?
- Do your employees constantly fear that they will be reprimanded for their mistakes?
- Does the management take ownership of both successes and failures or do they take successes and pass failures off to staff?
If you do feel you are lacking in any of the above areas then begin your journey to becoming a learning organization. Start by taking some time out this week to brainstorm with your team. You will be amazed at the huge boost in morale and ideas you will come up with. Transforming to a learning organization takes time and effort but the rewards impact not only the staff but the shareholders as well.