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LEARNING ORGANIZATION

TOOLS & PRACTICES

THE DISTINGUISHING FACTOR


TRADITIONAL ORGANIZATION LEARNING ORGANIZATION

DEFINITION
PETER SENGE (1990) where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desirewhere people are continually learning how to learn togetherwhere people are continually discovering how they create reality. And how they can change it.

PEDLER, BURGOYNE AND BOYDELL(1991)

an organization that facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself.

NANCY DIXON (1994)


the intentional use of learning processes at individual, group and system level to continuously transform the organization in a direction that is increasingly satisfying to stakeholders.

THE FIVE DISCIPLINES


SYSTEMS THINKING PERSONAL MASTERY MENTAL MODELS BUILDING SHARED VISION TEAM LEARNING

SYSTEMS THINKING
Seeing interrelationships rather than linear cause-effect chains and seeing process of change rather than snapshots.

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF SYSTEMS THINKING


REINFORCING FEEDBACK: SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY OR PYGMALION EFFECT BEAHVIOUR THAT RESULTS FROM A REINFORCING LOOP IS EITHER ACCELERATING GROWTH OR ACCELERATING DECLINE i.e. Positive word of mouth; snowball effect, vicious circle etc.

TO ADD
BALANCING FEEDBACK: DISCOVERING THE SOURCES OF STABILITY AND RESISTANCE
IN A STABILIZING SYSTEM THERE IS A SELF CORRECTION THAT ATTEMPTS TO MAINTAIN SOME GOAL OR TARGET HOMEOSTASIS IN AN ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT : DEMAND & SUPPLY PLANNING CREATES LONGER TERM BALANCING PROCESSES.

BALANCING PROCESSES OF AN ORGANIZATION


IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT GOALS BALANCING PROCESSES IN MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS. LEADERS INITIATING ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE CAUGHT IN BALANCING PROCESSES RESISTANCE (THE HIDDEN BALANCING PROCESS). SYSTEM PERFORMANCE VS. SYSTEM DELAYS LESSONS OF BALANCING LOOPS: AGGRESSIVE ACTION OFTEN PRODUCES EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT IS INTENDED.

NATURESS TEMPLATES:
IDENTIFYNG THE PATTERNS THAT CONTROL EVENTS

ARCHETYPE 1: LIMITS TO GROWTH


DEFINITION: A reinforcing process is set in motion to produce a desired result. It creates a spiral of success but also creates inadvertent secondary effects (manifested in a balancing process) which eventually slow down the success. MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLE: Dont push growth; remove the factors limiting growth.

HOW TO ACHIEVE LEVERAGE


MOST COMMON REACTION TO LIMIT TO GROWTH IS BY TRYING TO PUSH HARD: If you cannot break your bad habit, become more diligent in monitoring your own behaviour. BUT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY In each of them, leverage lies in the balancing loop not the reinforcing loop. To change the behaviour of the system, you must identify and change the limiting factor.

ARCHETYPE 2: SHIFTING THE BURDEN


DEFINITION: An underlying problem generates symptoms that demand attention. But the underlying problem is difficult for people to address, either because it is obscure or costly to confront. So people shift the burden of their problem to other solutions. MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLE: Beware the symptomatic solution. Go for fundamental solution.

STRUCTURE OF SHIFTING THE BURDEN


Two Balancing Processes: Symptomatic Intervention or quick fix. Side Effects. Patterns of Behaviour Drinking to release tension: Symptomatic solution. It leads to the dependence on the symptomatic solution that keeps on reinforcing. Strengthening fundamental responses almost always require a long term orientation and a sense of shared vision.

PERSONAL MASTERY
It involves taking a creative rather than a reactive stance to issues, problems and life itself. It is the discipline of personal growth and learning. Kazuo Inamori, Founder & President of Kyocera (Ceramics Technology) says:
If employees are not sufficiently motivated to challenge the goals of growth and technological developmentthere will simply be no growth, no gain in productivity, and no technological development . Inamori believes, tapping the potential of people will require new understanding of the subconscious mind, will power and action of heart etc.

Bill OBrien, President of Hanover Insurance strives for, Organizational models that are more congruent with human nature. When the industrial age began people worked for 6 days a week to earn enough for food and shelter. Today most of us have these handled by Tuesday afternoon. Our traditional hierarchical organizations are not designed to provide for peoples higher order needs, self respect and self actualization. The ferment in management will continue until organizations begin to address these needs, for all employees.

MASTERY & PROFICIENCY


Personal mastery goes beyond competence and skills though it is grounded in competence and skills. It goes beyond spiritual unfolding though it requires spiritual growth. It means approaching ones life as a creative work living life from a creative as opposed to reactive viewpoint. Two underlying principles:
Continuously clarifying what is important to us and Continually learning how to see current reality more clearly. Its a process of continuously focusing and re-focusing on what one wants

RESISTANCE TO PERSONAL MASTERY


Who could resist the benefits of Personal Mastery?
Traditional Contract Between Employee and Institution. Cynicism : To empower people in an unaligned organization can be counter productive. The productive way is to share commonly the vision and mental models.

The Discipline of Personal Mastery


The ability to focus on ultimate intrinsic desires, not only on secondary goals, is a cornerstone of personal mastery. George Bernard Shaw said, This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty onethe being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

TO ADD
Same principle has been expressed in some organizations as genuine caring. In places where people felt uncomfortable about talking personal purpose, they felt perfectly at ease talking about genuine caring. When people genuinely care they are naturally committed. They are full of energy and ethusiasm.

Purpose Without Vision


OBrien says, You and I may be tennis fans and enjoy talking about ground strokes, our backhands, the thrill of chasing down a corner shot, of hitting a winner. We may have a great conversation, but then we find out that I am gearing up to play at my local country club and you are preparing for Wimbledon. We share the same enthusiasm and love of the game, but at totally different scales of proficiency. Until we establish the scales we have in mind, we might think we are communicating when we are not.

Personal Mastery and the Fifth Discipline


Integrating Reason and Intuition. Seeing Our Connectedness to the World: Einstein expressed, [the human being] experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few person nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

TO ADD
COMPASSION: It is not always just the concern for others. But it is also grounded in a level of awareness. More the people see the systems within which they operate, and as they understand more clearly the pressures influencing one another, they naturally develop more compassion and empathy. COMMITMENT TO THE WHOLE: Individuals committed to a vision beyond their self interest find they have energy not available when pursuing narrower goals, as will organizations that tap this level of commitment.

MENTAL MODELS
SURFACING, TESTING AND IMPROVING OUR INTERNAL PICTURES OF HOW THE WORLD WORKS IS AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF LEARNING AND CHANGE.