It is only when an organization reflects on this question that it will realize the importance of learning. Drawing from the works of experts on organisational learning such as Peter Senge and from the various models influenced by his works, let us talk about the most common factors that drive organizational learning:First, there is the permanence of change. It does not require rocket science to explain this fact. Change is an essential dimension of organizational (and individual) life and no matter how much we talk about “change fatigue”, the reality will never go away. Instead of resisting change, we have to acknowledge it and see change as an opportunity to learn and adapt so that we will be better able to fulfill our purpose. Secondly, as a product of constant change, we are now operating in a knowledge age driven by information technology that seems to evolve every day. The efficient use of information technology requires a workforce that can evolve as technology evolves.
This means that in order to catch up with fast pace of technological evolution, learning is not only a process that a worker goes through in preparation for a career. Learning has become an essential part of what it means to do the job well. Then the knowledge worker is born. Although we often refer to the knowledge worker as the tech savvy individual or the technical professional, if we reflect on how much technology has influenced our lives, we can conclude that we are all becoming knowledge workers. The value of what we produce depends on what we know and what we know depends on what we have learned and can learn.
Learning is not only the set of knowledge we gained from school but also from what we learn on the job and from other people/organizations. And last but not the least, there is the reality of competitiveness. As I quote Senge (1990), “the rate at which organizations learn may become the only sustainable source of competitive advantage”. And as the famous Reg Revans presented in his Learning Action Set: for an organisation to survive, its rate of learning must be at least equal to the rate of change in its external environment. So what happens when we do NOT learn?
This is just the beginning of our discussion on organizational learning. Please visit this site again for more interesting topics on organizational learning.