The Learning Organization

The Learning Organization

In a world characterized by permanent change and complexity, learning (applied learning particularly) is invaluable.  Management thinker, Professor Reginald Revans developed his action learning sets in the 1940s and was convinced that,


“For an organisation to survive, its rate of learning must be at least equal to the rate of change in its external environment”

This approach to survival and growth is supported by Senge’s theory (1990) in which he concluded that “the rate at which organizations learn may become the only sustainable source of competitive advantage”.  These are the core theories behind Gede’s learning framework.

The years 2014 and 2015, when a programme review process was conducted, paved the way to a new programme focus for Gede Foundation.  The long, yet rewarding, process of transitioning from a service delivery programme to identifying another stigmatized and underserved health burden enlightened the team on the importance of evolution through learning.  For without the necessary tools for learning and action, the choice of a new programme focus for the Foundation could have been regarded as superficial and generic. 

Gede wants to lead the agenda, set the pace and push for efforts to bring out the issues of underserved and stigmatized health burdens ‘out of the shadows’ in Nigeria and beyond.  Gede does not want to be branded as a generic or follower organisation.  As much as we believe that there is strength in numbers, we want to be known as the one leading the dialogues for collective discussions.  Furthermore, Gede Foundation seeks long-term leadership positions which require learning.

From 2016 onwards, Gede plans to mainstream learning into its culture so that it becomes engraved in its systems, its people, and programmes.  Specifically, the Foundation will put in place the eight functions of a Learning NGO as shown in the diagram below:










When all of these functions are achieved, we could say that Gede has mainstreamed learning and it will be known as a competent, intelligent and sustainable organization which embodies the following characteristics:

  • It learns from experience and adapts to change

  • It does not re-invent the wheel

  • It is well connected and learns from others

  • It creates opportunities for reflection

  • It is creative and innovative

  • It is humble what it does not know and generous with its knowledge

  • It has systems in place for sharing knowledge

  • Learning is at the heart of its culture