San Diego, CA, January 31, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- In today’s economy a business can only succeed if it is willing to grow. Growing doesn’t just mean increasing profits, expanding customer bases, or entering new markets. It also means growing from within by learning together. This theory is referred to as the “learning organization” principle and it was first brought to light in the book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. The book focuses on the concept of how to promote learning within a business. Of course, to inspire your organization to continue to learn, you must first lead by example.
The Role of a Leader in Building a Learning Organization
As a leader in your organization, you are the first person who should implement and practice this learning method. As a leader, you make four very valuable contributions to your learning organization’s development:
· You offer employees a clear vision of why your company exists and where you plan on taking it in the future
· You communicate your vision to your employees and emphasize how learning empowers continuous growth, improvement, and development over time
· You build a group dynamic around your learning vision that helps influence everyone around you
· You lead by example so that others will ultimately follow
How to Build a Learning Organization
Building a learning organization doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen if everyone doesn’t participate. To ensure your company develops into a learning organization, get started with these helpful tips:
· Build learning organization plans: Just like you set training expectations for your employees, set learning plans as well. Your plans should include learning expectations for the quarter, cross-training, and skill stretching assignments.
· Reading: Consider turning continuing education and reading into a company-wide event. Use staff meetings to vote on a new book and then use subsequent meetings to discuss each chapter of the book. Your business coaching company can help with specific reading recommendations on building a learning organization.
· Learn on your time: Your employees still need time to themselves. Offer the opportunity to complete their learning at work, while on the clock, rather than on their own time.
· Promote field trips: Take your employees to different organizations—not competitor organizations—to let them see what challenges and methods other companies use. Non-competing companies will be more apt to share information and training tips for building a learning organization than competitor companies.
· Employ cross-functional teams: Use these teams to look for new growth opportunities, promote new ideas, and help solve problems company-wide.
· Make learning easier: If your employees feel as though they’re working when learning, they are less likely to fully participate. Instead, make learning more convenient by offering books about building a learning organization on tape, online, and CDs.
· Pay for education: If you want your employees to learn and grow their own personal and educational skills, you need to help them out. Offer to pay for employee’s tuition—whether in full or through a percentage—to encourage them to continue their education well past graduation.
Lastly, if you are working with a business coaching company, it has probably already helped your organization put a performance management program in place. Use this program to gain feedback from employees and management on how learning is progressing, where it can improve, and any suggestions for becoming a better learning organization in the future.
Get more tips on building a learning organization so you can stay a step ahead of your competitors by visiting www.ThinkBlueThinking.com or calling 619.550.8052.
About the Author:
Bruno Raynal is the president and CEO of Blue Thinking, a business consulting and coaching firm. Bruno specializing in working with senior management to enhance their awareness of modern business practices and patterns so they can make informed choices, take the right action, and achieve their vision and goals. He provides both one-on-one and group coaching to build better teams. Learn more about Blue Thinking by visiting www.ThinkBlueThinking.com or calling 619.550.8052.