A learning organization is a term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself for growth.
What would prompt an organizations to adopt learning disciplines?
As the world becomes more interconnected and business becomes more complex and dynamic, work must involve more “learning”. As organizations grow, they lose their capacity to learn as company structure and individual thinking becomes less flexible. When problems arise, short term solutions are adopted, the problem then re-emerges in the future. Organizations that discover how to tap people's commitment and capacity to learn at all levels are the organizations that will truly excel in the future.
Learning organizations are possible because it's our nature to learn and we love to
learn. Most of us, at one time or another, would have been part of a great team. A group of people functioning together in an extraordinary way, who trust one another, who complement one another’s strengths, who have common goals that are larger than individual goals, and who produce extraordinary results. Teams that became great often did not start off great, they learned how to produce extraordinary results.
Systems thinking is a conceptual framework of knowledge and tools that allows people to study business as bounded objects. Learning organizations use this method of thinking when assessing their company and have information systems that measure the performance of the organization as a whole and of its various components. Systems thinking states that all the five disciplines must be apparent at once in an organization for it to be a learning organization.
Systems thinking helps leaders and workers truly understand what they are doing, why they are doing and the impact on those around them. Better navigation of the organization and better economic outcomes are achieved with the help of system thinking values, principles and practices which helps analyze, correct and solve problems.
The commitment by an individual to the process of learning is known as personal mastery. Individual learning is acquired through staff training, development, and continuous self-improvement. A learning organization has been described as the sum of individual learning, but there must be mechanisms for individual learning to be transferred into organizational learning.The discipline of personal mastery starts with clarifying the things that really matter to us for the service of our highest aspirations.
Mental models are the assumptions, pictures or images that influence the individuals and organizations to understand the world and how we take action. Mental models result from people's tendency to form explanations of things in the world.
People actually have the tendency to blame one event which follows another. For example, you download a file from the Internet and then your computer crashes. Many people will blame the downloaded file for the crash. In reality, there may be no connection at all between the two events. In this context, Mental Model can help shape behavior and set an approach to solving problems and doing tasks.There are several methods used for capturing users requirements, expectations, mental models, and their approach. All these methods include collecting data, organizing and analyzing results, and then using these results to guide the design of a new system.
Shared vision creates a common identity that provides focus and energy for learning and motivates staff to learn. A shared vision is important to build a successful learning organization. Vision states the view of the solution to be developed.
Many Leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that motivate an organization. For instance, if there is a genuine vision, people can intake and learn not just because they are told to learn, but because they want to learn.
The process of translating personal vision into a shared vision is done by the whole organization with the practice of commitment. This leads to enrollment rather than compliance. In this way, leaders can learn the productiveness to give a vision for the organization in a heart full way.
Team learning represents the aggregation of individual learning. Team learning is important because it is not individuals, but teams, that are the fundamental learning units in modern organizations. Until and unless teams can learn, organizations cannot learn.
In Agile, teams get the opportunity to regularly inspect their process and create a plan to be implemented in the organization for its growth. Teams also learn about the product they produce through regular demonstrations. Demos show a set of solutions to the problems faced by stakeholders, customers, and users so that the team gets fast feedback about progress. Team learning requires individuals to engage in dialog and discussion; therefore team members must develop open communication, shared meaning, and shared understanding.
So with the help of all these 5 Disciplines of Learning Organization we can Maintain levels of innovation and can be competitive to other Organizations, we can be ready to face the external pressure,we will have better knowledge to link with the customer needs, to Improve the quality of outputs and we can increase the change within the Organization.