Are you building a learning organisation?



L earning is the key to success- some would say to survival in today’s organisations.

Knowledge should be continuously enriched through both internal and external learning.

In order for this happen, it is necessary to support and energise the organisation, people, knowledge and technology for learning.

For those organisations that have a desire to remain relevant and thrive in this ever-changing environment, learning better and faster is critically important.

However, organisational learning is neither possible nor sustainable without understanding what drives it.

This book will highlight the subsystems of a learning organisation which are:

organisation, people, knowledge and technology.

Organisation- a learning organisation tends to value the role that learning can play in developing o r g a n i s a t i o n a l effectiveness. It will put at its core an inspiring vision as well as a learning strategy that will support the organisation in achieving its vision.

Senior management of a learning organisation is one that is committed to the importance of learning and clearly communicates that learning is critical to organisational success.

They take an exemplary and leading role thus sustaining a supportive learning culture.

Adequate resources should be allocated for learning in terms of time, space, specialist support and budgets for knowledge management and learning infrastructure.

People- a learning organisation needs people who are intellectually curious about their work, who also actively reflect on their experience.

People who develop experience-based theories of change and continuously test these in practice with colleagues and who also use their understanding and initiative to contribute to k n o w l e d g e d e v e l o p m e n t are critical for a learning organisation.

This simply refers to people who are reflective practitioners.

Reflective practitioners are those people who understand their strengths and limitations and have a range of tools, methods and approaches for knowledge and learning, individually and in collaboration with others.

Learning organisations also provide a wide range of opportunities for individuals’ collective learning and development.

Learning and development programmes are available to ensure that individuals and teams develop the competencies of reflective practice and collaborative learning.

While learning and development systems may focus on more formal programmes, a learning organisation is one where the maximum benefit is also leveraged from other learning opportunities such as day-to-day work experiences, team meetings and review meetings.

In a learning organisation, an important source of individual learning and development is coaching and mentoring support from line managers and supervisors and also other experienced colleagues.

High-quality coaching and mentoring can help reflective practice flourish. However, both involve skills that cannot be taken for granted and must be consciously developed in the organisation.


Thus, it should not be assumed that good managers will make good coaches or mentors.

Knowledge: knowledge is a critical asset in every organisation.


Because learning is both a product of knowledge and its source, a learning organisation recognises that the two are inextricably linked and

manages them accordingly.

The units of knowledge production are both the individual and the collective.

An organisation that is serious about building a learning organisation will understand that knowledge is created in the minds of individuals but its development thrives in a rich web of social contact among individuals, groups and organisations.

Thus, a learning organisation will do its best to provide creative opportunities for knowledge development that is shared with others through interpersonal contact and access to documentation.

Paul Nyausaru is an HR Practitioner and leadership coach. For all your HR interventions and leadership

development training you can get in touch with him on WhatsApp/call +263774062756 or Email

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