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The Learning Organization

Every enterprise is learning and teaching institution. Training and development must be built into it on all levels, training and development that never stop.

Peter Drucker

I have been extremely fortunate to hold several key positions in small companies and major corporations and each position has required a unique approach to be successful. I believe the skill of making major adjustments in my approach to handle each position has been a key. That is the reason I am calling this skill set the learning organization. The learning that occurs is with the leadership of the organization plus all who make contributions to its success.

I have taken the liberty in this writing to use some of the terms from others who use this approach but hopefully I will add by unique difference to provide some insight that may be useful to others who read this.


The learning organization is an organization that has a leader who is always willing to learn regardless of experience or tenure and provides the platform for all members of the team to make the changes necessary to be successful. The team is made up of team members at all levels of the organization that understand what has to be changed to meet the goals of the organization.

Managers can manage change but only learning leaders know what to change.


One of the big challenges of any business is truly understanding the customer and how to best serve the customer. The second challenge is how to solve problems only once. Many organizations have short term solutions only to find out the problem reoccurs later.

The key to understanding the customer is to make sure you are serving all. Your customers are, your employees first and then the people or organizations that you provide a service or product. Define your customer and make sure that you understand how the changes you are making affect them.

Some key benefits of developing these areas of expertise:

o Maintaining levels of innovation and remaining competitive

o Having the knowledge to better link resources to customer needs

o Improve quality of product or services to our customers

o Being more people oriented

o Increase the pace of change

Characteristics of a learning organization

System thinking

Measure your success or failures. I suggest that having a visual view of what is happening all of the time so that all can see what you are doing and how well you are doing.

Personal Mastery

This is a commitment by each person to dedicate themselves to continued improved personal performance through study, research and willingness to change to meet the needs of the organization.

Shared Vision

This characteristic requires a leader who has the vision and a staff that share the vision. Only a few will be able to see the future but the leader must understand the future or it’s potential.

Team Learning

The accumulation of individual learning constitutes team learning. We need to always learn from each other including our customers.

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