Developing a learning culture :
A culture of learning, or learning culture, is one in which members of the group continuously seek, share, and apply new knowledge and skills to improve their individual and collective performance. The importance of the pursuit and application of learning is expressed in organizational values and permeates all aspects of organizational life.
Peter Senge, who popularized the concept of learning organizations in his book ‘The Fifth Discipline’, described them as places “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.” To achieve these ends, Senge suggested the use of five “component technologies”: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning. In a similar spirit, Ikujiro Nonaka characterized knowledge-creating companies as places where “inventing new knowledge is not a specialized activity…it is a way of behaving, indeed, a way of being, in which everyone is a knowledge worker.” Nonaka suggested that companies use metaphors and organizational redundancy to focus thinking, encourage dialogue, and make tacit, instinctively understood ideas explicit.
A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.
This definition begins with a simple truth: new ideas are essential if learning is to take place. Sometimes they are created de novo, through flashes of insight or creativity; at other times they arrive from outside the organization or are communicated by knowledgeable insiders. Whatever their source, these ideas are the trigger for organizational improvement. But they cannot by themselves create a learning organization. Without accompanying changes in the way that work gets done, only the potential for improvement exists.
This is a surprisingly stringent test for it rules out a number of obvious candidates for learning organizations. For instance, most universities and higher education Institutions fail to qualify.
In Schools that Learn, Peter Senge argues that teachers, administrators, and other members of school communities must learn how to build their own capacity; that is, they must develop the capacity to learn. From Senge’s perspective, real improvement will only occur if the people responsible for implementation design the change itself: “It is becoming clear that schools can be re-created, made vital, and sustainably renewed not by fiat or command, and not by regulation, but by taking the learning orientation” . Senge, author of the best-selling The Fifth Discipline, has written a highly readable companion book directly focused on education. Individuals familiar with his earlier work will immediately recognize the five skills or disciplines at the heart of the learning orientation he proposes: developing personal mastery, creating shared mental models, establishing a shared vision, engaging in team learning, and thinking systemically. Collectively, these five disciplines represent the component skills underlying the learning process. According to Senge, if an individual, group, or organization develops the capacity to do each of the disciplines well, they will have become proficient in learning itself.
While there can be no ‘algorithm’ for creating a culture of learning, the following is a good guide : Six steps to create a culture of learning: https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/6-steps-to-creating-a-culture-of-engaged-learning/
1: Show that learning is valued (and start at onboarding)
2: Create active engagement in learning
3: Build leadership buy-in
4: Deliver consumer-like experiences
5: Drive deeper engagement over time
6: Create a ‘consumer to contributor’ cycle
I end this post with sharing of a list of 10 TED talks about learning : https://www.growthengineering.co.uk/10-favourite-ted-talks-learning/. The talks are:
1: The Life-long Learner – Bernie Dunlap
2: Learning How To Learn – Rodrigo Arboleda
3: Learning Styles And The Importance Of Critical Self-Reflection – Dr. Tesia Marshik
4: The Nerd’s Guide To Learning Everything Online – John Green
5: Let’s Use Video To Help Reinvent Education – Salman Khan
6: Let’s Teach For Mastery, Not Test Scores – Salman Khan
7: Bring On The Learning Revolution – Sir Ken Robinson
8: How Games Make Kids Smarter – Gabe Zichermann
9: Smash Fear, Learn Anything – Tim Ferriss
10: The Call To Learn – Clifford Stoll