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Develop a Learning Organization

A "Learning Organization" is an organization where people are allowed and encouraged to:

      1.  expand their capacities to create the results they truly desire.

      2.  develop and nurture new and expansive patterns of thinking.

      3.  develop collective aspirations.

      4.  continually learn how to learn together.

A "Learning Organization" cannot function affectively within a system of top down management.  A "Learning Organization" operates affectively within a system which allows members of the organization to work on the same level.  There are no individuals provided any more perceived power than any other members.  Individuals maintain different responsibilities within the organization, but no one individual is responsible for another individuals actions.  All actions are a part of the collective whole.  It's these collective parts which create the learning organization.

The management system which allows a "Learning Organization" to function involves a shared decision-making process.  A process whereby every individual is provided the opportunity to be involved in decisions made by the "Learning Organization" and thus ensuring that all individuals of the organization are responsible for those decisions.  This shared decision-making process does not imply asking individuals for approval after the process of decision-making has been completed.  It implies that all members are included in the decision-making process at the out start.

"The Leader as a Designer"

"The good leader is he who people praise.  The great leader is he who the people say, "We did it ourselves!" (1)

The designer is that individual or individuals that provide opportunities for people to continually expand their capabilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models.  The designer allows individuals to be responsible for their own learning and personal growth within the "Learning Organization."  The designer searches for opportunities which inspire individuals to do that which they want to do.

"This new view of leadership is vital.  When all is said and done, learning organizations will remain a "good idea" an intriguing but distant vision until people take a stand for building such organizations.  Taking this stand is the first leadership act, the start of inspiring (literally "to breathe life into") the vision of learning organizations.  In the absence of this stand, the learning disciplines remain mere collections of tools and techniques -- means of solving problems rather than creating something genuinely new." (2)

1 & 2   "The Fifth Discipline"  by Peter Senge