Cultivate a Learning Culture for Better Business Performance
February 28, 20200 Comments
One of the many topics coming up in conversations nowadays is a desire to strengthen the learning culture. We would like to create an environment where people freely and deeply understand, an environment that produces knowledge and skill in addition to passing on it, and an environment that supports the organization’s requirement for rapid re-skilling innovation, and continuing development.
Many people aren’t feeling it, though, so it raises the question of how to nurture, produce, build, nurture, or fortify (select your verb) a culture of learning within our organizations–and exactly what role L&D can play in that undertaking.
There’s the conventional Edgar Schein-like definition that talks of culture as”a pattern of shared basic assumptions” and there’s the culture that is seen in a petri dish. At a petri dish,”civilization” is known as the expansion produced in that environment.
“From the first case the civilization is the environment, while at the second case the civilization emerges from the environment–and develops along with it.” (Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown)
From the context of workplaces that are changing, it appears to me that it’s more practical to think of cultures as changeable and emergent than to consider these as immutable and monolithic. That gives us hope for producing a strong learning culture than might seem possible in a constraining organizational circumstance.
The dish culture analogy is also more in alignment with our continuing experiences. Culture is a socially constructed phenomenon–it exists in a relational space (how we interact with one another) and can be shaped in the values we espouse, the beliefs we carry, the actions we take, and the tales we tell.
Notice the”we.” It is not fully realized without the involvement of the people within its extent while civilization can be profoundly influenced by direction. If”we” do not enjoy the culture in which we find ourselves,”we” could alter it (although I do not doubt that is sometimes easier said than done). Expect can be seen from the simple fact that civilization can be extremely localized, which subcultures exist within cultures that were broader.
On learning culture
That heady philosophizing comes down to this point. We can develop the kind of learning cultures we need to thrive. We do that, I believe, by being deliberate as you can regarding what is in our petri dish–being thoughtful about beliefs, our values, actions, and tales, irrespective of if we are players or leaders.
Theorists researchers, and learning leaders have shared many key ideas that we can use to conceptualize a dish that will develop a vibrant learning culture. In my analysis of a little stuff on the subject, I synthesized the foundations for strengthening learning civilization into three chief elements–purpose, relations, and mindset. From the writings of both professors and practitioners, we could find a good deal of actionable strategies that could help us in our efforts, although these imperatives.
For nurturing learning civilization, foundations
Establish shared vision
Leadership participation and support
Align learning to initiatives and organizational business strategy
Develop connections within and outside
Nurture and worth trust
Enable collaboration and co-creation
Applaud and enable knowledge sharing
Nurture learning methods: feedback, reflection
Encourage smart and experimentation failure
Cultivate learning orientation and curiosity
People and appreciate learning