What Skills do Employees Need in a Learning Organization?

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What Skills do Employees Need in a Learning Organization?
Kurt Moore, US
What skills or traits do employees / knowledge workers need in a learning organization?

What Skills & Traits do Employees Need in a Learning Organisation?
Gerard Leigh, Business Consultant, United Kingdom
Hi Kurt - great question and one where I can hopefully add some insights.
Clearly people need to have a willingness to learn, to be (or become) self-directed learners. They need a basic level of enquiry - to always ask why! (traits)
One skill that is not too often recognised as a requirement is the understanding and appreciation of skillful discussion and dialogue - and the difference between them. David Bohm wrote a seminal book on the subject but I feel these are the skills that are often lacking in "standard" organisations. When people grasp the relevance and benefit of these skills, fantastic things start to happen in organisations.
Once these skills are being practiced the understanding of mental models becomes easier and these are then brought into the discussions. At this point you have a powerful swell of appreciation and discussion which will almost certainly lead to the creation of knowledge and understanding.
Easy to write but not easy to achieve.

From the Comfort Zone into Learning Environment is Tough in my Culture
Hor Kam Peng, Business Consultant, Malaysia
Thinking of the organization that I am in where employees have been in the comfort zone for quite some time, I donít really know which discipline to pick to start with getting them interested in learning. Decision making has always been left to the top and culturally, everyone is a hard nut to crack!

Traits Employees Need in a Learning Organization
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Gerard Leigh: I agree those 2 are crucial traits employees need in a learning organization:
- Be a self-directed learner
- Appreciate discussions, dialogue, different opinions, disagreement
Interestingly, those 2 are also key things we do at 12manageÖ @Hor Kam Peng: Thatís why we from 12manage recommend a 12manage membership for all knowledge workers in your organization :-).

Personal Mastery
Gerard Leigh, Business Consultant, United Kingdom
Hi Hor - I started by just talking to people about the importance of "personal mastery". I didnít use the term per se but talked about learning, studying, training, etc., bringing new knowledge and insights into the organisation. I set up a learning forum where people met every 3-4 weeks to present whatever they wanted. Start small and I started to see more and more people talking about "all this learning stuff"!

Moving to Learning Organization Easier for New Joiners
Hor Kam Peng, Business Consultant, Malaysia
@Gerard Leigh: Yes, I also starting small here at my own division/department. Itís easier with new joiners who are fresh from university and have a hunger to learn, eager to apply what they learn, and confident at expressing their thoughts and observations.


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Gerard Leigh
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