The Primacy Of Organizational Learning

A recent HBR article, Why Organizations Don't Learn, explores a swath of research on growing learning organizations. The conversation begins with acknowledging that many organizations are not actively learning and that the ones that who do enjoy more innovation and resilience on all scales and dimensions of performance. The organizations now over 200 and 600 years old have long been learning organizations.

Why do companies struggle to become or remain “learning organizations”? Through research conducted over the past decade across a wide range of industries, we have drawn this conclusion: Biases cause people to focus too much on success, take action too quickly, try too hard to fit in, and depend too much on experts.

Methodologies like the Agile Canvas are uniquely effective in growing learning organizations because they prevent these barriers to learning. They build cultures specifically and powerfully characterized by honesty, transparency, reflection, love of uniqueness and being smarter together.

Organizations become learning organizations when they create and adapt their structures to do so. This is beyond the belief that a learning organization is one that herds people through "training," even if it's the cool virtual kinds.  It's about the intelligent and diligent work of growing everyone's relationship to passion, engagement, feedback, entrepreneurship and creativity.