Organisational Learning


What is it?

Organisations who have focused on their ability to learn can be identified by some or all of the following attributes:

Organisational Culture

The organisation regards learning as fundamental to long term business success:

· Continuous development is seen as important, even at the most senior levels

· A high value is placed on innovation and experimentation

· The organisation looks outwardly and learns from other organisations

· Successes and failures are shared and learned from

· Participation in policy making is valued and planned for

· An open, honest and constructive culture exists

· Staff are allowed and encouraged to challenge the status quo

· Staff are allowed to make mistakes

· Managers don’t believe they have all the answers

Learning Provision

Ongoing self-development of all staff is encouraged and supported:

· Learning is rewarded

· Open access to learning exists for all staff

· Coaching and feedback, informal training and mentoring are all used regularly

· Learning how to learn is seen as important



Knowledge management processes are maximised:

· IT is effectively used for sharing knowledge

· Communication channels allow for the effective use of information

· Power is gained by sharing not keeping knowledge

· Boundary workers feed information into the organisation


Team-working is developed and valued:

· Responsibility for decision making and problem-solving is shared

· Support networks are created, for example, via ‘communities of practise’

· Cross-boundary work experience is valued

· Action Learning Sets are utilised


Systems and Processes

Feedback on success and failure is built into organisational systems and processes:

· Feedback for employees is valued and utilised

· Operational systems that encourage learning are used (e.g. feedback loops)

· There is a learning approach to planning

· Accounting and control processes also feedback learning success or failure


Approaches to Organisational Learning

In order to initiate your pursuit of organisational learning, it would be appropriate to seek the assistance of an experienced consultancy able to work with you to:

· Undertake an Organisational Learning Audit

· Develop an Organisational Learning strategy and implementation plan

· Analyse potential to improve Knowledge Management Processes

· Review and improve appraisals/performance management methods

· Analyse potential for improvements in participation, leadership, management and learning

· Establish Communities of Practice

· Establish and facilitate Action Learning Groups

· Advise on the use of e-learning

© Dr Susan Renger 2021


Sue Renger

Counselling Psychologist


​Tel: +44 (0)7760 989511

Derbyshire, UK