What is a "learning organization?"

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A "learning organization" is described by Kotter (2012) in a variety of ways. These include the pretense of urgency, fully integrated teamwork, the effective communication of vision, broad-based empowerment, delegated management, the lack of "unnecessary" interdependence, and an adaptation corporate culture. Rowden (2001) describes the same learning organization as the, "ability to adapt to unforeseen situations, to learn from experiences, to shift shared mindsets, and to change more quickly, broadly, and deeply than ever before" (p. 11). These two authors both capture the ability of an organization to increase knowledge, understanding, and application of new ideas. These three concepts, taken from Bloom's Taxonomy, are understood to be the prerequisite steps before being able to analyze, evaluate, and create new ideas (Brown, 2014).

A learning organization increases knowledge, understanding, and can apply new ideas.

This is important because the survival of an organization is based on it's ability to change. This is even more important today because the environments of business and culture are changing at an ever increasing pace. Only those organizations who have the ability to learn from their successes and failures will posses the requisite skills to thrive in the marketplace of today.

Brown, P. C. (2014). Make it stick (1 edition). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change (1R edition). Harvard Business Review Press.

Rowden, R. W. (2001). The learning organization and strategic change. SAM Advanced Management Journal66(3), 11.