Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Journey of Adaptation

(photo by James Neeley)

"Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting
something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one
another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes." - Peter Senge

Peter Senge is the director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is known as the author of the book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. He is a senior lecturer at the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School of Management and founded the Society for Organizational Learning.

According to Senge "learning organizations are those organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together." He argues that only those organizations that are able to adapt quickly and effectively will be able to excel in their field.

In order to be a learning organization there must be two conditions present at all times. One is the ability to design the organization to match the desired outcomes. To do this, the organization must quantify and specify the desired outcome, craft a vision. The second vital condition is the organization's ability to recognize when the strategic direction of the organization must shift from the initial desired outcome and adapt to the new desired outcome. An organization must be able to recognize this need and to adapt. Organizations that are able to do this are stable and excel.

Being this type of learning organization is a choice that requires intention, discipline, design, and leadership.

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