The Myth of The Learning Organisation

It would be easy to conclude that The Learning Organisation is a fantasy. Global financing and market pressures will never allow such a concept to really happen. Shareholders will always take the short term return, strangle the business, and then switch their capital elsewhere. In other words, its all the fault of someone else, someone faceless and intangible.
To conclude that would be to miss something that is happening everyday, before your very eyes. Each day people turn up at work, in sub-optimal offices and workplaces, not designed that way, but simply how they have grown to be with each iteration of the company’s progress. They work within a bureaucracy of process and procedure, designed in response to past events to ensure a brighter, safer future yet in reality limiting and constraining every individual’s capacity for creativity and humanity.
This is driven by a deep almost innate sense of organisational identity. More powerful than the agency’s branding or the consultants’ carefully crafted vision and strap-lines, this is our sense of who we really are. It has been created over the life of the organisation through each and every interaction. It has been created in how we have responded as our environment changed and how we made sense of it in all the conversations that explore that. Conversations by water-coolers, notice boards and photo-copiers.

The 11 Laws of Systems Thinking

11 handy laws for system thinkers, these act as useful prompts when considering social problems. Most problems have their antecedents in the unintended consequence of previous efforts for change. How do you avoid falling into the same old trap? Can you? Some advice from Senge, Kaplan and Wheatley amongst others.

Peter Senge: The Fifth Discipline

Peter Senge, founder and director of the Society for Organisational Learning and senior lecturer at MIT, has found the means of creating a ‘learning organisation’. In The Fifth Discipline, he draws the blueprints for an organisation where people expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nutured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning together.