The learning organization has been defined as a place "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 how to learn together.
In order for an organization to become a successful learning organization
everyone in the organization may need to have a paradigm shift in thinking.
If an organization can have a clear view of the future they will have a better
chance of becoming a learning organization than a company that does not.
Robbins defines the term “reengineering” as the process of taking apart an
electronic product and designing a better more enhanced version.
Like the process of reengineering electronics management needs to take
apart the organization in order to rebuild it.
Total Quality Management (TQM) attempts to make incremental
improvements over a long period of time. With TQM the process improvements
are made from the bottom up and reengineering from the top down.
A good example of reengineering is when Steve Jobs the co-founder of
Apple Computer returned to the helm. I recall a speech Steve made a week or
so after his return. “We are going to completely change the way we do business
at Apple. We are going to completely change the product line, discontinue
several projects and sell others, we are going to think different about everything
we do from this day on.”
Apple would use the think different statement as a new marketing them. The
only things left after the end of this reengineering process were the corporate
culture and roughly 70 percent of the original work force.
The knowledge worker is able to take information and use it to help
improve the company. The process of taking information and creating knowledge
will help produce value to the organization.
The value-added worker will continually learn and apply this knowledge to
the organization to meet and exceed the company’s needs and expectations.
This proactive worker will become valuable to the company and will have a
substantial chance of flourishing for years in the organization.
The relevance of the distinction between thinking and doing is important
for an organization to understand. Organizations spend endless hours and
money hiring consultants to help them think of better and more efficient ways of
doing business. This proactive approach at times seems to go no further than
thought. The challenge is how to implement these changes, how to do!
Turning knowledge into action is a serious problem for organization. Many times
talk can replace action in the work place. A pitfall management faces is training
someone in the organization by endless classes and meetings but never showing
the employee actually how to execute this knowledge into a valued action. I have
noticed that companies are starting to take note of this very issue when it comes
to making a decision in the hiring process.
I have learned from our management at Apple that we are more interested in
experience than education.
Although book knowledge is important, real world experience or the ability
to do, is starting to take presidencies. College grads that have interned in their
chosen field will most likely be looked at more so than their counter parts that
have not interned.
Learning to do a task is more efficient than talking about doing it.
I work as a Systems Engineer giving advice about high tech solutions. Must of
my knowledge I have obtained by talking and discussing within our small
engineering team. I will often give advice to my customers, and often time give
them resources to communicate with other professionals in real world, like online
The implication of an organization that spends too much time thinking but
not doing is self-destructive. Think tanks can work wonders only if the solutions
actually are tested and implemented.
Power, J. (2000). Analyzing Business Decision Processes
Robbins, S. (2001). Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Scofield, B. (1999). The learning Doing Gap. Stanford: Stanford Engineering.
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