Saturday, 25 February 2012

Taking stock of my experience of learning systems

What does the concept of a learning system mean to me?

I think it is easier to describe what it is like when there is not a learning system in place in an organisation…. For example:

I get a sinking feeling when I see new people in the organisation try to implement change that I have seen fail previously. It’s not so much that they are attempting to make the change (which probably feels to them like the right thing to do) it’s more that there is no concept that, as this has been attempted before, there is probably things that have been learned (actually, in my organisation, there is often a great deal of arrogance – people will say things like “Yes, it may have failed before – but I was not leading it last time”…)

Also, I am guilty of saying things like “that always happens at this point in a… launch/crisis/new supplier relationship/EOL…” delete as applicable, without identifying the learning.

So, I think a learning system is a system to understand the learning in an action (be it success or failure) and then to reincorporate that learning into how we do business.