A strong culture is also considered an important part of the learning organization. Actually culture is considered as the foundation of the learning organization. The culture of the learning organization is very strong and it includes strong values as well. It includes values in three areas on the organization. 1) The whole is considered important than part and boundaries among parts are reduced. People who work and are a part of the learning organization are aware of the whole system and how all the parts fit to together.
There is a free flow of people, ideas and information which actually allows the coordinated actions to happen in an uncertain and changing environment. 2) The culture of the learning organization is egalitarian. The culture creates a sense of community, compassion and caring for one another within the organization. People in a learning organization matter and every employee are worth something to the management of the company. In a learning organization all the employees of the company are treated equally and fairly for example all the employees of the company get the same amount of days off every year.
The employees are treated with respect and therefore the do their best to achieve the stated goals and objectives of the company. 3) The culture of the learning organization values improvement and adaptation. People in the company compare and examine themselves with other companies in order to gain a competitive edge over their competitors. The learning organization is always moving forward no matter what. In learning organization the culture heroes, stories, symbols and slogans actually encourage openness, no boundaries, equality, continuous improvement and change to adapt itself to the changing environment.
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For example Chaparral Steel is becoming a true learning organization. The leadership provides a flat, horizontal design, a shared value vision and an attitude of serving employees. The culture of the company stresses on the egalitarian values provides support for risk taking and there are no boundaries that separate the departments, the people of the company are empowered. The strategy of the company rises from the discussions and the company is also flooded with information and the company uses a flat structure which reinforces the horizontal teams and the company’s performance.
According to Peter Senge, a learning organization can be defined as an organization where the people continuously increase their capacity so that the stated results can be achieved and new ways of thinking are developed and the employees of the company are continuously learning to work together in teams. The learning organization is not considered enough for the survival of the company. Survival learning is considered as adaptive learning which a company has to do in order to adapt to the changing environment.
And when adaptive learning is combined with generative learning it has the ability to create. The dimension that helps differentiate between learning organization from traditional organizations is the basic disciplines. Five disciplines that Peter Senge identifies for building a learning organization are said to be based on innovation. They are as follows: Systems thinking: systems thinking can be defined as a way of approaching towards problem solving. It is a system that is based on the fact the parts of the system ban be understood perfectly if they in a relationship with other system.
This approach is a combination of several parts such as inputs and outputs, goal seeking, regulations, hierarchy, differentiation and equality. This system is being used to study all kinds of systems for example science, nature, conceptual etc. it also means that all the employees of the company should understand that how the company actually works. With this thinking it basically lets every person in the company act in a way that supports the whole organization Personal mastery: personal mastery is based on continuous improvement of an individual and the company alike.
This process is based on always looking for new ideas, innovations, new things to learn etc. Personal mastery requires that the individuals learn some discipline in order to achieve their stated goals and objectives. Personal mastery is something that cannot be achieved over night it takes a lot of time to develop. Helps define that how the employees do their job, whether they know what their job is, or the process they are responsible for. The employees of the company experience intimacy with their work than detachment. Mental models: mental models can be defined as a thought.
It basically tells you how an individual perceives things. The learning organizations have a great deal of mental models. Mental models are extremely conservative that is they cause the employees to see that they have always seen. Behind every organizational decision there is a mental model which unconsciously shapes the decisions that are made by the management of the company. This basically describes the current ways of thinking and it also helps with uncovering the assumption and stops the employees from adopting any sort of new behaviors.