OMM 625– Learning Organizations & Effectiveness
November 12, 2000
Learning Organizations The implementation of organizational learning is complicated by the lack of a logical approach that includes the measurement of learning capability. Learning organizations require modern day leaders in today's organizations to develop employees who see the organization as a system, who can also develop their own personality within the organization. Given the enthusiastic pace at which technology changes, companies need to be able to experiment with a host of different approaches to product and process development, in the beginning some of this may not be successful. But, given a learning orientation, all of these approaches will provide new insights that could be applied to future endeavors. As defined by Senge (1990), learning organizations are "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." Despite the advances made by other countries into new technologies, many U.S. firms still remain ahead of product and process improvement in many industries. New improved industries are popping up every day, while many others are converging and consolidating. These changes represent opportunities for U.S. managers set on becoming fast and aggressive learners. A organizations that foster generative learning as part of their incentive system and culture are able to improve their sources of competitive advantage because mistakes are translated into valuable learning experiences.
Defining what being an American is all about is difficult. It’s not easy to pinpoint how Americans develop identity and personality in such a diverse environment. Development begins with a melting pot of cultures all combined into accepting one another’s differences and cultures. As a student, I believe that the idea of accepting other cultures is what develops an “American” identity and personality. Personal mastery is what Senge describes as one of the core disciplines needed to build a learning organization. Personal mastery applies to individual learning, he states that "organizations cannot learn until their members begin to learn". " Personal Mastery has two components. First, one must define what one is trying to achieve (a goal). Second, one must have a true measure of how close one is to the goal (Senge 1990)". Basic leadership principles are a key element in the success of any organization. The leader’s primary purpose is to ensure the successful completion of the task or objective. The common principles of managers are planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, and directing. However, effective communication is probably the most important. To have all the knowledge and skills available can be severely ineffective if the leader cannot effective transmit the