Generally speaking, companies that value learning outperform those that don’t. Research shows that it pays to invest in practices which focus on people, including developing learning capacity, knowledge accessibility, and professional development. In essence, companies that make the greatest investment in human capital reap the greatest financial rewards. How can leaders increase their organization’s capacity to learn, resulting in high impact learning cultures?
Establish a personal mission. As a leader ask yourself, “how can I personally increase my companies’ ability to learn?” In other words, don’t dismiss the responsibility of learning off to HR or another department. Rather, accept the fact that education is as much your responsibility as anyone else’s. Your orientation to learning will set the context for how other’s around you behave and prioritize learning.
Become informed. Gauge your companies’ learning environment by conducting an audit to assess your learning environment. Audits can assess an organization and its leader’s orientation to learning. In other words, it can characterize cultures that encourage learning, versus those that do not. By taking your organization through an audit, organizations can begin to demonstrate their willingness to answer tough questions, responding with honest answers rather than reassuring reminders.
Take action. Even if you don’t have all your “ducks in a row” do something to take action. If nothing else, examine your own learning habits and try some new approaches. Then, take small action steps and learn something new so others can see you and follow.
Be consistent. As long as an organization views learning in terms of the latest fad, it will never become a true learning environment. Culture is a real and changeable part of any organization. Building a culture requires a day-in and day-out shift in thinking. Culture is created by, reinforced by, and destroyed by leaders. Leaders must be consistent in establishing and carrying out behaviors and processes which impact their organizations’ success.
High Impact learning cultures increase efficiency, productivity, and profit. Click here for more information on developing high impact cultures.