Thursday, December 26, 2019

Three Levels of Learning Maturity

Organizations today have to develop a culture of learning, take an integral and holistic knowledge management approach to deal with knowledge transferring and keep knowledge fresh.

With the exponential growth of information and shortened knowledge lifecycle, interdependence and fierce competition, you simply can't resolve the 21st-century problems with the mindset shaped half-century ago. It's crucial to develop a learning organization which is more comfortable with complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and paradox.

Building a learning organization is a strategic imperative to improve strategy management effectiveness and it is at best a collection of attributes which one would like to see depending on the worldview about what a learning organization can be or could be. Here are three levels of organizational learning maturity.

Reactive learning:
With rapid change and shortened knowledge cycle, business becomes more successful when the corresponding learning curve has reduced uncertainty to the point where strategic synergy can be created and organizational interdependence can be structured. In practice, individually, many people react to learning and change due to learning inertia or disability with “we always do things like that” mentality.

The root of the matter which is a person's ability to learn quickly and adapt prior knowledge to new experiences fluently. Collectively, most organizations demonstrate reactive learning attitude often caused by closed mindset or silos which are products of organizational insecurity and internal competition for resources. Silo stifles learning, isolates teams and limits creativity. It further leads to slowness, small-thinking, and digital stagnation.

Proactive learning: Organizational learning is enabling employees to constantly learn so that the organization does not only "earn enough from today, but thrive in the future.” Driving digital paradigm shift is not a passive activity, it is a proactive pursuit. The shift from the reactive learning mentality to proactive learning attitude enables the business looking forward, improves its learning intelligence, actively positions the business in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities and improved the organizational learning maturity.

Individually, learning is a process and everyone has an enormous capacity to learn. Learning occurs through the experience of failing, and don’t waste the invaluable lessons from it. Collectively, the challenge is to move from the individual to system level. Digital leaders should make an objective assessment of their organization’s learning maturity and develop a highly effective learning framework with all important components to build the organizational learning competency proactively.

Theoretically, the Learning Framework as an ontology or formal vocabulary are used to describe the relationships of strategies, systems, processes, functions, and roles within an organization to improve business learning maturity. In practice, the learning framework enable the organization to take a holistic approach, not just a few isolated practices, to ride learning curve and build dynamic learning competency.

Innovative and accelerate learning: Learning agility at both individual and business level is a digital capability and culture shift, it will directly impact the speed of digital transformation. The new digital technology is disruptive, it reconfigures basic relations of production and it disrupts the balance of power. 

The latest digital technologies and platforms make digital learning more effective and innovative, enforce knowledge sharing and collaboration effortlessly at large scale. Those well-designed organizations are experimenting, exploring, learning the lessons, and developing the best and next practices to embrace innovative digital learning. 

Thus, it’s critical to mind resource and investment gap of corporate learning, enforce a holistic resource management discipline to foster innovative learning. It is also important to cultivate the learning culture that has awareness and understanding the importance of learning in order to build a high-innovative and high-mature digital organization. Those who acquire the culture of sharing and collaborating will simply outperform those who don't, to unlock the organizational performance, potential, and competency.

With VUCA“ digital new normal, to change an organizational system, you must first understand the concept of the true meaning of organizational system and understand the art and practice of the learning organization. A good design guides the total enterprise ecosystem to either generate wealth for shareholders or generate prosperity of constituencies. A learning agile culture is not the result of scalable processes, but of scalable behavior via the amplified leadership influence. Organizations today have to develop a culture of learning, take an integral and holistic knowledge management approach to deal with knowledge transferring and keep the knowledge fresh in a way that fits the strategy of the business the best, and improve the overall business learning maturity.


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