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Developing a Learning Organisation - A Programme of Effective Interventions from jml Training & Consultancy

In times of rapid change only the most flexible, adaptive and productive organisations are likely to excel. Organisations in which people can learn collectively and are in 'learning mode' are those most likely to succeed.

September 9th 2009

jml Training and Consultancy has designed this programme to provide managers with a practical understanding of how to develop a learning organisation and the skills and confidence to lead in a learning organisation.

What is a Learning Organisation?

A learning organisation is one that learns collectively and develops its ability to be adaptive and responsive to its external environment. The process involves individual, team and organisational learning and the results of learning are used to achieve better results.

The organisation supports continuous employee learning, critical thinking and risk taking with new ideas, learns from mistakes and from experience. It also disseminates new knowledge and information through the organisation to inform day to day activities.

The Learning Organisation may not necessarily invest significantly in formal education or training, but it does ensure that learning at work is captured as a value added resource.

Key benefits of a Learning Organisation

  • The talents, skills and experience of employees are used more effectively. This is particularly important when an organisational restructure results in fewer employees.
  • Learning organisations develop a customer-responsive culture and are better placed to respond to external demands and internal change

Developing a Learning Organisation - Possible next steps

Whilst it is vital that an organisation chooses strategies that fit their particular organisation there are common approaches that will contribute towards the development of the learning organisation.

We have outlined a number of possible approaches any of which can be combined or delivered as individual elements. Each element can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the organisation.

Element One - A series of one day workshops

Who should attend?

Initially senior managers interested in developing more responsive and adaptive ways of thinking and learning in their organisation in order to achieve better results and ensure a competitive advantage.

Workshop 1 Developing a Learning Organisation

  • Communicate the benefits of building an adaptable and learning work culture
  • Explore the characteristics of a Learning Organisation in practice
  • Consider the five disciplines of a learning culture as described by Peter Senge
  • Identify how best to build a work culture that is creative, knowledge sharing and empowering
  • Identify 'Best Practice' in planning the change towards a Learning Organisation
  • Active communication, horizontal and vertical, in a Learning Organisation
  • Developing and supporting effective internal organisational networks

Workshop 2 Leading in a Learning Organisation

  • Leader as visionary, enabler, coach and empowerer
  • Modelling expected behaviours
  • Developing a trusting environment
  • Understanding the overlap of an empowered culture and a learning culture
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Creating an environment that encourages life long learner
  • Introducing a self-directed learning approach linked to performance management
  • Supporting personal development in others
  • Identifying and getting the best from development opportunities within an organisation

Element Two - Coaching Skills in a Learning Organisation

A three day coaching skills course for managers and supervisors that develops the skills and confidence of managers to use a coaching approach in a management role and to develop their ability to use coaching skills to support a learning culture and organisational performance.

This experiential course covers the core skills of coaching and will provide a practical coaching framework to help develop an effective coaching style. The course is divided into one two-day module and a one-day module.

The first two days will cover:

How adults process information and learn, introduce a self-directed learning approach, explore power relationships and best practice in a coaching relationship.

The core skills of coaching: establishing the coaching agenda, levels of listening, use of powerful questions, planning outcomes and encouraging coachees to action.

Participants will get the opportunity to practice their new skills in a coaching practice session. They will also be expected to practice their coaching skills in their workplace during the period between the first and second modules.

The third day will follow one month later and will focus on: reflections of self as coach, giving effective feedback, exploring the impact of self-limiting beliefs and creating options for change.

Element Three - Action Learning Sets

An introduction to an effective collective approach to learning in organisations through the practice of Action Learning Sets.

'Action learning is an approach to the development of people in organisation which takes the task as the vehicle for learning….' Mike Pedler 1991.

Change does not necessarily imply learning but an organisation that can problem solve, learn and develop more innovative and effective ways of moving forward will more likely achieve both and in turn develop its competitiveness. Action learning sets can provide a mechanism for this to happen.

This workshop will develop the competence of participants to participate in action learning that focuses on real work-based problems with a view to solving them.

It will include: developing an enquiring mind set, framing and reframing problems, using an effective questioning approach, reflection in action, recognising subtle influences on decision making, tips on analysing information and dealing with challenge constructively.

Gráinne Suter a Director of jml Training and Consultancy said " A work culture that is open, enquiring and prepared to learn from its mistakes is one that will not only survive challenge but will flourish. This programme will assist organisations to develop a learning mindset and the flexibility to respond in a changing environment, essential ingredients for success."

Further information and contact details can be found at the jml Training & Consultancy website www.jml-training.com


More information about jml Training

jml Training and Consultancy is a specialist training company offering "in-house" training courses to local government. universities, councils and companies - both small & multi-national. It has been established over ten years and apart from providing training services in the UK, its' trainers also train in France, Ireland & worldwide.

The specialist areas include leadership and team development, executive coaching, and management development programmes and diagnostic assessment, diversity and inclusion, customer service training, more information at www.jml-training.com

© jml Training and Consultancy September 2009


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