In order for a company to remain relevant and to compete against their competition, they need to be constantly learning. In the fast-paced environments of today, dedication to continuous improvement can spark innovation and in the end improve the bottom line.
Easier said than done of course.
Implementing a robust learning program in your organization is a sure-fire way to see results in the long-term, but it can also be a huge waste of money if done incorrectly. Still, the characteristics your company will develop are shared among the high performers of the world.
What are the ‘Success Characteristics’?
While each successful company has something that makes them unique, they do share some similar characteristics. Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, has this to say about companies that commit to continuous learning and improvement:
…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patters of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.
In short, these companies:
- Share information and make it accessible
- Expect constant learning
- Never punish mistakes
- Emphasize the value of learning
But that’s not all. Companies that place an emphasis on learning also improve and modify their training programs constantly, at the same time promoting and rewarding collective learning.
How to do it
Unfortunately, there is not a “one size fits all” approach to implementing a learning culture at your company. Still, you can learn from the path traveled by others. In general, you should ensure that your company:
- Thrives on Change – Commit to change, don’t fight it
- Facilitates Learning from Employees – Invest in training and remove unnecessary hierarchies
- Rewards Experimentation – Encourage experimentation through the company
- Rewards Learning – Boost morale by setting benchmarks and rewarding those who reach them
- Communicates Success and Failure – Monitor, review, analyze, and change where necessary
Again, you will want to place emphasis on the areas that make the most sense for your company. Ultimately though, some form of these traits will need to be in place.