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Creating a Learning Organization for Change

From Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline (1990), we are inspired by the notion of continuous and innovative learning in organizations because we love to learn. Five dimensions are outlined as critical to learning organization practice. These essential components are:

1. Personal Mastery: People are the heart of the organization as such each one must realise a high level of personal mastery over his/her aspirations, skills, alignment with the organization

2. Systems Thinking: Considering the whole of which each unit is a part especially in larger patterns or processes in the organization; Organizational Learning looks for the whole and sees the consequences of playing with only a small part or action in the hopes of creating change

3. Mental Models: Knowing our larger assumptions that we string together to create our view of the world helps become more aware of why we act as we do in given situations. Becoming more conscious of my assumptions, beliefs and strongly held values allow one to assess whether they are still valid in the current context.

4. Building Shared Vision: The creation of a common sense of purpose, a common cause or a shared destiny all help to bring people together within an organization to attain that vision or accomplish that goal. Shared visions in which people can see themselves and their talents being used for the common good are inspiring and help build commitment

5. Team Learning: The collective talents of the group must continually be greater than the talents of any one member if the team members are to find energy in learning and working together. This requires dialogue and levels of cooperation that feed the team’s learning appetite.

The Learning Organization

A Learning Organization is an organization 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 (Peter Senge, 1990: 3).

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is the systematic management of an organization's knowledge assets for the purpose of creating value and meeting tactical & strategic requirements; it consists of the initiatives, processes, strategies, and systems that sustain and enhance the storage, assessment, sharing, refinement, and creation.

Every organization needs to have plan on how to manage knowledge this should clearly state why the organization needs the knowledge, what it needs it for, what are the gaps that your knowledge will fulfill and how does the organization intend to share this knowledge. The organization needs to create a knowledge culture which in turn enhance learning in the organization.

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