Characteristics of a Learning Organization

An organization who continues to learn and grow and not be afraid of change will thrive and will not become stagnant. According to Senge who is a systems scientist , there are five basic characteristics of a learning organization. They include:

  1. Systems Thinking – This type of thinking allows managers and employees to see the bigger picture. This also includes thinking of the long-term effects certain decisions have on the organization.
  2. Personal Mastery – There are three components that make up this characteristic. Personal vision or a picture of what you want, creative tension by making what you want to come to life, and a commitment to the truth and never deceive yourself.
  3.  Mental Models – This is done by changing our behavior and changing how we see the world itself. This characteristic also challenges managers to change their minds about lower-level workers.
  4. Shared Vision- The vision of the organization should be shared with everyone not just upper management levels. This vision should encompass what the entire organization wants not just management needs. When this happens all members of the organization will strive for excellence.
  5. Team Learning- This type of learning is when members of the team come together to share their views and the group tries to find the best view to support the decision to be made.  This creates a dialogue where team members can get a better understanding of each other.

These characteristics help managers and employees work together to rise to the challenges they must confront in a rapidly changing business environment by allowing employee ideas and views to be supported and it also allows employees to feel a sense of trust. These characteristics promotes innovation, and it challenges employees to improve their skills.

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