Learning Organizations

Great Businesses Scale Their Learning, Not Just Their Operations

Having a large company with a wide variety of workers used to be the guaranteed path to success in business. But at least since the 60s, there’s been a demonstrable decline on the returns of assets on public companies in the US. Companies now need to reinvent themselves in order to put the best foot forward for the future. In an article for the Harvard Business Review, John Hagel III and John Seely Brown cover how businesses can change to adapt to the modern age.

Leveling Up Learning

Instead of scalable efficiency, it’s about scalable learning these days. The mobility of information between aspects of a company is where companies need to turn their focus. By shifting the focus, Hagel and Brown found some interesting information about how to facilitate the creation of new knowledge in the workplace:

For example, our informal survey of where employees are spending their time in major departments across large companies suggests that 60-70% of their time is consumed in “exception handling” – addressing unexpected events that the existing processes can’t handle. These exceptions are a great opportunity to create new knowledge – how to handle something never anticipated. Yet, today this work is generally done inefficiently – workers struggle to find each other and to access the relevant data and analytics required to resolve the exception. Once they resolve the exception, what they did and learned is largely lost to the rest of the organization.

Scalable learning can also aid in connecting other companies to one another. By creating networks, Chinese motorcycle companies were able to connect resources to one another. By focusing on generating new information and connecting that to other areas, scalable learning can help recapture the losses assets have had in recent years.

For a deeper discussion, you can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/06/great-businesses-scale-their-learning-not-just-their-operations

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