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#427: Watch for Organizational Learning Disabilities

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Does your consulting practice or your client's organization have learning disabilities?

Just as individuals have disabilities when it comes to perceiving, understanding and applying knowledge, so too do organizations. If we are unable to establish a construct within which to actively seek or passively absorb information around us, it is difficult to acquire new perceptions or develop new habits of behavior. The same applies to processing, applying and benefiting from this new knowledge.

Organizations have the same challenges. If your client's organization, or even your own consulting practice, does not create the conditions for active learning and growth, it will fall behind competitors in being able to deliver constantly improving service and to thrive. There are many constructs for describing how organizations learn but they must be set up to learn, actively learn and structurally apply that knowledge to sustain performance.

Tip: Use a common three-step process to improve your organizational learning. First, investigate the circumstances of your strategy and operations. How well do you understand who you are, where you intend to go, what your capabilities are? Second, evaluate what is working and what is not. Can you identify what activities led to success and failures and why? How is this likely to change over time? Third, institutionalize what you have learned. This is the place where many consultants fail - they understand what happened and why, but do not do anything about it. Especially for your clients, but also for your own business, take specific actions to make sure your failures are not repeated and that the conditions the led to your successes become part of your practice DNA.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  innovation  performance improvement  product development  professional development  sustainability  your consulting practice 

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