Developing, growing, and sustaining a learning environment takes more effort than people believe. Building an environment of trust takes more than a strong leader, it takes the entire organization.
In a standard organization, the crudely drawn picture below shows how an individual views development from employee to leader.
Source: My amazing design skills
Individuals develop at a given level while gaining requisite skills and knowledge until something compels them to make the leap to the next level. However, if they stumble, trip or aren't able to complete the jump they believe they will be seen as failures by everyone. Fear is the main reason people aren't able to bridge the gap. This is how I've explained why some people never make the jump to management. Their ego can't handle failing.
I understand why learning organizations either fail to come into existence or are extremely short lived. It requires consistent effort to grow and maintain a learning organization. Without trust, teamwork, and a “WE” attitude permeating the company, the enterprise’s effectiveness will quickly degrade. However, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Learning organizations understand failing is part of the development process and people find safety when they feel failing doesn’t make them a failure. When fear is removed from the enterprise people are more likely to make the jump.
On a personal level it takes time and effort to acquire knowledge and the grit required to push through adversity to achieve greatness. Now imagine creating an environment where an ENTIRE organization willingly devotes time and effort to acquire knowledge and the grit required to push through adversity to achieve greatness.
It’s a huge endeavor requiring the combined effort of your entire team. If you wan to learn more on the subject, check out the book below.
The Fifth Discipline The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge.
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