The “Self-Developing Organization”

8 Responses

  1. They already outperform their peers.

  2. Caroline Walmsley says:

    We’re developing a very similar approach with our #TotalLearning agenda, which brings all learning-focused activities – which for smart organisations really means ‘all activities’ – into a single platform and a single strategy. Key to this is unlocking the power of peer-to-peer social networks to move skills and knowledge through the organisation more productively than traditional comms procedures.

    But even more important I think is the vision and commitment to have a holistic understanding of how employees get better at what they do: ensuring learning is always at the heart of the workflow; empowering learners to experiment (and fail!) with new methodologies;and proactively championing the L&D function within the organisation to deliver real change and measurable impact.

    • Josh Bersin says:

      Absolutely Caroline. One of the biggest things we’ve learned over the years is how important it is to “meet employees where they are” – get to know their working environment, location, experiences at their job – so you can bring them the “continuous development” they need. Would love to learn more about what you’re doing if you’d like to share!

      • Caroline Walmsley says:

        Thanks Josh – I’m sorry I can’t go into more detail right now, but I was interrogated on the Total Learning agenda by our Head of Marketing recently for this series of blog posts where I explained our thinking in more detail:

        If you’re more visually inclined there’s also our recent Total Learning ebook, which looks at some of the key trends and technologies that make this approach so suitable for today’s learners (and today’s leading organisations):

        You can ask my team – they all know I’m happy to talk #TotalLearning all day, so feel free to reach out and ask me more!

  3. Jon Ingham says:

    I’ve also been writing about this as one of the trends I’ve been picking up on, at least in the UK, is a focus on intergrating learning into business needs and the workflow etc – eg–learner-and-learning.html

    And I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t do this, but that doing it needs to be balanced with more focus on understanding our people – their needs and wants, as humans not simply job holders, to get them excited about learning, which will then lead indirectly to business needs being met.

  4. Marc Wachtfogel, PhD says:

    I was responsible for training & development for a global company. One of my goals was to build a business education program to educate employees about our business cycle and how each role contributes to success. I brought together leaders from each department to outline the program. Leaders at different levels then delivered the program to groups of employee until the whole company was covered. When each round was finished the baton was passed to another leader in the department to represent the team.

    The question is, what do you think was the benefit of leveraging internal leaders to educate employees?

    Employees were able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the business cycle & how they contribute? (the goal)
    Or, leaders who volunteered were passionate and the program was informative and engaging?
    The leaders made it exciting to learn?
    The program matched stakeholder needs, was highly applicable and reflected the work context?
    Was it the cross-functional collaboration that was built while developing the program?
    Was it the appreciation team leaders now had for other departmental processes?
    How about the experience gained from working on a complex project with other leaders?
    Was it the networking that took place before and after the program?
    Was it the impact the role models had on employees?
    Was it the recognition of the baton being placed into the hands of the next leader?
    Perhaps it was the efficiencies gained by understanding the business process?
    Maybe, employees made new connections with colleagues from other departments?
    Was it the pride of feeling valued?
    Taking a part in something meaningful?
    Demonstrating one’s expertise and leadership skills?
    Recognition awards from the company president?
    Did the program enhance organizational culture?
    Or, the program provided a stepping stone for future initiatives?

    My intent was the initial goal and we ended up with all of these additional benefits. I learned a valuable lesson about a “self-developing” organization.

  5. Greg Basham says:

    Josh, I like the themes of self developing as a culture of learning, development, coaching and mentoring as well as that of people hired for their ability and willingness to teach themselves and constantly grow. You can’t have one without the other. Interestingly there is now more growing awareness of the need for two parties to come to the table to ensure engagement is the outcome – managers and their employees. We continue to hear too much these days that ‘the company or my boss didn’t do anything for me’ versus them seizing the opportunities present. I have long believed that people are responsible for the condition they are in in a role and it isn’t always someone else’s fault.

    Rewarding those for their coaching and mentoring is as essential as well as not redirecting those who aren’t performing these roles while continuing to hold key positions is equally essential.