Building a Learning Culture

Here’s an article on Building a Learning Culture by Josh Bersin. I found it very interesting to read about what exactly constitutes a ‘true learning culture’.

The focal point of several learning organizations is performance driven learning; where they concentrate on solving timely and urgent business challenges. This can involve training employees to use a new application to even train them to support the launch of a new product etc. It is said that the performance driven programs help organizations achieve a competitive advantage, short term results and have measurable business impact.

The following factors; however, determine the success of performance driven programs; first of all we have performance consulting where you need to analyze the business problem to be solved; secondly the needs analysis which involves knowing the audience and their learning needs; next is content development in which one develops and builds interesting and engaging content; then we move on to program management where you deploy and manage the program; followed by implementing the technology and finally metrics where you measure the results and identify the areas of improvement.

However, the article emphasizes that concentrating only on performance driven programs is not enough. A true learning culture should incorporate and focus on learning which helps an organization to grow, develop the talent of its employees, adapt to changes etc. This is where talent driven learning comes in. The talent driven learning aspect of the organization includes much more than just skill development. It concentrates on developing behavior, attitudes and vital corporate competencies.

Talent driven programs or learning can be found in many forms; it can be a multi-tiered leadership development programs or an end to end sales training program. It is essential to note that the program must be integrated with career development and performance management for its successful implementation. Through talent driven learning organizations experience intangible gain such as employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, employee engagement, innovation etc.

The article thus brings to light that equal focus on performance and talent driven learning is at the heart of a learning culture. Thereby, a learning culture not only recognizes the necessity to concentrate on performance and improvements, but also on organizational and individual learning as a component of its business strategy.

Learning Culture = Performance Driven Learning + Talent Driven Learning

Reference:

Cf: http://www.clomedia.com/best-practices/josh-bersin/2008/April/2141/index.php?pt=a&aid=2141&start=3050&page=2; April 30th 2008

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