All schools encourage learning of some kind, but most schools are not learning organisations!
A learning organisation is one which cultivates a community where individual and collective learning is encouraged and sustained. By promoting the kind of culture that enables and even accelerates knowledge and skills development, the leadership develops a workforce which is committed and flexible and can continuously transform itself.
Inside the organisation you might be able to hear free-flowing exchanges of information amongst people, who can listen and challenge. Individuals are encouraged to speak out, and to test the assumptions they hold in their minds about their work and their place of work. Diversity of views is a strength. People can be encouraged to experiment and take risks and learning from mistakes is considered to be as useful as learning from success. Failure can be tolerated, provided lessons are learnt.
And people in learning organisations aren’t scared of looking for information, support and challenge from outside their own organisation – they network and connect their thinking with others. In fact, being aware of and interacting with their context is an asset, especially when faced with changes from outside.
All of this helps people to transform new knowledge into actions and promotes a flexible workforce which adapts to new internal and external challenges, built on a common sense of purpose and commitment and shared images of the future.