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Bitesize No. 23 – Installing a Learning System


As we get towards the end of this series of 24 Bitesize pieces it is quite obvious that there is a great deal to this world of learning and getting everything in place is a huge challenge for a budding business partner.

Learning, across any organisation, is reliant on consistent signals being sent, open communication and feedback, a clear focus on outcomes that the organisation needs and a commitment to learning that starts right from the top and cascades down to every single employee. In reality, this rarely happens though. The words ad hoc, piecemeal, inconsistent, discontinuous or sporadic are more likely to be better descriptors of what organisations really do in terms of learning.

Consequently, what a business partner should strive to do, above all else, is establish a system for learning. A continuous, iterative cycle of improvement that brings together the concepts of learning from experience (Kolb) with a total quality, right first time mindset (Deming and PDCA).

System is a word that is all too often used very glibly but a true system makes what you want to happen - happen. A traffic light system makes most drivers stop when they need to and go when they are allowed to. It is a physical system and works perfectly most of the time, with the odd transgressor who tries to ‘jump the lights’.

But there is much more to systems than meets the eye. We all obey traffic lights because we share the same set of values. We all see it as a win-win; it is in everyone’s interests. Effective systems are not just about rules and regulations they encourage the right behaviours. So the big question for those of you have followed this series in detail is do you have a learning system? Are employees constantly encouraged to learn the things that the organisation needs to know?

Paul is happy to take questions and comments and can be contacted at:mailto:[email protected]
Earlier articles in this series can be found at:
The Bitesize Business Partners Page


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