Many organizations tout or strive to be a learning organization. By learning organization, I refer to the definition provided here, which states: "Organization that acquires knowledge and innovates fast enough to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. Learning organizations (1) create a culture that encourages and supports continuous employee learning, critical thinking, and risk taking with new ideas, (2) allow mistakes, and value employee contributions, (3) learn from experience and experiment, and (4) disseminate the new knowledge throughout the organization for incorporation into day-to-day activities." The most difficult aspect of being a learning organization for many, to include us, is the dissemination of new knowledge through the organization for incorporation into day-to-day activities. Do you have systems in place to prompt this to happen? Have you built a culture for this to automatically happen? If so, how did you instill this in your culture?
According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, companies that meet the litmus test for being a 'learning organization' actively manage the learning process to ensure that it occurs by design rather than by chance. Distinctive policies and practices are responsible for their success; they form the building blocks of learning organizations. For MedMan that takes the form of a debrief process after each client consult or event - good or bad - that we can learn from and tweak our processes for next time. Most recently, it took the form of an employee creating a tool to enhance their medical group and sharing with the greater MedMan network for use in their practices. Not one, but a dozen practices can now benefit from the development of this new tool. A learning organization's learning can be exponential.