In a two-part article I wrote for titled, Learning Culture: A Workplace Environment for Success, I start by posing some questions that I think people need to ask themselves about their organizations to determine if they need a stronger learning culture:

  • Do you want employees to care about their work and their customers and go the extra mile?
  • Do you want employees to improve their ability to contribute to the organization? Office workers
  • Do you want employees to be creative and innovative and think about new and better products and services?
  • Do you want employees to be focused on achieving results?
  • Do you want employees who openly discuss ways to improve performance?

Then I describe what must change if your answer is “yes” to any of these questions: need to develop an organizational culture that supports continuous learning by everyone from the CEO to the hourly employee. HR and training professionals, by themselves, cannot develop this kind of culture. If you’re like most businesses, you rely heavily on these professionals to deliver programs that provide employees with what they need to know to do their jobs, whether that is assembling products, running complex machines, managing teams, or running an entire organization. That model of learning was effective for most of the past century. However, that model does not work for the modern company. Today’s companies require a culture in which everyone is continuously learning as individuals, as teams, and as whole organizations.

I go on to explain why this change is so important at this time. In Part Two, I talk more specifically about what organizations can do to create a learning culture.