In the second part of a two-part article I wrote for BusinessThinker.com titled, Learning Culture: A Workplace Environment for Success, I describe what organizations can do to develop a learning culture. I write:

Start with managers. We have learned from the Gallup Organization’s 20 year-long research project that the most significant relationships in any organization is between managers and their direct reports. Managers are the gatekeepers to individual and team learning. Managers play a pivotal role in creating and sustaining learning. They do not have to be instructors nor do they have to be expert in the knowledge and skills needed by their direct reports. However, they do have to believe that people can learn and change, they have to care about their own learning, and they have to value the development of the people they supervise. If they have these beliefs and values, then managers can contribute significantly to learning in their organizations.

The manager’s role is essential but not sufficient. You also need involvement of executives who communicate their support for everyone learning and employees who take responsibility for their own learning. I sum up this argument by writing:

…modern organizations need to develop a learning culture if they want to survive in the rapidly changing world in which we now live. A learning culture is a work environment that supports the constant acquisition of knowledge and skills for the purpose of improving the organization. In a learning culture, individuals are learning, teams are learning, and the whole organization is learning how to function more effectively. The key to developing this kind of culture is having managers who facilitate the learning and performance improvement of the people who report to them and the teams for which they are accountable. And it all begins with key executives establishing and reinforcing a learning culture through their own words and actions.

To read the entire two-part article, go to: www.BusinessThinker.com

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