Before you take your first step on your journey to creating a learning culture, you must know where you're starting. Look around and listen to your organization. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? What is your current culture?

Do employees, their teams, and the organization as-a-whole know what they need to do to be successful? Do they know why these competencies are important and how they align with the organization’s vision, mission, goals, and strategies? Do they know how to develop these competencies? Do they know how to sustain this learning over time? Do they know how to ensure that learning is applied and makes a difference for the organization?

The answers to these questions will tell you to what extent you have a learning culture in your organization. A “learning culture” is a work environment that supports and encourages the continuous and collective discovery, sharing, and application of knowledge and skills at the individual, team, and whole organization levels in order to achieve the goals of the organization.  A learning culture is a culture of inquiry; an environment in which employees feel safe challenging the status quo and taking risks to enhance the quality of what they do for customers, themselves, shareholders and other stakeholders. A learning culture is an environment in which learning how to learn is valued and accepted. In a learning culture, the pursuit of learning is woven into the fabric of organizational life.

Learning to be Great™ has developed a learning-culture assessment tool. This tool is based on a framework that consists of five key elements of learning in organizations: 1) Alignment; 2) Anticipation; 3) Alliance; 4) Application; and 5) Accountability. These are the 5As of a learning culture. Each element is measured by four items in the survey. To fill out the survey and find out how your organization is doing in each category, scroll down our homepage to “TAKE THE ASSESSMENT.” Once you have completed the assessment, you will receive a free report with your data and a comparison to all other respondents to date.

The data from this survey is only meaningful if it generates a conversation in your organization that contributes to discovering where you are starting your journey. The survey’s  purpose is to learn from each other, to learn about your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and to learn what will improve performance. Once you have established this baseline, you can envision where you want to get to as a learning culture.

Organizational assessment is the GPS of your journey towards a learning culture. It tells you where you are at a point in time. Then you’ll be able to select the best route to a work environment that is continuously learning and continuously improving.