Organizational Learning Process – Pushing Aside Potential Barriers

Let’s talk a little about a more neglected aspect of the organizational learning process. This is something that needs addressed, but we’re not seeing it receiving its due attention most of the time. This is not good, because this being left unchecked can actually cause a lot of problems, and in truth, we don’t want anyone to have problems with organizational learning. It is such a powerful tool in both its broad and specific definitions. If people are unable to harness this powerful way to share knowledge to its fullest potential, they will be missing out on keys to success that can reshape the face of business. That simply won’t do.

The thing is, in the organizational learning process, there are some hidden barriers to overcome, both in needs assessment and application of training that people may not normally immediately spot or account for. They may not seem obvious, so this is understandable. Hence, it’s important to point them out a little bit and talk about them here, so that in the future, you might be able to account for these issues from the start.

#1 – Learning Definition

So, exactly how do you define training and learning within your organization? The fact of the matter is, there are gradients of learning and training within any tiered, structured organization, and when it comes to organizational learning and the need for advanced strategies, there’s something to be said for where such things must be applied.

Orientation of new employees or dissemination of new directives or regulations, unless truly sophisticated and involved, may not call for such resource consumption, where new processes or technologies most certainly would.

#2 – Where is the Correlation between Learning and Performance?

There must be a correlation between learning and performance. This goes in both directions, both as how learning may improve performance where performance issues abound, and where performance within the learning environment may be measured and controlled.

Without this correlation and parallelism, needs assessment is going to be difficult if not impossible, and practical application of knowledge and learning cannot be.

#3 – Positive Resource ROI?

You must measure the gains and benefits of training versus the time and expenses by way of resources (not limited to monetary) that must be put into it. If the performance and efficiency brought about by the training is not enough to justify the expense, then you’re wasting your time.

We’ve talked about ROI with organizational learning and training before, but know that it is one of these barriers you must account for from the beginning.

#4 – Understanding your Corporate Culture and Sociodynamics

We’ve talked about this one in greater detail before too, but it needs to be on this list for certain. In order to properly conduct organizational learning, an understanding of your company’s culture and how its individuals interact and work as an organization is important. Not understanding these, specifically applied to your company going in, can be disastrous.

Understanding sociology and human nature on a less specific front is also important for obvious reasons.

#5 – The Path Ahead

Where are you going from here? What goals do you need to accomplish and what do you plan to work on in the future, which this learning will enable? If you don’t have a clear goal in mind and a clear path ahead of you, then not only will the learning be seen as superfluous by your employees, but it will also not necessarily be inclusive enough when the time comes to apply it.

You do not build a foundation without knowing the structure that will sit on it, right?

These are basic barriers in the organizational learning process, and mostly ones Training Station has discussed in detail before as separate topics. I just felt that these, as an inclusive and correlated list of barriers needed to be pointed out, so that when you research them individually, you can see how the parts make the whole.

Kevin Goldberg