Organizational Learning Culture – Importance to Success

In organizational learning, one component that is often overlooked in planning strategies and approaches is the organizational learning culture. This may sound like something of an abstract, but it isn’t, and disregarding it in observing and measuring an organization for training needs assessment as well as planning strategies for learning can be disastrous to epic proportions.

With this in mind, we need to take some time to talk about how to observe this facet of organizational learning, and why it is so crucial to the success of any attempt at structured improvement like this. This is so crucial, and yet so often it is overlooked, and the results remain the same when it happens.

Organizational Learning Culture – Importance to Success

Organizational learning culture is related closely to another concept, that of corporate culture. As such, we should really take a moment first to analyze what corporate culture is. In doing so, we’ll have a fairly good understanding of the topic at hand before we even come to the meat of it.

organizational learning culture

Corporate culture is a series of traits pertaining to a business environment. These include the personal interactions and relationship dynamics of the individuals that make up the environment, the procedures and habits of a day to day work period in this environment, as well as the philosophies behind the prior two within the scope of how the company works. It’s “how the company does things” both internally and externally.

This is a unique thing, never the same from one company to the next, and as a result, things have to be adaptive to be brought from one corporate culture to the next. This is why people changing jobs often feel out of place even of their tasks haven’t changed, and why ideas pioneered by one organization seldom work without modification in another.

So, what does this have to do with organizational learning culture? Well, when you really think about it, the way learning in an organization must work would have to be based in part around the corporate culture, so as such, it is actually just an extension of it, a meta culture if you will.

OLC is just the cultured mindset to organizational learning which must exist to facilitate this corporate culture, and to not be disruptive. Like needs assessment and strategies for deploying organizational learning, this is the philosophical and human element of how the dynamic will work. To understand how your OLC must work, you simply need to understand how your corporate culture works.


To understand your corporate culture, simply observe the interactions, procedures and business philosophy of your environment. Describe it to yourself, on paper, in 500 words or so. Read it back to yourself, and let it paint a picture of what your business’s culture is in a nutshell. Imagine the working tasks that manifest this culture being replaced with the training you have discovered to be needed, and you have your OLC clearly defined.

It really is this simple, but as you can see, it’s incredibly important to factor this in to the actual process of organizational learning before learning begins. However, it’s impossible to be psychic, so like any hurdle, it must be adaptive to culture.

If you understand your corporate culture, and you understand organizational learning, then you need only layer one over the other to understand organizational learning culture , and to hopefully appreciate the importance of it.

Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog