Vanderburgh House is a learning organization. We each must rediscover our function continuously. Change is constant and discontinuous; most situations are complex, and goals are unclear for the purpose of keeping an open mind to new opportunities. Everyone must be hungry and willing to learn. We must be comfortable with ambiguity and constant flux. Managers must engage stakeholders with participative leadership and fostering a radically open culture, focused on learning and building our capacity as a team. We must look at the horizon, not at our feet. Change is emergent, not planned --- leadership usually cannot be top-down.
The team must be focused on making mistakes quickly, communicating about them, and constantly taking small steps to correct the root cause of the problem. We need radical honesty so we can determine what, exactly, is behind what is and is not going well.
Individually, we must be focused on “double-loop” learning - Learning about learning. Thinking about how we think about things. We operate with a very non-linear model and abstract goals, which require us to focus on constantly reevaluating ourselves, interactions, processes and procedures to build capacity so when opportunity presents itself, we are first in line and dressed for the event!
An excerpt from The Competitive Imperative of Learning
“My research identifies a different approach to execution – what I call execution-as-learning – that promotes success over the long haul. Think of General Electric, another powerhouse born in the industrial era. Since the 1980s, the company has constantly evaluated its activities, found ways to improve, and built the expectation that learning will be ongoing into management practices.”
An excerpt from Is Yours a Learning Organization?
“A learning organization is a place where employees excel at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge. There are three building blocks of such institutions: (1) a supportive learning environment, (2) concrete learning processes and practices, and (3) leadership behavior that reinforces learning. Exploring how well your company learns relative to others reveals both the multidimensionality of the organizational learning process and the specific areas where your company needs to improve.”
Complete works are available on DropBox in “Required Reading” and should be studied regularly. This is not “busywork” required reading, or to comply with some arbitrary regulation. This information is available and required because it is immensely important for all professionals to understand and practice.