“Learning Organizations” (LO) are organizations in motion, creatively adapting to changing environments. They understand that the development of their staff and teams creates the basis for their success as organizations, no matter whether they are a municipal administration, a factory that produces metal parts, or a hotel.
One factor that is indispensable for LO is to stop seeing human error as flaw that better be covered up. Without errors and mistakes there will not be progress. Organizations should, in my view, do all they can to reduce the fear of making mistakes among their staff, knowing that workers who contribute a lot will sooner or later make mistakes. The only way for me to not make mistakes – if at all possible – is to follow the same work routine over and over like a machine. Luckily, this kind of job (where what you do might as well be done by a machine) has been dying out in our societies for quite some time.
How do you create favorable conditions for learning in your organisation? Brain research points to a combination and interdependence of cognition and emotions in successful learning. Only where I can do something with joy and excitement will my brain develop new capacities. That is why all organizations face the challenge to create opportunities for their staff to work and learn with pleasure and excitement. This may mean for staff to change their tasks every now and then. Or to create space for trainings that allow personal growth (even if at a first glance there is no connection to the work that people do). Or it may mean to rely more on self-organization. There are as many possible ways to inspire joy and learning at your workplaces as there are different organizations.