They all Claim to be LOs LO26014

From: Lawrence Philbrook (
Date: 01/29/01

Replying to LO25978 --

Dear Charley

I really found this a great question to think about thank you. Here is my
initial reflections.

On the question of which organizations are learning organizations my own
response is any organization that is surviving is a learning organization.
Just as individuals are constantly learning entities or they die, so it is
with organizations. So the question of finding a learning organization is
not hard. Using the method of Affirmative Inquiry you can look at any
organization and discover what capacity it has for learning that is
keeping it alive.

We need another term for Learning Organization's that clarifies what we
are looking for. Earlier someone used the term High Performance
Organizations, perhaps the term could be Effectively Learning
Organizations I am not sure and there are probably others on the list who
have better wordsmith skills but the key elements are:

 1) Conscious of their learning, such that they can share it with others
 2) Successful enough by current standards that they will be respected as
an example
 3) Continuously changing such that they are ready for the next challenge
and not just the current ones (this has made locating these exemplary
organizations hard)

I also would add three more but these are from my bias toward participation:

 4) Organizations which are able to move beyond the founders learning
 5) Organizations establish systemic processes for sharing the learning
and for perceiving the "we" that is being cared as going beyond
shareholders and staff
 6) Organizations which promote individual change and learning in the
midst of the corporate learning

As a facilitator or change agent I enjoy working with organizations and
discovering how they learn and how each one helps me learn in a different
way. Therefore all the organizations I work with for more than a single
program are definitely striving to be Effectively Learning Organizations.

With respect, Larry


"Lawrence Philbrook" <>

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