Intro -- Karen Peters LO27091

From: Barry Mallis (
Date: 08/02/01

Replying to LO27086 --


You're seeking tangible manifestations of success which live beneath the
broad umbrella of learning organization. I'll share my experience.

An organization that learns has in my opinion feedback loops in its
dynamic systems. These loops contribute to at least seven effects:

 1) Goal setting and deployment for the organization by the management
team (e.g. Hoshin)
 2) A small cadre of people who area responsible for care and feeding of
the messages to and from management about the goals and objectives, and
available tools by which to achieve the goals and objectives i.e. a
sub-organization that supports mobilization of the entire organization
 3) Education and training: recognition and implementation of continuous
training in non-traditional as well as traditional areas (e.g. high
performance team work, as well as Pareto analysis; Enterprise Modeling as
well as balanced scorecard)
 4) Promotion activities which create a fertile environment for
organizational change and improvement
 5. Diffusion of success stories. Just what it says. In the U.S.,
employees in dozens of companies, when asked what the principal weakness
was in their organization, answered me, "Communication." This stuff is
not just theory. Practical, applied learning in organizations must be
communicated. And in this communication are very often embedded what I
refer to as a "Plus/Delta." The Plus comprises those behaviors which were
positive and which merit repetition. The Delta is a behavior which could
be improved or changed or eliminated so that the next turn of the wheel
will be even better!
 6. Awards and Incentives. As you well know, numerous models exist, and
there are surely company culture dependent. I am NOT separating #6 from
the other six elements. Rather, these work in conjunction with one
 7. Diagnosis and monitoring, representing the Check part of PDCA.

Karen, much has been typed in these spaces about theory. Years ago there
was a practical side to the site's contributions. Today the practical
application of theory into organizations so as to provide "learning"
environments is relatively more muted. Not a problem. So be it. What I am
providing you is a quick view of applied theory in the name of serving the
customer, so as to provide the customer a) What she wants b) when she
wants it, and c) at a price the customer is willing to pay. Such is the
environment I work in most of the time. Activities add value in the search
for fulfillment of these three requirements.

Each of these seven pieces has its explicit manifestation. The results are
quantifiable. Individuals and teams work toward goals expressed through
QCDS: Quality e.g. parts per; Cost; Delivery e.g. throughput; and Safety.

I visit organizations where this learning is on almost every bulletin
board outside every work station/area, so that employees know where they
are, and therefore know where they can go. You can't get to a new location
ahead unless you know where you are at this moment.

My reflections here are just the surface of things. I'd be happy to share
more with you off line in attempting to answer specific questions you must
surely have about justifications, examples, etc.

Best regards,

Barry Mallis
The Organizational Trainer
Keene, New Hampshire USA
voice: 603 352-5289
FAX 603 357-2157


Barry Mallis <>

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