Public Sector Learning Organizations LO21956

Rick Fullerton (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 22:31:56 -0400

Hi everyone -

As I indicated in my 'intro', I would welcome comments, information,
ideas, or thoughts about the public sector learning organizations. Here
is some additional context for this request.

Currently I am on assignment with the Canadian federal public service,
attached to the agency primarily responsible for developing managers
(about 30,000 people). Learning organization concepts were widely talked
about in the public service in the early 1990's; most departments had
learning organization initiatives and staff to support them. Research
papers were written; the Auditor General commented on learning
organization in his annual report. And by 1995-6, people were on to other
things - worrying about staff reductions, fighting the deficit (a battle
that was won!), and improving service to Canadians. Certainly, some parts
of the public service have continued to pay attention to this area, and
the previous Clerk of the Privy Council (the CEO of the Public Service)
actively spoke about boundarylessness, leadership and learning
organization as cornerstones of public service renewal.

Today, the conversations about learning organization have broadened to
include knowledge management, intellectual capital, teaching organization,
and other popular ideas. So what is missing, it seems, is a clear
perspective on current learning organization thinking (what is new in the
last 3-4 years?) and how this relates to the public sector. >From this, I
would like be able to offer pragmatic middle and senior managers help in
creating and sustaining a learning organization. Research and experience
to ground this would of course be great.

Any insights or ideas you might provide would be appreciated.

Rick Fullerton


Rick Fullerton <>

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