Building learning organizations


These days there is a consulting company for about any industry or discipline, not to mention freelancers and business coaches. The trend of “business advise “ grows as more companies adopt the gig-economy and the uncertainty (FOMO) related to ever changing technology is building anxiety.

Among all possible disciplines, I am deeply passionate about the science of learning and how people within organizations acquire new skills and reach their full potential. So, the other day I was googling variations of - learning experience expert, to connect with people who work in the field and to study their paths.

In industry terms these experts sound more like “Chief Learning Officer on Demand“. The idea is not to get someone who simply advises about learning and development but who actually builds (with a team) an active learning culture that drives business performance and employee engagement. I did not find many experts, so I was imagining if I could build a company to cover that need, and what were the building blocks.

Below is an imaginary short Q&A / pitch session with self:

Q: Why is a learning experience company needed?

A: Due to rapid pace of technological change, there is a need for flexibility and rapid acquisition of new skills within existing organizations, yet having an outside trainer or a course everytime there is a change is expensive and slow. On the opposite side, building a proactive internal learning culture and promoting in-company trainer-experts can dramatically cut costs and boost employee commitment to the company.

Q: How do you define a Learning Organization?

A: An organization where employee growth is a priority, and which is able to mobilize internal knowledge and skills to overcome challenges and novel situations is a collaborative way. In other words a self-sufficient skill ecosystem.

Q: What would the company offer exactly?

A: - A detailed analysis of formal and informal learning and development culture;

- A co-design session, involving employee, for the future learning culture;

- Setting up technology infrastructure for learning and development;

- Train the trainers sessions for existing and to-be internal experts;

- Building performance dashboards;

- Building knowledge management infrastructure;

Q: What kind of people need to be on the team?

A: I am thinking of a multidisciplinary collective, involving following skills:

- Cognitive science

- Education technology

- Organizational culture / change management

- Digital Transformation

- Design

- Storytelling

- Media production

- Software

- Business analytics

The result: Every company as its own internal ongoing university.