Is yours a learning organisation?

Garvin, D., Edmondson, A. and Gino, F.
Publication language
Date published
01 Mar 2008
Harvard Business Review
Data collection tools, Organisational Learning and Change

An organization with a strong learning culture faces the unpredictable deftly. However, a concrete method for understanding precisely how an institution learns and
for identifying specific steps to help it learn better has remained elusive. A new survey instrument from professors Garvin and Edmondson of Harvard Business School and
assistant professor Gino of Carnegie Mellon University allows you to ground your efforts in becoming a learning organization.

The tool’s conceptual foundation is what the authors call the three building blocks of a learning organization. The first, a supportive learning environment,
comprises psychological safety, appreciation of differences, openness to new ideas, and time for reflection. The second, concrete learning processes and practices, includes
experimentation, information collection and analysis, and education and training. These two complementary elements are fortified by the final building block: leadership that
reinforces learning.

The survey instrument enables a granular examination of all these particulars, scores each of them, and provides a framework for detailed, comparative analysis.
You can make comparisons within and among your institution’s functional areas, between your organization and others, and against benchmarks that the authors have derived
from their surveys of hundreds of executives in many industries.