Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Do you want to know why so many organisations don't learn? I'll tell you....

Next month I'll be running a masterclass for ARK - details of which can be found on their site here.
The aim of the class is to look at organizational learning (OL) and knowledge management (KM) from cultural and behavioural perspectives. Through a series of presentations, discussions, and exercises, I will help participants will explore:

  • Challenges, risks, and behaviours that inhibit OL and KM
  • Opportunities, enablers, and behaviours that encourage OL and KM
  • The importance of leadership and its impact on learning, for good or bad
  • Examples and absences of learning from recent history and current affairs
I'll be using examples from my time in the British Army, the City, and now as a KM consultant to explore why some organizations – and people – find it so hard to learn.

After taking part in this masterclass, participants will:

  • Be able to identify, create, and make the most of learning opportunities
  • Identify, avoid, and manage some of the risks that limit learning
  • Have an awareness of how their own behaviour helps or hinders learning
  • Have several new tips and approaches for their ‘learning toolkit’
  • Have some recommended reading for further study
The masterclass is aimed at OL and KM practitioners from all sectors, novices and experts alike. If you want to move beyond ‘lessons learned’ and gain insight into how to facilitate improved performance, this is for you!

For more information about knowledge management and organisational learning, please visit the Knoco website.


  1. sounds interesting. Would love to drop in but a bit too far to go for a day. Can I ask, do you / how do you differentiate between the terms organisational learning and a learning organisation?

  2. Thanks Mark!

    Whereas knowledge management (KM) attends to processes, tools, people and governance, organisational learning (OL) has more to say about the culture and dominant behaviours within an organisation.

    Some would define a learning organisation as one that tries to learn from its experiences and environment, of which there are a fair few; others (including me) would define it as one that succeeds in its efforts and does actually learn. There are far fewer of those.

    Take a look at my paper on the British Army if you have time - I refer to Peter Senge and Chris Argyris who are considered two of the pioneers of OL.