Why a learning culture is essential to the survival of every business

Kultura firme

How did Apple manage to grab the leading mobile market position held by Nokia in 2010?

Nokia seemed to have all the current phone models, an invincible reputation for creating quality products, and a loyal customer base. Then Apple came into the game and everything changed forever.

Nokia may have been the first in the world to create a mobile phone with a touch screen, but the directors at the time refused to embrace the idea because this way of controlling the devices was beyond the secure frameworks they sought – reliable phones based on the reputation of previous models, with very little innovation. So, not wanting to adapt to changes in the market, Nokia lost its place in the market.

In today’s world economy it is necessary to learn faster than competitors. Successful organizations become those who are constantly learning and incorporating new knowledge into business processes, routines, and structures so that they can use it to grow their business faster, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.

When it comes to search engine companies, many have come and gone, but Google has remained and progressed day by day. The reason why Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world is because its employees constantly innovate.

They learn. They grow. They innovate.

Such activities determine the companies that dictate market trends, whose main task is continuous innovation. It allows companies to be one step ahead of their audiences’ desires.
To meet the changes that are happening at breakneck speed, successful companies create and nurture a “learning culture” among employees.

Team members who are constantly learning are adept at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge. More importantly, they are able to quickly apply that acquired knowledge into forming new ideas.

Following some of the best practice examples, each firm can create a learning culture that increases customer satisfaction, productivity, and profit.

Creating opportunities for continuous learning

A learning-supportive environment provides time for employee education, encourages reflection, and critical analysis of completed work processes.

AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson said the knowledge of employees who do not spend at least 5 to 10 hours a week learning and developing new skills are obsolete due to new advances in technology.

Learning from your own experience

In leading companies, managers are required to periodically analyze experiences from previous projects.

The reason for this practice also lies in the research of IT experts and researchers David Gifford and Alfred Spector who studied the correlation between acquiring knowledge and new product development. This research suggests that knowledge gained through failure is critical to achieving later success.

These scientists have been researching the success of IBM’s 360 series of computers, one of the most popular and profitable series ever. The celebrity series recorded an enviable result, as it was based on the advancement of technology and the flaws of the previous Stretch computer series, which was a major failure. In this case, learning was based on previous experience, not careful planning.

Learning from other companies’ experiences and best practices

Sometimes the most powerful insights come from learning outside the immediate environment as they open up completely new perspectives. Managers know that even companies from completely different spheres of business can be inspirational sources of ideas that accelerate creative thinking.

Learning happens when people become aware of conflicting ideas while respecting each other’s differences. Recognizing the value of successful competition methods encourages fresh ideas in the team.

Experimenting and testing new capabilities

New opportunities that broaden business horizons are the main reasons why successful firms encourage employees to research and test new approaches and knowledge. In companies that nurture operational diversity, team members value different methods, procedures, and value cross-cutting diversity.

Encouraging collaboration and team learning

The implementation of this step implies that team members work together to solve problems and implement solutions. Learning occurs through the interaction of members who exchange knowledge, experiences, and statements. Team learning allows all members to see the broader picture beyond their individual perspective. Dialogue and discussion are two key methods of team learning

Systematic thinking

The essence of this step is the ability of employees to understand all work processes as a whole, where each team member understands how his or her work affects the overall result of the entire team. By looking at the whole situation in which they are creating themselves, employees have the opportunity to overcome certain challenges by applying the steps discussed above.

Conclusion

With increasing competition, advances in technology and changing customer preferences, it is more important than ever that firms nurture a learning culture.

In addition to enabling employees to acquire and transfer the necessary knowledge and skills, creating and nurturing a learning culture is the only viable business system in the modern world.

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