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Companies as Learning Organizations

It is easy to see how there are isolated cases of successful training experiences. Some companies are ahead of the curve and some are just catching up. In your selected industry for study (Coffee Manufacturing), select two companies that you think have a successful program for developing leaders or might be in trouble. You decide.

Compare how these two companies are developing their workforces. Include at least one section on what you think is missing in their strategies and what you would recommend be added.

Step 1: Select a company.

How do you find these companies?
Go to one of the publications that specialize in innovative thinking, like Fast Company. You can easily access their information at CEO Express Company. Fast Company is known for covering socially responsible organizations as well as not-for-profit organizations in the same view with the for-profit world.

Step 2: Research internal information on the question "is this a global learning organization"?

Another tool is to read the list of officers of the company and the names of board members. Is there a chief learning officer? Is the HR executive listed as one of the top people in the company? Is either on the board of directors? Are any educators on the board of directors?

Step 3: Research current news on the company.

Do an Internet search for news articles on the company:
-Search on the company name and any language from the annual report that you think is particularly important.
- Instead of doing a general Web search; look for a news category in your search engine.

Look for news on the chief learning officer by name, if your selected company has one. Research the HR director's name: where has he or she appeared recently? What speeches have him or her given? Those speeches may be an indicator of what is happening in the company.

Step 4: Compile your research into a comparison paper.

Create an outline of the criteria for a global learning organization. Remember, there is no one best model. From your knowledge of a learning organization, what do you think is the priority? Your paper should cover the answers to three main questions:
-Is there any evidence of a program or strategy for learning?
-Is there evidence of commitment from the leadership team?
-Is there any evidence of success or failure in the program?

Fast Company

CEO Express Company

Solution Preview

Global Learning Organizational Comparative Outline

The following research is a comparison between two of the leading companies in my industry, coffee manufacturing. The companies selected are Starbucks Coffee and Maxwell House Coffee. The analysis of both companies primarily revolves around the application of global learning strategies and how these two companies measure in comparison against the criteria necessary to be successful as demonstrated in the outline that will be presented here. After reviewing this comparative outline, the reader should be able to extrapolate from the comparison how both companies are progressing as "global learning organizations".

Comparative Outline

Characteristics of Successful Learning Organizations as Outlined in each Category (Senge, 2009):

1 - Culture: How well does each company's culture support innovation and foster a continual learning environment? Here, we will apply to both companies the question "Is there any evidence of programs or strategies for learning?".

Starbucks Coffee:

When researching the Starbucks Coffee Company, it becomes quickly apparent that the company works hard to maintain their image. Their innovative spirit is present at all levels of the organization, and their culture is rooted in entrepreneurship (, 2012). In an interview conducted by Fast Company of the top 50 innovative companies in the world, Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz was asked to explain why he believes his company continues to be so successful and has rebounded so dramatically after having a few difficult years during the early 2000's. Schultz responded, "Our success is a direct result of our company's effort to sustain a culture of learning, entrepreneurialism, and innovation that was lost ...

Solution Summary

So we strive to learn together with each other, our suppliers, customers, consumers, as well as governments, other MNC's and NGO'", She continues, "we look for innovative ways to combine our inherent strengths and capabilities so we can sustain the right changes for employees, our communities, and our children for decades to come" (, 2012).