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Strategies for Change

Why use a network for learning?
There are two main reasons for thinking about using a network to help with learning:
1. Need to learn to upgrade knowledge and competency in some aspect of our business and
2. Learning acquiring this competency is often difficult when working alone

To state the obvious, firms need to learn to survive. As de Geus points out, (based on studies carried out by Shell) the average corporate survival rate for large companies is only about half as long as that of a human being (de Geus 1996). To put this into perspective almost 40% of the firms which made up the Fortune Top 500 ten years ago no longer exist, whilst of the top 12 companies which made up the Dow Jones index in 1900 only one General Electric survives today. Even apparently robust giants like IBM, GM or Kodak can suddenly display worrying signs of mortality, whilst for small firms the picture is often considerably worse since they lack the protection of a large resource base.

Behind these figures lies a challenge. Not all firms fail and some have undoubtedly thrived during this period; the key feature which they share is an ability to adapt and learn to deal with their rapidly changing and uncertain environments. Research suggests that there are two important components involved in such learning; the first involves the accumulation and development of a core knowledge base - the core competence - which differentiates the firm from others and offers the potential for competitive advantage. Acquiring this is not simply a matter of purchasing or trading knowledge assets but the systematic and purposive learning and construction of a knowledge base. The second is the long-term development of a capability for learning and continuous improvement across the whole organization. Recognition of this need has led to growing emphasis on the concept of learning organizations and on the mechanisms
through which this capability can be developed One aspect is the possibility of gaining traction and support for the learning.

Examine your organization. Is it a learning organization? Explain your answer. Explore what factors have enabled it to survive. What changes can it implement to ensure its continued existence?

Solution Preview

The organization that I work for makes plastic strapping. It is a learning organization. The reason for this is that the company I work for continuously encourages its employees to learn and continuously transforms itself. Further, the company I work for continuously analysis competitor information and market information and strives to take measures that enable it to compete. In my organization the teams of workers are trained regularly in the tasks they are required to perform. For instance, the team that works one stretching process is trained at the same time. Also the CEO takes time to convey the ...

Solution Summary

Strategies for Change is discussed very comprehensively in this explanation..