The Learning-Organization Transformation


The Learning-Organization Transformation

The following chapters present a ten-step process for converting your company, any company, into a learning organization. Whether yours is a Fortune 1000 company or a mom-and-pop shop, this process will teach you how to link your learning to the business. It outlines every action necessary to renovate bloated, disjointed , hierarchical training systems into streamlined, flexible, performance-based, culturally focused learning organizations. By following these steps, you can guarantee your competitive advantage in an economy that values knowledge over everything else.

Skeptical? That's understandable, but not only does this book lay out the process, it shows in detail how it worked to transform Rockwell Collins. We chose Rockwell Collins as our primary example because it is a conservative, change-averse company with a history of cynicism toward new ideas and a highly cautious approach to transformation. Even under those circumstances, the impact of this learning-organization process has been unparalleled. Within three years of implementing our strategic plan at Rockwell Collins, we saved the company $23 million on training expenditures while expanding its training offerings by 400 percent . If we can make this happen at Rockwell Collins using this process, it can be done at any company regardless of the size , culture, or industry.

A major reason for the success of our implementation was our converting a largely classroom-based environment to one that used technology-delivered courses, but at the core of the process, the reason it was so wildly successfully, was our transformation of the learning culture. We tore down old wasteful systems and replaced them with structured, front-end-focused processes, which guaranteed that every training course offered was directly linked to a business result.

The strategic plan we implemented changed the way Rockwell Collins's employees looked at training, it changed management attitude, and it created a new culture in which learning is a critical component of the business process.

As you read through the recommended steps in our ten-step process, keep in mind that while they are critical on their own, they are not linear events. Many of these steps must be approached simultaneously in order for the process to work. While you are researching your culture, you must also be looking for leaders and evaluating the latest tools and technology available to the training industry.

Read through the entire process before you begin your transformation, or you may waste valuable time focusing your efforts on a single goal when many things could have been accomplished.

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TEN STEPS TO BECOMING A LEARNING ORGANIZATION
  1. Understand the business.

  2. Conduct the organizational assessment.

  3. Define your core objectives.

  4. Plan your strategy.

  5. Select your vendors .

  6. Build the business case.

  7. Take the show on the road.

  8. Implement.

  9. Assess and modify.

  10. Celebrate your success.

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With the guidance provided in the following chapters, you will be able to make the same profound changes in your organization that we accomplished at Rockwell Collins. You will learn how to evaluate your current culture, pinpoint key objectives, and write a compelling business plan that will cause your leaders to pay close attention to you. Ultimately, if you follow the steps we've laid out, you have the potential to save millions of dollars, restructure the cultural attitude toward learning, vastly improve the quality of your training system, and guarantee your department's standing as an asset to the organization.