Chapter 1: Step 1 Understand the Business


"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."


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  1. Understand each business unit's strategic goals, challenges, and concerns.

  2. Meet with every business-unit leader to develop key relationships.

  3. Let each business-unit leader know you will be back with a plan to address their needs.

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Behind every great business initiative is a powerful, charismatic, forward-thinking leader who has the authority to make dramatic change happen with the support of management and the acceptance of the employees . Think of Jack Welch at GE or Lee Iaccoca at Chrysler. Both were persuasive, focused leaders who weren't afraid to make initially unpopular decisions for the good of the company and its future. They tore down the existing unruly cultural environments and rebuilt them as lean, united workplaces where change ”and ultimately success ”was possible. Farsighted, incisive, and controversial , these leaders recognized the need for change and were willing to risk challenging the popular opinion.

Becoming a learning organization requires similar drive, ambition , and dedication to purpose. It is difficult to initiate change from within the training department alone because even the most charismatic and business-savvy trainers rarely have the power to significantly affect the decisions made within the company. Trainers require the help and support of executives to champion their cause.

To have any success at all in transforming your organization, you need to secure the support of executive managers who have the authority to draw attention to the initiative and cause change. These executives will become your champions , singing your praises and driving the company to back your efforts. With your help, they will come to understand the power and value of learning and will be willing to commit their time and voices to help you change the way employees gather knowledge and learn.

These leaders will do more than just help you implement a new training program; they will help you develop and put into practice ideas that transcend the company and the industry. Their support will allow an environment to develop where employees are empowered to build upon their knowledge and apply that knowledge directly to the company's business objectives. They give you the power to reinforce the culture change necessary to become a learning organization.

Built to Learn. The Inside Story of How Rockwell Collins Became a True Learning Organization
Built to Learn: The Inside Story of How Rockwell Collins Became a True Learning Organization
ISBN: 0814407722
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 124

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