How do you lever change when there is no crisis, but change you must in order to stay ahead?
How can we learn to be more resilient to maintain longevity and sustainable business?
Learning organisations are good at change. They are resilient and antifragile – that is that, like some biological systems, they get stronger when shocked by disorder and environmental change. More importantly they are good at change when there is no burning platform to drive change as a necessity, thus they stay ahead of the pack. They don’t just learn as a bunch of individuals. They learn in teams, across teams and across the whole enterprise and beyond. Here’s 9 ideas to enhance your abilities to learn individually and collectively in your enterprise.
1. Develop the habit of asking staff to share one thing they learnt on a weekly basis, whether it’s work related or not.
2. Spend 5 minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what has happened, both successes and failures and planning to use the insights for the future.
3. Encourage people to learn outside of their immediate professional discipline, e.g. by reading a book, working with others, taking a course. I did this for many years whilst working as an MBA tutor, taking courses in child development, systemic thinking, classical music and design thinking. It really pays dividends.
4. If any member of your team attends an event, training programme or other activity, ensure they offer the team a digest of what they learned, why it’s relevant and how they learned it at one of your face to face meetings.
5. Rotate team members from time to time based on their passions and curiosities. Rotation without passion is not the same thing at all.
6. Hire misfits to ensure the team has genuine diversity. Invite competitors into your enterprise to keep yourself alive, alert and nimble.
7. Allow people bootlegging time as per 3M et al. to pursue innovative enterprises.
8. Develop intrapreneurship as per the examples of Roche, Sony. Read our article for Virgin.com on the topic for more details.
9. Flatten the enterprise so that it works better horizontally.
For more on learning, individually, collectively and at organisation level, check out “Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise” at Bloomsbury.