Learning Organization: Characteristics of the Veterans Health Administration
OMM625 Learning Organizations & Effectiveness
Instructor: Dr. Lisa Smart
March 9, 2013
Organizations struggle to adapt to their environments as a critical survival tactic. Survival involves adapting continuous manner of learning of its members and transforming itself, and therefore referred to as a learning organization. Several characteristics of an ideal learning organization are discussed here, including a shared vision, personal mastery, team learning, mental models, and systems thinking. This process encounters many challenges, which are also explained within the context of ...view middle of the document...
According to Argyris (1999) organizations are expected to keep well versed and aware of what gets around in their outside environment and maintain knowledge of new items and processes. This knowledge and skills will be necessary in producing innovative solutions within the organization. The preparedness for change enticed through organizational learning improves efficiency and optimal performance as part of a lifelong commitment to exceptional quality of work.
Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system serving millions of veterans every year. It has been a target of major transformations aimed at improving efficiency and quality of services and care offered to patients. Some of the characteristics of an ideal learning organization include: Team learning in all organizational processes, activities, functions, and interactions with the environment; Discard of routines and old ways of thinking in undertaking responsibilities and solving problems; A shared vision agreed upon by everyone; open communication with each other both along vertical and horizontal boundaries-without fear of criticism or punishment, amongst others.
Characteristics of an Ideal Learning Organization, Observable Behaviors And Results
1. Internal Training to Attain Personal Mastery
Personal mastery implies an individual commitment to a learning process. The employees of an organization can display a greater competitive advantage if they are more dedicated to personal learning and improvement. The most impacting learning is out of a culture of personal mastery practiced in day-to-day tasks in the organization. This is incidental training, which is deeper and longer lasting than formal training (Wang and Ahmed, 2003). An example of observable personal mastery is where an individual gets to task in handling a bad habit. An undivided focus is necessary, getting out of the normal trends, changing the thinking pattern, and therefore new thinking in all these aspects. This results into a changed attitude and self-awareness. This allows the employee to grow and develop as an individual, which in turn improves the overall success, mission, and vision of the Veterans Administration.
2. Team Learning
It is possible to make use of the on-the-job knowledge to bring a better transformation in the organization. The internal staff can be used to offer lessons in different courses. It is quite effective, and as well lowers the overall cost of training. This is an attractive approach to management effected through team or shared learning. It is made possible through use of the accumulated individual learning. A learning organization should have structures in charge of facilitation of team learning. Such structures are capable of addressing a need for boundary crossing and openness. Knowledge management structures ought to be excellent enough and make it possible to create, acquiesce, disseminate, and implement this knowledge in the organization....