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?

Network for Learning Why use a network for learning? There are two main reasons for thinking about using a network to help with learning: • Need to learn – to upgrade knowledge and competency in some aspect of our business and • Learning – acquiring this competency – is often difficult when working alone So before we go any further, let’s briefly explore each of these. 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? Your submission should be a minimum of 2-3 paragraphs, include at least one reference other than the textbook and use APA format for references. Tidd, J. & Bessant, J. (2009). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change. (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

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