In previous blogs discuss what leadership styles motivate and manage changes while they envision the organisation’s objectives. Today’s blog reflects the natural relationship between Leadership and Learning organisation. It refers to the leadership qualities required to promote and encourage ideal learning, creativity, and another atmosphere. The Learning Organization, according to Peter Senge (1990), is dependent on mastery of five dimensions
He describes the organisation as a complex system. One must comprehend how such systems link to the organisation’s complexity to maintain a long-term emphasis. Individuals aspire to improve their vision and concentrate their efforts while continuing to learn. At the same time, mental models contribute to how we view the world and the difficulties that arise when new concepts and improvements are allowed. Using dialogue, dedication, and passion, creating a shared vision helps to pass on an image of the organisation’s future. Finally, when the team thinks together to accomplish shared goals, team learning improves teamwork.
Leaders in this aspect play an essential role in reshaping the learning organisation. They act more like a ship’s builder than a captain. They establish the policies, strategies, and processes that translate guiding ideas into business decisions, creating a collective vision of shared values and objective. Senge (1990) outlines these positions shed a lot of light on successful Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning criteria..
Organisational Learning is a method of gathering, sharing, and interpreting data to improve an organisation’s efficiency. First, it creates a competitive atmosphere in the workplace that encourages the organisation’s structure to improve over time (Slater and Naver 1995). Second, it promotes employee development and efficiency (Morales et al. 2008). Finally, it makes adjustments to effectively react to internal and external environmental changes while maintaining long-term viability and growth (Chen 2005).
Connecting Leadership and Learning in the public sector, for example, rethinks the intent of schools, the essence of education, and the leadership qualities that make schools natural learning environments (McGrath, 2015). Another study conducts base on an NGOs’ suggests that an NGO’s ability to learn depends on its organisational culture and the development of an internal learning culture. Furthermore, it reveals that creating this learning culture derives primarily from the leadership attitude towards Learning (Hailey and James, 2002).
Reflection on Choudhary and et al. (2013) research shows that leadership style plays a vital role in an organisational learning process example; transformational leadership is better than servant leadership style. Philosophical reflection is drawn to the challenges at hand through transformational leadership. First, it enhances overall efficiency by promoting awareness and creativity (Senge, 1990; Hurley and Huit,1998). Second, it implements strategies by inspiring and influencing followers, encouraging them to perform well, and communicating with and listening to subordinates (Yukl, 2013). In addition, numerous longitudinal studies and statistical findings indicate that both transformational and servant leadership enhance organisational success by mediating organisational Learning (Morale and et al., 2008: McClellan, 2007).
In today’s diverse environment, an effective learning organisation may consider going beyond mere lip service. One of the critical learning and development program initiated by Kellerman Barbara in her book “Professionalising Leadership”, an organisation needs to change and involve in leadership development as it implies that a change more profound than either leadership training or leadership education (Kellerman, 2018).
The challenges of leadership lie in a set of processes at the heart of organisational Learning. The learning process outlines the fundamental steps, including gaining, translating, and applying information, before delving into the critical challenges managers face at each level (Garvin, 2000). For example, the seven crucial challenges with leadership today are failure to communicate, lack of accountability, fear of termination, lack of alignment, lack of clear vision, poor execution, and company culture by default (CEO Coaching International, 2021).
The recent Coronavirus has struck us with a massive shift in our daily lives. It speeds up the change globally. What we are doing now is not what we did a year ago. It needs change and continued learning to drive us to think and behave in facing the challenges, as quoted in Peter Senge’s study, which reiterates the importance of a learning organisation to keep pace with the ongoing changes. It also popularised the learning organisation as an environment where people constantly expand their capacity to achieve desirable outcomes. It promotes a variety of creative and diverse thought processes that allow for the expression of collective aspiration. Being a leader of managing a diverse team comprising different nationalities from ASEAN, I find that the new meta-skill that leaders must develop is learning. Creating a Learning Organisation culture is essential as we navigate ambiguity. It enables us to think and behave more agile, innovative, and resilient in facing the VUCA world.
CEO Coaching International. 2021. Thank You CEO Mistakes eBook – CEO Coaching International. [online] Available at: <https://ceocoachinginternational.com/thank-you-ceo-mistakes> [Accessed 25 April 2021].
Chen, G., 2005. Management Practices and Tools for Enhancing Organizational Learning Capability. SAM. Advanced Management Journal, Volume 70. Issue 1. Pg. 4-35
Choudhary, A., Akhtar, S., and Arshad Zaheer, A., 2013. Impact of Transformational and Servant Leadership on Organisational Performance: A Comparative Analysis. Journal of Business Ethics. Volume 116, Issue 2. Pg. 433- 440.
Garvin, A., 2000. Learning in Action: A Guide to Putting the Learning Organization to Work. Harvard: Harvard Business Review Press
Hailey, J., and James, R., 2002. Learning Leaders: The Key to Learning Organisations. Journal Development in Practice: Volume 12. No. 3/4, Pg. 398-408
Hurley, F, and Huit, T., 1998. Innovation, market orientation, and Organisational Learning: An integration and empirical examination. Journal of Marketing, Volume 62, Pg. 42
Kellerman, B. 2018. Professionalising Leadership. New York: Oxford University Press.
McClellan, L., 2007. The Advisor as Servant: The theoretical and philosophical relevance of servant leadership to academic advising. NACADA Journal. Volume 27. Issue 2. Pg. 41-49
McGrath, F., 2015. Connecting Leadership and Learning, Principles for practice. Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Auckland: New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society.
Morales, V., Montes, F., and Jover, A., 2008. The effects of transformational leadership on organisational performance through knowledge and innovation. British Journal of Management. Volume 79. Pg. 299-319
Senge, M., 1990. The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organisation. New York: Random House.
Slater, F., and Naver, C., 1995. Market orientation and the learning organisation. Journal of Marketing, Volume 59. Issue 3. Pg. 63
Yukl, G., 2013. Leadership in Organization. 8th ed. New York: Pearson.