Scholars confirm that to maintain a successful place in today’s global market, there is a need for organizations to be flexible and as a result, today’s CEOs are learning to make necessary adaptations in order to achieve their goals. In addition, because leaders are being bombarded by enormous amounts of external pressure to survive, they have come to understand that learning is the key to their long-term survival and growth. Research indicates that executives are devoting more time to educating their staff and transforming their companies into learning organizations in order to keep up with the expanding global marketplace. In other words, they are actively seeking opportunities for learning and create an environment with events and activities that support the learning process (Garvin, 2000).
In addition, effective executives acknowledge that their actions create their reality. If they want to see a different reality, they must learn to take measures that employ efficient strategies. This includes plans that are designed with specific goals to achieve the outcomes they envision. Successful leaders in today’s global marketplace are the ones that tackle organizational learning disabilities because they pose a threat to the company’s productivity. By adopting strategies that support a learning organization, executives are setting up an environment that nurtures new and expansive patterns of thinking, where collective aspiration thrives and people work together on learning how to produce the results they desire. Leaders that have the flexibility to move their organizations toward a learning paradigm know how to ignite and reignite that spark of genuine learning because it helps drive individuals to focus on what really matters. Strong leaders are capable of bridging teamwork into macro-creativity and create a climate that is free of confining assumptions and mindsets (Senge, 2006).
People learn faster when they put their knowledge into action solving problems. Marquardt et al. (2009) refer to this as action learning. The emphasis on learning is what makes this process strategic rather than tactical in equipping leaders to respond to change more effectively. Simply translated it is the dynamic process that involves a small group of people working together to solve real organizational problems, while focusing on how their learning can benefit individuals, groups, and the organization as a whole (Marquardt, Skipton, Freedman, & Hill, 2009). I believe successful leaders in today’s organizations must have the flexibility to move their institutions toward a learning paradigm, by applying superior active listening and developing skills that will improve individual, team, and organizational performances. In conclusion, leaders that are flexible and adapt a learning paradigm will most likely outlast those that are too rigid and resistant to change.
Garvin, D. (2000). Learning in action: A guide to putting the learning organization to work. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Marquardt, M., Skipton, L., Freedman, A., & Hill, C. (2009). Action learning for developing leaders and organizations: Principles, strategies and cases. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday Publishing.