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Learning and Organisational Style. A presentation by Francis Sathya International Human Resource Conference organised by People in Aid Geneva, 07 February 2007. Highlights. Focus on Organisational Learning in relief and development NGOs. Learning and its importance

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learning and organisational style

Learning and Organisational Style

A presentation by Francis Sathya

International Human Resource Conference organised by People in Aid

Geneva, 07 February 2007

highlights
Highlights
  • Focus on Organisational Learning in relief and development NGOs.
  • Learning and its importance
  • Organisational Learning concepts
  • Organisational Learning practice in NGOs
  • Suggestions and questions
what have we lost
What have we lost?

“Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

- T.S. Eliot, ‘The Rock’

learning and practice
Learning and Practice

கற்க கசடறக் கற்பவை கற்றபின்நிற்க அதற்குத் தக.

-Thirukkural, Verse: 391(100 – 300 BCE)

questions from people in aid
Questions from People in Aid
  • Is your organisation ready for changes brought about by globalisation?
  • Do you feel people are central to the achievement of your mission?
learning
Learning
  • Learning is part and parcel of life
  • Learning is key to our very existence and progress.
  • Three streams of learning: Informal, Formal and non-formal.
  • All knowledge systems carry a number of values and biases.
ol lo km
OL-LO-KM

Organisational Learning

The process of developing new knowledge that changes an organisation's behaviour to improve current and future performance.

ol lo km8
OL-LO-KM

Learning Organisation

  • Learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. (Senge 1990)
  • Learning organizations are characterized by total employee involvement in a process of collaboratively conducted, collectively accountable change directed towards shared values or principles. (Watkins and Marsick 1992)
ol lo km9
OL-LO-KM

Knowledge Management

The process by which the knowledge required by an organisation is acquired, distilled, shared, stored, retrieved and used.

organisational learning
Organisational Learning
  • 1990s: Neo-liberalism, NGO respectability, Official funding, ICT, etc.
  • NGOs’ concerns about lack of organisational memory, donor demands, gap between M&E and planning.
  • NGO awareness of the concepts of OL and LO – mid to late 1990s.
  • Turning to KM by the end of 1990s
slide11

Market

Government

Donors

  • NGOs
  • Survival
  • Growth
  • Service

The Poor

ol in practice
OL in Practice
  • NGOs are a diverse group of organisations
  • Operate in a rapidly changing and challenging environment.
  • New and emerging challenges force NGOs take OL seriously.
  • Depending on their primary role, leadership, sources of funding and the nature of partnership, NGOs view OL as a crime or an essential process.
  • Most NGOs are dominated by middle and upper-middle class professionals from urban background.
  • Therefore, OL in NGOs may reflect middle class values and biases.
  • With the exception of NGOs mainstreaming citizen's empowerment and human rights, most NGOs are stuck in single loop or incremental learning. Reframing and transformational learning are limited or rare.
making ol effective in ngos
Making OL effective in NGOs
  • NGO leadership committed and accountable to the poor and excluded.
  • Aligning principles with practice
  • Valuing and promoting bottom-up learning
  • Developing and sustaining a culture supportive of learning.
  • Avoiding uncritical importation of management techniques from other sectors.
  • Promoting non-Western understandings of development, management and cultural practices.
questions
Questions
  • What kind of leadership/management is desirable for OL?
  • What are some of the common barriers to OL in NGOs?
  • How to overcome them?