Learning Organisations in International Development; the OLSET way

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Ellerman (1999) suggest that International Development (ID) projects i.e. applying Organizational Learning (OL) at a whole country in any of its three sectors, public, private and/or NGOs, has a lot to learn from corporate examples of Learning Organisations. 

Corporate examples however, as Smith Milway and Saxton inform us in 2011, have suffered to become Learning Organisations, with very few exceptions confirming the rule. The authors point out that even though OL is increasingly popular among leaders of all sectors, they all face the problem of how to operationalise it i.e. how to practically apply it and seize its value. 

Specifically, the authors identify three major gaps: operationalisation of learning goals, operationalisation of learning incentives and operationalisation of the rest of the OL function of the organisation. To summarise, they suggest, like hundreds of scientific articles, that OL’s operationalisation is the second most referenced gap in the field’s literature (Theiopoulou, 2012). 

This gap in the literature translates into a very real gap in the market: a way to become a Learning Organisation regardless of size, market or level of experience in OL employees have has been missing. This gap in the market becomes a significant problem when it comes to ID projects which by definition are large scale applications. 

Really, how is it possible to transform the whole public sector of a country into a Learning Organisation? In OLSET Ltd., we invested 15 years of scientific research done by top professionals of the field like sustainability pioneer Prof. Nigel Roome,  and two years of innovative programming from our technology team in order to answer this exact question. 

This investment and team-effort resulted in demystifying OL. I.e. we found OL’s mathematical equation, which we were then able to follow into standardising and automating a turn-key Learning Organisation at reasonable cost of time and money. 

According to the equation, OL = (individual learning + a System of Sharing learning and knowledge + and Organizational Memory System) x Values or Strategy. 

From this equation we automated the System of Sharing Learning and Knowledge as well as the multiplying factor of the Values or Strategy if you prefer. This was enough to provide to the community of ID a way to apply the Learning Organisation ideal at large scale applications. We keep working on automating an Organizational Memory System. 

You can see for yourself how easy it is to use the OLSET software and transform into a Learning Organisation, by self-registering to a free single-user account, even though we are talking about making use of the cutting edge Systems Thinking tools which until now were accessible only through facilitation from few inspired practitioners of participative leadership. 

The scientific research behind the OLSET software makers it eligible for public organisations to adopt too. At the same time, our extensive testing has resulted in an extremely simplified way to become a Learning Organisation that enables the whole workforce to participate and be aligned to a shared vision as Senge suggest to be necessary. 

Contact us to learn more.