Re: "Learning-ful reengineering" project

Hilary Farris (
Thu, 22 Dec 94 18:23:40 PST

One way to ensure that knowledge and learning is passed on would be for
organizations and consultants to take more of a behavioral science
approach to the design and facilitation of learning organizations.

Measurement and evaluation of learning strategies within a learning
organization should be as important as the heralded learning facilitation.
To become more of a learning organization, the organization must VALUE the
ONGOING measurement and evaluation of the implementation and
institutionalization of organizational learning strategies, the systemic
transformation, and the soft and hard products anticipated as a result of
facilitated, systemic learning.

Put differently, if the measurement and evaluation of organizational
learning is not given necessary and sufficient line item support to
continue adding such empirical information to the organization's
knowledge base, there is not much assurance the organization will be
capable of transforming itself into a sustainable, authentic, purposeful,
adaptive system.

My research and consultant experience suggests a behavioral science
approach is needed along with whatever learning facilitation approach is
chosen by the consultant and organization. For example, a consultant
equipped with a logical mix of cognitive, group process, and survey
research methods for measuring the implementation, institutionalization,
and evaluation of learning strategies within a "learning" system can
provide functional scientific explanations as well as structural ones to
help management evaluate the organization's learning progress. "Yardstick"
measures for the evaluation of learning progress should be a product of
this approach.

The same research methods are useful in a behavioral science approach to
the design of better organizational learning (and learning facilitation)
strategies. For example, the methods could be used to identify, measure,
and build on the "natural" organization, group, and individual learning
and systems thinking strategies already in place in the organization.
This R & D methodology should be instituted as part of an ongoing strategy
or function of the learning organization.

In essence, the scientist-consultant approach could inform and equip
management to develop and measure not only a) the organization's learning
potential and adaptive progress, and b) refinements to structure and process,
but also c) refinements of this facilitation approach.


-- Your message was: (from "")
The General Manager for this company wants to be more of a learning
organization, in the sense of taking advantage of what went right or wrong
and passing on this knowledge to subsequent teams. I frankly get a bit
frustrated though because while the case study approach (either done by an
"expert" or done by the team) is a great learning experience for the team or
me, but I'm not convinced it's a learning experience for the "subsequent
teams." How will you ensure that knowledge and learning is passed on?