1. They are better at creating, acquiring, interpreting, transferring, and retaining knowledge.
2. They not only have the knowledge, but they also know what to do with it.
They, as an organization, know how to modify their behavior based on the new knowledge acquired. And they can do that very quickly.
3. They are capable of generating more ideas than you are.
And they are also able to move these ideas throughout the organization, without losing their initial meaning, and without impacting the overall vision of the organization.
4. They use the new ideas to take action.
5. They have put in place a learning environment that allows room for creativity and experimentation.
6. Learning is happening at all the levels of their organization.
7. They understand that a learning environment is a “psychologically safe” environment.
We are talking about an environment where asking questions, admitting mistakes, discussing wild ideas, trying new things is not only tolerated, but also encouraged.
8. They know that a learning environment is not about “being nice”.
A learning environment is about respecting the people and talking honestly about what works and what doesn’t.
9. They have understood the “secret”.
The rate at which a company learns may soon become the only competitive advantage.
10. They know that if they learn more rapidly than the competition they can get ahead.
11. They have put in place learning processes.
A learning process needs to allow experimenting, sharing new knowledge, and sharing what has been learned. In other words: they know how to respond to new knowledge and to reflect on what went wrong.
12. They are not bureaucratic about their learning processes.
Their processes are as simple as an AAR (After Action Review): what was the objective, what really happened, why there was a gap between the initial goal and the reality, and what to do next in terms of what activities to keep and what activities to improve.
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