!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Questions to Promote Organizational Learning

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Questions to Promote Organizational Learning

For an upcoming project, I'm reading The Managerial Moment of Truth: The Essential Step in Helping People Improve Performance, by Bruce Bodaken, CEO of Blue Shield of California, and consultant Robert Fritz.

The main point of the book — a point well-taken — is that for people in an organization to perform well, they must be committed to dealing with reality. They must be willing to speak the truth to each other, even when the truth is not very pretty, and they must be willing to work together to explore what is true and to learn from what they discover about how any particular situation has developed.

For the moment, I'd like to call attention to a piece of advice Bodaken and Fritz offer in their final chapter, which consists of a small collection of rules of thumb. One of the rules is that people in an organization should use "managerial moments of truth" (MMOT) to help develop the organization's core competencies.

This MMOT process begins by acknowledging the truth, then analyzing how it got to be that way, creating an action plan for improvement, and establishing a feedback system so that adjustments in the action plan can be made if and when needed.

Of particular interest to me is the checklist of questions Bodaken and Fritz provide for assessing how well learning is occurring at the organizational level. These six questions are:
  • What are we learning?

  • How are we learning?

  • How are we establishing this learning relationship?

  • What generalized principles can we learn and then apply elsewhere?

  • How can we spread this learning to others?

  • How can we be more efficient at identifying learning moments and capitalizing on them?
The idea is to use these questions to identify any steps necessary to broaden, deepen, and accelerate the learning that enables the organization to build desired competencies.