The Learning Organization is a group that prepares its workers to be ready to anticipate, adapt and change as the situation warrants.
One of the key components of a Learning Organization is a commitment to lifelong learning (Stinson, Pearson, &. Lucas, 2006, p. 309). The rapid pace of change in technology, medicine, and education demands that a successful organization places value on learning and makes adequate time for it to take place. Placing learning at the forefront of an organization’s priorities characterizes it as a Learning Organization. At Booz Allen, a strategy consulting firm, they have a program called Discover Booz Allen. Senior executives have informal chats with junior colleagues on management techniques and insights into career success throughout a yearlong immersion process (Holistic approach to learning, 2006, p. 28). According to Stinson et al. (2006) to facilitate this type of learning, "[…] learning time must be protected" (p. 311). This commitment to learning creates an atmosphere for the successful Learning Organization to cultivate the key disciplines that are at the heart of the philosophy.
The Learning Organization revolves around the principles of not just what we learn, but how we learn. To motivate people to learn in this new environment, the needs of the organization need to be kept central to the process. A common shared vision among all members is the ability to envision a mutual goal that provides the framework, force, and energy for all learning to take place (Kezar, 2005, p.12). This vision is not a strategic plan or management mission statement. It is a vision that is created by the mutual understanding of all the members of the group and contributes to the picture of the future of the organization (Giesecke &. McNeil, 2004, p. 58). In this way, each individual member of the group will be able to incorporate the vision into their daily activities.
When there is a common view of the future and a mutual understanding of .the purpose of the organization, learning can begin to take place. Though learning takes place at the individual level, it is team learning that is most effective. According to Senge (1990), ‘Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. . . unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn" (as cited in Stinson et al., 2006, p. 311).