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Six Essential Collaborative Processes for Building a Learning Organization

In this two-day course we'll focus on designing processes compatible with building a learning organization. We'll explore each of the six areas, consider six different ways any decision can be made, and address process changes that seem most likely to improve efficiency and trust while conveying a message of active working partnerships throughout the organization.

Organizations rely on individual, team, and collaborative methods from their workforce for getting work done. Management and staff are accustomed to individual and team methods, yet relatively new to the skills and processes of collaboration. Effective collaboration enables the development of untapped organizational capacities – cross-pollinating insights, expertise, knowledge, and feedback from people across levels and functions. It is this particular form of social intelligence that gives rise to and maintains a learning organization culture.

Transitioning into a learning organization is incremental. It progresses as key practices and relationships are transformed and more effective methods of learning and producing are developed and applied. Six internal processes have a defining role in expressing corporate values and culture:

  1. Strategic planning,
  2. Information sharing,
  3. Hiring,
  4. Professional development & promotions,
  5. Feedback and evaluation, and
  6. Rewards & recognition.

They are the testing grounds for seeing whether professed learning organizations indeed "walk their talk." Strong and clear messages result from how these processes are conducted – how each is planned, who's included, how and when information is shared, input is handled, decisions are made, and implementation occurs. How they are conducted affects buy-in, community, loyalty among members, and other factors key to quality, efficiency, and productivity. Each offers significant leverage for growing a self-reinforcing learning organization culture. Every decision made need not be made collaboratively. There are situations, when trust has been established and efficiency demands a decision, that non-collaborative methods of action are appropriate.

Who should attend? Although this course can be conducted with managers alone, who traditionally have controlled these six processes, it would be richer by involving non-management employees from diverse levels and functions within an organization. This non-traditional involvement would provide a working model of collaborative learning, enabling managers and staff to benefit from the unique experiences and productivity culled from collaborative work.

Special Features:

  • A collaborative course process as a model for experiencing, building and applying collaborative skills
  • A model for collaboration, a proven method that is simple and comprehensive
  • Five assumptions distinguishing collaborative from top-down processes
  • Four bottom-line reasons for building and sustaining collaborative relationships
  • Five critical questions to ask yourself before moving forward with a plan or decision
  • Practical and easy steps for improving the quality of project outcomes and buy-in
  • A framework for assessing short, intermediate, and long range trade-offs when considering whether or not to collaborate
  • How to re-align and integrate the governing forces of organizations and individuals Group brainstorming for ways to design an infrastructure which generates and sustains a learning organization culture
  • Transforming core processes for building a culture that is highly productive and enjoyable


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