Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a seminar with Peter Senge at the World Bank. Here are some of the things he said about KM and organisational learning.
No organisation is a learning organisation, but every organisation must learn or die.
Knowledge is the capacity for effective action
Learning is a process that enhances the learners capacity to produce desirable outcomes.
All learning occurs in a social context.
In any learning process you can be 100% sure that you will fail
Learning is a process of disciplined mistake-making
An environment of safety is crucial to learning
Knowledge Management often (mis)defines knowledge as "know-about", and confuses it with "lots of information". There is no "capacity for effective action" in a database.
Learning (in the Arts) is through the development of theory and method
(To be a learning organisation is to live with the fact that) "we want to be an organisation that recognises its incompetence and stupidity"
There is no learning process without doing something, specifically doing some thing collectively
The working team is the fundamental learning unit
There is no objective truth - everything has a bias
There is no "subjective view" because all views are subjective
All things that are said, are said by someone (and therefore subjective). The only important thing is, does it make us more effective?
The industry that as made the most progress with organisational learning is the software industry, because software development is so complex that nobody can predict an outcome
Organisational learning is about the cultivation of discipline
The quickest way to undermine shared understanding in an organisation is the rapid movement of people
(Peter also praised Oxfam as a learning organisation)