Still another key characteristic is openness to the external environment. The learning organisation is responsive to, is trying to learn, what is going on in the outside world. Learning organisations rely heavily on periodicals, research reports, briefings from key personnel, and talks and seminars by outside experts. Moreover, the members of learning organisations have developed values that emphasize shared vision and systems thinking. A shared vision creates personal commitment. When everyone knows and understands where the organisation is heading, it makes it easier to gain support for the activities that must be performed. This vision is ongoing and demands ongoing effort (Bell, Taylor, and Thorpe, 2002a).
The IIP initiative contributes to the development of learning organisations and to continuous development within learning organisations. The links between the IIP initiative and organisational learning and continuous development are associated with the contributions of the IIP initiative in relation to the following (Duckett, 2002):
Helping organisations to anticipate future problems
Focusing organisations on events in the external environment
Focusing organisations on continuously seeking improvement
Helping organisations to approach problem solving through conceptual analysis and on an organisation-wide basis
Focusing organisations on rewarding initiative and creativity
Encouraging organisations to define jobs so as to foster encourage risk-taking, exploration, initiative and knowledge sharing
An important organisational concept (one which influences the functioning of other organisational concepts) is organisational culture. Culture is a concept that has been borrowed from anthropology and increasingly used in the study of organisations (Bell, Taylor, and Thorpe, 2002b). An organisational culture is the environment of beliefs, customs, knowledge, practices, and the conventional behaviour of a partic...
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