Practical and provocative, this book by one of the world’s experts in management education offers a fresh perspective on the way organizations work.
Bob Garratt proposes a theory of organizations as ‘learning systems’ in which success depends on the ability of managers to become ‘direction-givers’ and on the organization’s capacity for learning continuously.
As well as considering the work of other business thinkers, Garratt employs a wide range of experimental models and graphic illustrations to demonstrate both the stagnation which results from the absence of these skills, and the dramatic effects of their positive implementation.
Fully revised and with a new introduction, The Learning Organization is a seminal work – exciting, informative and a challenge to all directors, management educators and the business community at large.
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This highly useful, readable book has been going strong for 13 years now. The author, who also wrote the catchily titled The Fish Rots from the Head employs colourful language to bash readers' minds into shape.
Garratt's basic presumption is "that organisations can only be effective and efficient if there is conscious and continuous learning between three distinct groups--the leaders who direct the enterprise, the staff who deliver the product or services and the customer". He claims that large and disparate companies such as BP Amoco, GE, Xerox, and Harley Davidson, have adopted practices to make them "learning organisations". Like a shark which must constantly swim to survive, an organisation must constantly be on the look out for new ideas. The Board of Directors must initiate practices which reward good learning and growth for the company.
According to Garratt there are three types of learning: "policy", which refers to "organisational effectiveness"--how well the company's activity is perceived by its customers; "operational" which refers to how well the company performs its activity; and finally, "strategic" which refers to understanding how and why organisational failures occur. The Learning Organisation cautions managers in drives for efficiency that they will "downsize, then right size, and finally capsize". Having convinced us that organisational learning matters, Garratt sets out the organisational pre-conditions to make it happen before finally explaining some nitty-gritty details about concrete steps a company can employ. --Bruce McWilliamsReview:
Praise for The Fish Rots from the Head: ‘No director can afford to ignore this book’ Sir Adrian Cadbury; ‘An important contribution to the corporate governance debate and clear and intelligent advice on how to improve the performance of a board’ Tim Melville-Ross, Institute of Directors, London. Praise for The Learning Organization: ‘I read it with great interest and profit’ Professor Charles Handy.
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Book Description HarperCollins Business, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006530532