We all have different reasons and agendas for engaging in an enterprise, be it social, economic/business or politics. In this issue, my focus will be on the influence of learning on organisational performance.
Learning is very important to Corporate survival whether it is an SME or Multi-National Organisation. To achieve its objective, it must cut across all levels of the organisation; how this learning takes place is a matter for the organisation and institutions of learning. For the School of Management & Research, practice-led approach offers myriads of opportunities which most traditional approaches hardly offers.
Learning empowers and motivates [aspiring] managers because it brings returns on investment (ROI) when learners are equipped to focus on internal and external challenges to the organisation. It equips one to ask the right questions to deal with any challenging issue.
Undoubtedly, the most powerful learning is from experience. There are many managers and professionals who have achieved this feat in their practice over the years. This experience need to be harnessed in an organised way to benefit others in the organisation or business. This is important because the
corporate community can be a complex environment to inhabit in the real world. It is an environment full of complex messages, politics, conflicts
and challenges that are competing for attention and answers which are not readily available.
Harnessing resources from both internal and external environment as solution-focused exemplars will assist the learner and open doors to finding and implementing solutions to challenges in an organisational environment .
Line Managers and executives may know the challenges around them but the question is, are those problems and issues in line with organisational objectives, or how equipped are they to make smart changes? It requires an informed management to bring about that change in an organised manner that will not lead to further disruption in the organisation.
Through practice-led knowledge sharing, individuals and the organisations can tackle challenges in the workplaces. Practice led knowledge does not only create information and knowledge, it builds capacity and capabilities in order to better understand and manage the organisation and its environment. I have no doubt that knowledge can come into the organisation through other channels but the nature and characteristics of practice-led knowledge does have exponential meaning within the context in which it is used compared to learning which isolate knowledge from practice.
Practice-led knowledge from social constructivist perspective is one that, in addition to drawing on first-hand-practice elicit from a wide range of material, including, social and physical circumstances, history and social relation of the people involved. The people involved in this system of learning share a common knowledge structure that helps individuals to take action. It is this collective action that will achieve an organisation’s strategic objective be it achieving product success, customer retention or growth in profit.
A challenge arises, though, and that is managing the changing dynamics of business resulting from new technologies, population growth, globalization, politics and environmental issues such as climate change. This means that organisations and individuals must constantly upgrade themselves and see learning as an inevitable part of the strategic process of the organisation in which they work. After all, the ultimate determinant of Corporate health is its profit and loss.
It is essential that the organisation sees it as a strategic responsibility to keep it afloat. The same is true for individuals whose livelihood depends on the organisation’s survival.