Organisational Learning and Development

Linking the reality of frontline practice to strategic planning processes, is arguably the most important development that needs to be promoted throughout the organization if the whole system is to develop and sustain as a competent, learning workplace.

Mike Evans and Alex Chard (2011)

We offer a range of services that can assist you to develop your orgaisation and help to create a culture of organisational learning. We have a deep understanding of how to create organisational learning and have published a range of work on this subject.

Some of the essential building blocks of organisational learning that we promote reflect the need for organisations to:

 Reduce the defensive routines that inhibit learning;

 Enable double loop learning to challenge established norms;

 Promote a co-created learning supportive culture;

 Create dialogue on complex organisational challenges;

 Develop the role of managers as team coaches;

 Create reflective space for managers and staff;

 Provide reflective and challenging supervision;

 Meet the varied learning needs of staff;

 Recognise that the needs of novices and experts differ.

Creating organisational learning, or indeed a learning organisation is an ongoing organisational responsibility. Detailed below are some of the ways that we work to assist you to develop and create organisational learning.

We are also accomplished at working with management teams assisting them to work more effectively together creating greater cohesion and alignment on organisational objectives. We also work with strategic management boards helping to create common understanding of purpose creating the conditions for pan-organisational alignment and inter-organisational learning.

Strategic Boards

We have developed and applied an inclusive process to assist strategic boards to review their role and function. This process includes:

 Surveying the views of key partners on the effectiveness of the board;

 Interviews with key partners on the effectiveness of the board and their views on the future role and required structures;

 Development sessions, agreeing purpose and future vision;

 A written report on the agreements around future development of the board.

We have also assisted in a review of the relationship between a Childrens’s Trust and the local LSCB. This process could also be applied to assist in clarifying the roles between the LSCB and Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Management Development

Delivery of excellent practice requires cohesive and supportive management. We have extensive experience in working with management teams in order to assist them to re-appraise their services and work together to deliver excellence. Our management development services are highly regarded and have been described as transformational. Theoretical frameworks we draw upon include:

 Concepts from the learning organisation related to personal mastery, team learning and managing organisational dialogue;

 Using Appreciative Inquiry to develop collective organisational vision and promote strengths;

 The view of organisations as socially constructed entities, creating opportunities to create joint meaning, leading to rapid change;

 Using critical reflection to develop and enhance team and individual practice and promote double loop learning.

Our management development programmes will usually include aspects of team development. Where needed we can work with complex or challenging management team dynamics that are impeding performance and creativity. We can also coach or mentor individual managers to enhance their effectiveness.

Management development programmes are of varying length depending on service needs. These range from a single day to an ongoing development programme. If you are interested in enhancing the collective abilities within the management of your service, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Reviewing Supervision Systems

Supervision is often a neglected process, however, within a learning organisation supervision is a key part of the process of individual and organisational learning. It is one of the places where managers can reinforce the practice wisdom of the workforce but importantly use the processes to harvest tacit knowledge about the effectiveness and realities of practice.

We have assisted in reviewing supervision and accountability processes and the processes for management oversight of professional practice. This led to a re-orientation of supervision from an audit based approach to a more reflective model of supervision.

Systemic approaches we promote include reflexivity; considering their position as supervisor and in the moment of supervision having awareness of the impact of supervision on the supervisee and on themselves. Outcomes from such work include:

A common understanding across management teams of purpose and process of supervision;

Enhanced ability within management teams to effectively supervise;

Promotion of reflexive practice;

Agreed format/process for supervision;

Agreed recording framework;

Enhanced quality of supervision;

Agreed processes to link supervision to strategic organisational learning.

If required this can include assisting services to review or develop supervision policies and procedures.

Learning Needs Analysis

Do you need to revise your training and learning strategy, reduce costs and focus organisational learning on your service objectives? We have developed and applied a comprehensive skills based system to analyse the learning needs of services. The process we have developed:

 Establishes the learning needs of all the individual members of staff;

 Provides each staff member with an outline of their own learning needs;

 Locates these learning needs within your overall service objectives;

 Provides a report on the learning needs of the team or service to inform your future learning strategy.

We have modules covering both administrative staff, team members and managers. We can also extend this service and manage your organisational development strategy and training and learning programme.

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