This is a summary from a book called Learn or die Using Science to Build a Leading-edge Learning Organization.
This book is amazing but has lots and lots to read and digest. Here are some key points to take note off.
These days startups grow so fast but also die very fast. Businesses must learn to adapt and evolve especially during crisis like the corona virus 2020. Due to everything moving towards e-commerce 10 times faster than normal, if you don’t catch up now, you will be left behind. The best and proven way to catch up is by learning. Not only learning for yourself, but your entire organisation has to adapt to learning techniques and methods for quick growth.
The first thing to realise is that in order to grow fast you will need to learn fast. By learning what we mean is research, testing and implementation. From the implementation you must make it a point to identify the learning curves and what went wrong. Sara Bakley CEO of spanks, has many books of her own just writing her key lessons learnt.
UPS a leading courier service till date has used many learning techniques to keep growing from a traditional company which didn’t use much technology to today where technology is the backbone of the company.
With that lets explore what needs to be done for your organisation to be a learning organisation which can adapt to changes quickly.
- Leader is key.
The leader first has to encourage taking risks . With a risk allowing company, you can learn quickly. When you take risks, you allow yourself to try different things to see what works and what doesn’t. This is the beauty of AB tests, whereby you try different methods and learn very quickly through a small sample which method works better. However you must be able to loose some in order to gain the bigger part.
For this to work you will have to consistently inform your employees that its okay to try new things, and this even means loosing some cash. For example, loose Rm1000 if u need to try something, but don’t do something so crazy that you loose millions. Take calculated risks by going thinking out the entire process and then using data to see which might actually work.
- Mistakes must be acknowledged.
Once the first is done, then you must acknowledge the mistakes done and write it in your companies handbooks according to the department. For this to be done by your staff, you yourself as a leader need to bring down your ego, accept your mistake and be willing to talk about it. A role model has to do it first in order for others to follow.
To add to this, during your weekly meeting make sure to present this so that everyone else can learn from it. This is the key, not only now nobody else will make the same mistake again, saving the company money, but also your employees will feel safe to make mistakes and share it along.
- Never dislike a mistake by your employees.
This is the most important, it requires yourself to keep note of this. When your employees come to you with an idea or has told you about a mistake they made, do NOT EVER tell them its not good or scold them for it. You do it once, and they will never again try something new. The fear will born into them and psychologically itll keep preventing them the next time to try something else.
Even if you do not like the mistake and feel angry about it, you as a leader need to accept it and only encourage them. You may ask them why did you do this method but thats it. If they themselves admit to you then its good, but if they don’t then just let it be and move on from it. This is crucial, by this they will feel empowered and keep trying.
In Conclusion , a growing learning organization needs to start with a mindset of improvisation and the leaders must empower their employees to keep learning, as a company can only grow faster as a team and not alone. With that, lets hope all Asian businesses can keep growing by learning better and faster.