Learning Organization: The First Dimension of Continuous Learning Culture

Our previous blog post was an overview of the SAFe core competency Continuous Learning Culture. We learned that the three key dimensions of a continuous learning culture are a learning organization, relentless improvement and an innovation culture.

We also learned that these dimensions are not independent of each other, but rather they are intertwined and mutually reinforcing. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the first dimension: Learning Organization.

Dimension 1: Learning Organization

As mentioned in a former article, a learning organization is one that has developed the ability to continuously learn, adapt, and change. This ability comes from the development of certain skills and capabilities, which can be summarized into five key areas:


  • Shared vision: A shared vision is essential for aligning the efforts of individuals and teams towards a common goal. Without a shared vision, it is difficult to create a learning organization because there is no unifying purpose that everyone can rally behind.

  • Systems thinking: Systems thinking is the ability to see the big picture and understand how the various parts of a system interact with each other. It is essential for understanding how changes in one area can impact other areas.

  • Mental models: Mental models are the beliefs, assumptions, and values that we hold about the world. They shape our perceptions and affect our decision-making.

  • Team learning: Team learning is the ability of a team to work together effectively to solve problems and make decisions. It requires open communication, trust, and respect for each member of the team.

  • Personal mastery: Personal mastery is the ability to continuously learn and grow as an individual. It requires a commitment to lifelong learning and a willingness to challenge your own assumptions and beliefs.

With this in mind, it’s important to step back and ask yourself: How well does my organization foster these five key areas? Do we have a shared vision that everyone can rally behind? Do we encourage systems thinking? Do we value lifelong learning and personal mastery? Rather than overwhelming yourself with these questions, it is helpful to absorb illustrative examples of what a learning organization looks like in practice:

Example 1: How a Learning Organization Encourages Systems Thinking

An organization that encourages systems thinking would be one that is constantly looking for ways to improve its processes and procedures. It would be proactive in identifying potential problems and addressing them before they cause any major disruptions.

Example 2: How a Learning Organization Encourages Team Learning

An organization that encourages team learning would be one that provides its employees with opportunities to work on cross-functional teams. It would also foster an environment of open communication and trust, where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and suggestions.

Example 3: How a Learning Organization Encourages Personal Mastery

An organization that encourages personal mastery would be one that provides its employees with opportunities for professional development and growth. It would also encourage them to challenge their assumptions and beliefs, and to seek out new knowledge.

These are just a few examples of what a learning organization looks like in practice. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but by continuously learning and adapting, organizations can develop the necessary skills and capabilities to become a learning organization.

At Agileseventeen, we are committed to helping our clients develop a continuous learning culture. We believe that this is essential for building a successful in today’s constantly changing world.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us: talkagile@agileseventeen.com