LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS & It’s not the size of a megachurch that matters, but how quickly it learns.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Formerly it was how big you are. But for today’s organizations it is how fast you “learn.” See this Harvard Business Review article that reminds us it’s not the scalability of mega-churches, but rather the ability of organizations to learn and innovate as conditions change that make healthy organizations.

The New Organization Model: Learning at Scale

by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, MARCH 11, 2009.

In recent posts we’ve described a massive institutional transformation that will occur as part of the big shift: the move from institutions designed for scalable efficiency to institutions designed for scalable learning. The core questions we all need to address are: who will drive this transformation? Who will be the agents of change? Will it be institutional leaders from above or individuals from below and from the outside of our current institutions?

Used to be institutional leaders were the only ones who could change institutions. Why? Because, in an era of scalable efficiency, both work and consumption had to be standardized. It was impossible to get the necessary scale effects otherwise. Standardizing them required a top-down approach. Strong institutional leaders were necessary to mold individuals into two primary roles: customers that consumed products pushed to them on fixed schedules and employees who performed repetitive tasks from nine to five.

Now we have a new infrastructure, a digital infrastructure creating near-constant disruption. By freeing people to interact and collaborate with others outside of traditional hierarchical organizations, by reducing information asymmetries between producers of goods and services and those who buy them, by democratizing control over communications and media–in these and other ways our digital infrastructure is granting new autonomy and freedom to individuals, both as consumers and as employees. (For more about this see The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler.) As a result, individuals wield new influence with and power over the institutions with which they interrelate.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2009/03/can-your-company-scale-its-lea.html