Establishing a learning culture in the organization is not just about learning it is about creating an environment of open-mindedness and sharing. Learning culture stemmed from organizational leadership studies from the 1990s and 2000s and is now resurfacing in organizations, especially as the pandemic forced many organizations to pivot quickly (Learning Insights, 2018). By the name, one would think that creating a learning culture has to do with creating more learning opportunities via formal courses. However, it involves creating a culture that can take information from the outside and turn it into actions with the organization, keyword ACTION. It is not about learning for the sake of learning but learning to take bold action. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) defines learning culture as “a collective, dynamic system of basic assumptions, values, and norms which direct the learning of people within an organization.”
According to Nigel Paine on building a learning culture (Learning Insights, 2018), he discusses five ways to create a Learning Culture. Those five steps include staff engagement, technology, autonomy, trust, respect, and space. After digging deeper into the learning culture theory, I was intrigued by how each of these steps plays a role in creating a learning culture, especially staff engagement, technology, and autonomy. Research suggests that a learning culture is one where learning is consistently happening, so engagement, technology, and autonomy are needed for employees. To create a learning culture, leadership needs to reflect on if their organization is ready to adopt a learning culture. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) introduced a model for analyzing learning culture, which includes a series of questions:
Huang (2016) describes e-learning in a learning culture environment and believes that eLearning supports learning at a higher level across the organization by providing flexibility and the ability to reach employees worldwide. As organizations strategize the next steps to grow, pivot, and adapt to changes post-pandemic, it is vital to create a solid learning culture so that employees can thrive in the 21st century, ultimately impacting the bottom line and success of organizations.
Learning Insights (2018, October 26). How organizations build a learning culture. [Video] YouTube. https://youtu.be/yOCEoaf_tTA
van Breda-Verduijn, H., & Heijboer, M. (2016). Learning culture, continuous learning, organizational learning anthropologist. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Yoo, S. J., & Huang, W. D. (2016). Can e‐learning system enhance learning culture in the workplace? A comparison among companies in South Korea. British journal of educational technology, 47(4), 575-591.