In a study published by Bersin & Associates, titled High-Impact Learning Culture: The 40 Best Practices for Creating an Empowered Enterprise, organizations with strong learning cultures are found to be:
– 46% more likely to be strong innovators in their markets
– 34% more likely to get to market before their competitors
– 33% more likely to report higher customer satisfaction rates
– 39% more likely to report success in implementing customer suggestions
– 58% more likely to be successful at developing the skills needed for meeting future customer demand
For our upcoming book on learning agility, Sheri Caldwell and I have done some research of our own. We surveyed organizations of all types across the U.S. We asked, of the four types of learning agility (mental; people; change; and results), what is most critical in your organization today and why? We heard many stories similar to the following.
The CEO of a mid-sized publisher shared with us that he had recently hired a financial executive who was new to their industry and its unique business model. Although he brought a strong mental agility to his position which was very helpful in the financial planning aspects of the role, he was not strong initially in his ability to adapt to different types of people and their skill sets. He couldn’t win his team over to follow his vision of how the financial structure of the publisher should be reorganized because he would dictate and direct rather than invite discussion. Once the financial executive developed listening skills, learned to articulate his reasoning in a way that nonfinancial executives could relate to, and was more flexible in his expectations about organizational structure, he grew a top notch financial team that is leading the company’s change efforts in a dynamic industry. We’ve observed case after case in which employees will buy into a person as leader before they buy into the vision.