At , you wrote:
>In your assessment of corporations as learning organizations, has anyone
>established separate mental models for corporations depending upon
>Size(large or small); purpose (business, education, profit, non-profit);
>presence (multinational or in-country, national or local/regional), etc.
>For example, a medium size retailer has a different set of mental models
>than a large university. Yet, in a general sense, both are organizations,
>and both could be in the process of becoming a "Learning Organization."
>Additionally, my corporation, AT&T has a different set of mental models
>than our forum host, Innovation Associates.
>Are their distinguishing similarities and differences?
>Do other large multinational, global corporations (such as Royal Dutch
>Shell) have similar models to AT&T?
>As I begin this thread another thought comes to mind...Are corporations
>DIFFERENT ENTITIES from "organizations" yet put into the "mental space"
>because of similarities? (If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it
>must be a duck!!)
An interesting question, and one which I am trying to grapple with in
Mobil Oil in Australia.
In our organisation we have several business units which, it would appear,
call for quite different cultures to be successful (one focussed on
minimum cost, the other on maximising value added to the customer).
If the organisation accepts that success in different parts of the
business is associated with different cultures, what are the implications
for learning in different parts of the business?
My initial conclusions are that for the minimum expense part of the
business are fairly regimented learning regime is called for, with the
organisation dictating the competencies and skills required and the
appropriate means by which they may be developed. For the value adding
part of the business a more liberal approach to a learning organisation is
The medium to long term effects of this are not yet clear. What is clear
is that divergent cultures are not only inevitable in this organisation,
they are desirable if it is to achieve overall success.
I would be interested in others views on the implications of this for a
-- Ed Cooley <email@example.com>