Art image On Fifth avenue by Nanna Hänninen

Blog 12: Organizations need to create learning culture processes to succeed

We are all familiar with the traditional model of organizing work – a specific task for each person. But in today’s world that doesn’t work anymore. Tasks are changing and becoming more complex. We need to keep up with the development by learning continuously.

An expert used to get a specific and quite narrow education. That qualified for an expert role and status. But as the world is getting more complicated, the expert role, too, is changing. Now you need to keep learning, adapting your current knowledge and sharing it. This turns expertise a shared component to a company’s knowledge pool. It also means expertise lives no longer a personal asset but rather a social skill that you share.

Changing roles require an agile company culture, that supports learning. Start-ups are perfect examples of how a company can change and adapt their business according to new information. Traditional companies and organizations still struggle with this. Sure, employees are sent to courses and workshops, but the new knowledge they learn doesn’t adapt to old routines at the workplace. This is a notorious phenomenon even amongst the best – Finnish teachers, says Olli-Pekka Heinonen, director-general of the Finnish National Agency for Education, in his interview in Chydenius-magazine.

Learning culture processes help organization to become more self-managing 

So how do we make sure courses and workshops actually bring new ideas and practices into daily work? Heinonen says organizations need to create learning culture processes, where learning happens in an organization and with the organization. This creates a shared understanding of the meaning of work. Establishing joint meaningfulness also needs an open dialogue within teams. If this is achieved the organization becomes self-managing. Or rather co-managing, as Heinonen points out in his interview.

On open dialogue can be hard to achieve and learning processes don’t happen in a day or two. An organization needs determination and open-minded governance that leads the change. And also proper tools that encourage and help learning, dialogue and sharing. Teosto in Finland, for example, has continuous learning in its strategy and has started its own Teosto academy to support leadership and customer-oriented approach. Each participant has personal studies according to their needs and background. Idea is to learn and develop organization as a whole. 

We think artistic methods should be part of every development process. Art can be an inspiration and a great tool to help people share their ideas and thoughts. This is what we see happen at Neemo™ Method workshops repeatedly. With art, it is easy to channel out new ideas and thoughts. It helps us to free our minds from daily challenges, and begin to create and learn something new. When we use artistic methods together we also learn something new, as a group. And that is something that Heinonen thinks is in a key role in the success of an organization in the future. 

Neemo™ Method is a great way to help your organization to start learning together. We use photography and photographic art to create better communication and corporate culture. 

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