I co-presented a session workshop – “Becoming a Learning Organization” – with Brian Talcott of the Center for Civic Partnerships (CCP) at The California Wellness Foundation’s (TCWF) conference on Organizational Learning and Evaluation in San Francisco last week.
Brian and I worked together when Exhale received TCWF-funded technical assistance from CCP back in 2006 and 2007. With their support, Exhale was able to ratchet-up our evaluation practices and by working with top-notch evaluation experts, we began to consider methods and tools to measure Exhale’s impact on our culture change goals.
One of the many gifts we received through the program was learning that Exhale was, and always has been, a Learning Organization. Here’s the theory:
According to LFA Group, a Learning Organization “uses evaluation as a fundamental strategy for gathering information for reflection, learning and growth in order to drive internal improvement.”
Michael O’Brien, an organizational consultant says that Learning Organizations “weave a continuous and enhanced capacity to learn, adapt and change into the fabric of its character and has values, policies, practices, programs, systems and structures that support and accelerate organizational learning.”
As the leader of Exhale, I have found becoming a Learning Organization to be very freeing.