Self-managed learning organisation

10 Mindsets Learning Organisations Should Identify In Their Employees

Leadership Mentality in Self-Managed Learning Organisations

Traditional structures that served well in the industrial age are out of date. Given the complexity in our global economy today, learning organisations replace more often traditional organisations.

As a result, we see big changes in businesses:

  • A shift towards engagement and leadership mentality
  • A shift towards meaning and purpose
  • A move to greater transparency
  • A redefined competition
  • Creating innovation through collaborative intelligence (We-Q)

This said, seems like only self-learning organisations can keep up with the VUCA world, as they are much more flexible. But how do we translate this changes in business into the qualities that we are looking for in people? What are the mindsets that learning organisations should identify in their employees? Likewise, how do we get more people to think about scaling their impact, using leadership mentality? But let’s look first of all what is meant with a self-managed learning organisation.

What is a self-managed learning organisation?

In a self-managed organisation traditional functions of a manager are pushed out to all participants in the organisation. That said, self-management is a fundamental mind-shift in the way we view human organisations, management and organisational strategy. A learning organisation encourage experimentation and change. It is characterised through holding a “all-stakeholder mindset”. It is committed to learning, a shared vision and the questioning of general assumptions.

Leadership and innovation should be able to appear from any place at any time. Therefore learning  organisations  need to facilitate the learning of its members and continuously transforms themselves. Consequently cooperation, free communication, and a culture of trust is essential. It is a big challenge to create a culture of ‘self learning’ and to deeply embed it in the organisations DNA.

How should the big changes in business be reflected in people?

10 mindsets that learning organisations need to look for in people:

  1. A mindset that holds multiple views.
  2. A mindset that is clear on their values.
  3. A mindset that has a defined life purpose.
  4. A mindset that has a courageous stand.
  5. A mindset that commits to personal evolution.
  6. A mindset that is willing to share power.
  7. A mindset that distributes leadership.
  8. A mindset that use collective intelligence for innovation.
  9. A mindset that reframes competition as collaboration.
  10. A mindset that links personal and organisational purpose.

Where can we find people with these qualities?

Naturally, we find these qualities in change makers. A 2012 survey of the The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London indicate, that individuals were adept at driving positive change, which appeared to be rooted in their communities. They showed strong capabilities to address local issues. “We recognise that the sum of knowledge held by individuals, ……. can be the real driving force for change.” – 2011 Open Public Services White Paper

This survey supports the changes we see in businesses, showing that the more people share a vision and feel connected to the company, the more willing they are to get involved. It also supports the idea that the possibility for innovation increases significantly if we create spaces in which people can actively contribute.


In today’s dynamic world, learning organisations are playing an increasingly important role. The evolution in business must be accompanied by the evolution of people. To gather the potential throughout the organisation, we must understand to protect the voice of each individual.

Everybody qualifies as a leader, as we all take responsibility in our lives! We all create, impact and change. A learning organisation is the sum of individual learning. When we come to realise what we do for ourselves, we realise that we can do this for others and for the world.

Here are some examples of learning organisations:

  • Heier, from China,  world’s largest appliances company has 4000 self-managed teams
  • Statoil, through out traditional budgeting
  • Semco,  let select their partners, as they call their employees their salaries within a frame, peer is regulating peer
  • FreshFill,  a US self-organised managed company is disrupting the convenience store industry. When you ask them who is your boss, they tell you there mission of their company.
  • Morning Star, the world’s largest tomato processing company. Their founder introduced the startup team to the core principles of self-management. Read more about the Self-Management Institute.

Take part in this seismic wave of change!

Engage, innovate and be a self-directed leader, building conditions and cultures in which we:

  • fail forward and support innovation
  • recruit to purpose, values and culture
  • create spaces for people to co-create
  • link organisational philosophy with personal purpose

Please let me know, in the comment section, what you think about the 10 mindsets.

As always! Be yourSelf-Leader

Sincerely yours, Yvonne

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