We may have the time to reinvent ourselves.
• Practices are often failures at implementation and don't know why.
• We may have to delay or modify financial projections.
• Now more than ever we need to find and keep good people on our team.
• We suck at management development.
Become a Learning Practice
• Pinpoint areas to foster knowledge sharing.
• Develop new ideas.
• Learn from mistakes.
• A "Learning Practice" is one where employees excel at creating, sharing and transferring knowledge.
Barriers to Learning Culture
• In the early 90's this term was coined by Peter M. Senge in his book, "The 5th Discipline."
• The goal was to create flexibility and rapid response to business climate change.
• It was, and is, a good theory, but difficult to impossible to implement:
o Veterinary practices spend all of their time working in the business instead of on the business.
o Managers could not identify the sequence of steps to move the practice forward.
o Concept was aimed at leaders instead of front line employees and mid level managers.
o Standards and tools for assessing progress did not exist.
3 Keys to Learning Culture
• A supportive learning environment.
• Concrete learning processes and practices.
• Leadership behavior that reinforces learning.
• THESE ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE LEARNING PRACTICE.
"Supportive learning environments allow time for a pause in the action and encourage thoughtful review of the practice's processes."
So what if...
o You could "score" your practice and compare it to other learning organizations?
o You could compare the learning environment of different work units in your practice?
o Have a broader view of how your practice reacts to change and challenges?
• An online tool created by HBR.
• Practices do not perform evenly across the 3 building blocks.
• Each building block can be viewed as a separate developmental stage so each unit may require specific tools to improve.
Even in a "small" practice people learn differently and respond to different stimuli.
Building Block 1: Supportive Learning Environment
o A Supportive Learning Environment has 4 distinctive characteristics: Psychological Safety.
o Appreciation of differences.
o Openness to new ideas.
o Time for reflection.
• To learn, team members cannot fear being belittled or marginalized when they disagree with peers or authority figures,
ask na´ve questions, own up to mistakes or present a minority viewpoint.
• They must be comfortable their thoughts about the work at hand.
Appreciation of Differences
• Learning happens when people become aware of different ideas.
• Recognizing the value of competing functional outlooks and alternative solutions increases energy and motivation.
• The result is fresh thinking and the prevention of lethargy and drift.