Page 6: Conclusion
The term ‘learning organisation’ has been applied to organisations that regularly look at how they operate and consider how they can best adapt and change. These organisations are ‘in touch’ with themselves and the environment in which they operate. They recognise that the need to learn and adapt is an ongoing process.
To support the management development process, Britannic Assurance introduced a series of reinforcement tools to help managers with their learning. For example, a learning resource library was set up from which managers could access a range of reference materials. A team of coaches was employed throughout the business to help others with their own development, often on a one-to-one basis. Training helps someone to work at acquiring a required skill, whereas coaching involves helping someone to do better at something they can already do.
Management Forum did more than help managers to become more flexible and adaptable. It also empowered them to make more strategic decisions focused upon consumers. The creative element of the process was designed to move Britannic Assurance towards becoming a learning organisation that would remove the top-down, employer-led culture and establish instead a culture that would:
- empower managers to use their skills to motivate others
- encourage all employees to become actively involved in decision-making processes
- foster ongoing staff development.
In an economy that has become increasingly dependent upon the actions of knowledge-based organisations in a rapidly changing business environment, the programme has been instrumental in helping Britannic Assurance to strengthen its own competitive position.