More than 1,300 readers have responded to our learning survey so far. Anne Mackinnon and I are seeing interesting patterns — some of which, quite honestly, have surprised us.
In one question, for example, we asked people to describe their level of responsibility for learning inside their organizations. Two-thirds (67%) said that, in addition to their own learning, they’re responsible for enabling others to learn. Another quarter (26%) said they’re really only responsible for their own learning. The remainder (7%) reported that learning is “not a big part” of their jobs.
We decided to break that last number down by sector. Among respondents working in nonprofits, 6% said that learning is not a major part of what they do. The share in government was quite a bit higher, 12%. Among respondents in philanthropy, 7% said, “No, learning is not a big part of my job.”
Looking at philanthropy respondents by job description, we discovered that 8% of administrative staff and 11% of program staff gave that answer. Now, that really gave us pause. It's not unusual to hear administrative staff say they feel frustrated by a lack of learning opportunities, but program staff? Isn’t working in philanthropy, especially on the program side, all about learning? Are all those respondents just “curmudgeons,” or do they have a point?
Looking further at the responses of the “no” group, we found some instructive insights into organizational learning — and what can keep it from being part of everyone’s job. You might see yourself, or your organization, in some of their answers! Here’s a sample: