What’s on your learning agenda?

Do you have responsibilities for learning inside your organization or field? We asked our subscribers that question, and almost three-quarters of them described formal and informal roles to collect and share information among peers.

I was surprised. I love the idea that there are so many of us out there. Yet I also wonder how we deal with the unbearable lightness of keeping learning alive and still useful inside our organizations. Or, as a colleague asked recently, “Shouldn’t we ask ‘learning for what?’ before going down that road?” Learning is a big responsibility, and managing it well for individuals, for organizations, and for the fields we work in is rarely easy. A 2008 article in Harvard Business Review, “Is Yours a Learning Organization?” (by David Garvin, Amy Edmondson, and Francesca Gino, March 2008) described the results of a survey on learning that the authors developed and administered in several organizations. It inspired me to think about whether it could be used by foundations.

I asked a few colleagues to help us adapt their questions. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to Marilyn Darling’s workshop at GEO next week. What’s on your learning agenda? Is there anything you’ve read that helped you frame learning inside or across philanthropy in an interesting way?