Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

What makes a learning organization?

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Amazon, Intuit, Airbnb, Disney, FedEx and Uber…what do these companies have in common? They know their customers. They don’t just know about their customers, they know why their customers ‘hire’ them and their products to do specific jobs.

All of these companies are learning organizations. At their core is a deep desire to know why people and companies spend their money to purchase their products and services.  They know the importance of constant learning, they know what they are competing against.

Learning Org

Every learning organization has the drive to know more, to discover things that have never been found. To go places no one has gone and do things once thought impossible. At the heart of these companies are people who love to learn and apply what they have learned to make the world a better place.

The importance of learning and becoming a learning organization has come to new light for me in the past year since I found out about COMPETING AGAINST LUCK: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice by Clayton Christensen. The book speaks about the companies listed above and how they have focused on learning, why people hire their products and what is their “Job to Be Done” (JTBD). The drive to understand this key aspect of business makes these companies learning organizations.

Ultimately, it’s the people that make the organization. At the head of these organizations is a leader for whom learning is a top priority. These leaders surround themselves with individuals who are hungry to learn, who want to know how to do things better. They build teams within the organization that do the same. They build a culture where discovery and application are core drivers.

This quote by Eric Hoffer has been a driver of my learning: “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

A world of fascinating new discoveries awaits the learning organization.

Questions: Why is learning important to you? Do you work for a learning organization? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: Product management is a learning endeavor, that’s what I love most about it. Take the time to dig deep and learn why customers purchase your products; gain a deep understanding of what job they need to accomplish.

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