Organizations That Learn

LOGs - Learning Organization Groups


— REALearning

Ignore the Rules

True Learning


Tool Time


True Learning Reading Project


Special to the NY Times - "An Organization that Learned to ..."

* indicates LOST representative
1 indicates an entry from the NY Times article
2 indicates result of session 3 group work


An Organization that Learned to …


Envisioned Future








Purpose 1: Build an ongoing community that breaks down the barriers of learning

Purpose 2:   To encourage learning as a life-long process which encompasses new ways of teaching for the benefit of all.  "Empowerment of learning".


Vision 1 : Movement that changes how the University of Virginia approaches teaching forever – SLP; apply the theories within the BIS program and other schools at UVA


Goals 2

  • Challenge assumptions/standards/norms about teaching and learning
  • Changing the student/teacher relationship from 'I teach, you learn' to 'We teach, we learn'.
  • Building a community-like organization in which every person takes ownership of the importance of their role and values participation to make the organization work well (i.e. equal opportunity).
  • Reach out to people in need

Image - TBD

Steps toward first goals

  • Learn more about each member of the group (i.e. learning styles), identifying how we each learn to further develop the learning theory and work on removing barriers to encourage learning
  • Work toward applying our theories to realistic situations
  • Developing a plan to move toward our BHAG goals


Principles 1

  • Students have more to give in the learning process
  • Students participate and influence, in a real way, the learning and teaching processes
  • Learn from mistakes – best way to learn
  • Interactive learning environment


Core Values 2

  • Constant improvement of methods of teaching
  • Everyone is a learner
  • Mistakes are encouraged
  • Open-mindedness and willingness to change and evolve
  • Breaking down barriers to learning


… Ignore the Rules



Purpose 1 : Organic way to learn that allows the individual spirit to shine. … we mapped a higher learning experience.

Purpose 2 : As a subset of this organization, we plan to establish what makes up the standard, typical organizational plan and then identify, dissect and question each element. By reconstructing these elements, we aspire to become the group we deserve to be, the group we need to be and the group we can be.

Vision 1 : Concept of learning that “spreads” like a virus

Vision 2 : To create the environment which is most conducive to learning for each individual member, for the group and for the organization as a whole.

Goals :

  • To redefine learning
  • Emphasize the ability to replicate
  • Develop a better understanding of learning
  • Facilitate the sharing of knowledge

First steps:

To define what we know as the average, mundane organizational learning experience in order to dissect, analyze and improve selected elements

Principles 1

  • Throw everything you know out the window
  • Continuous reinvention of the organization (at the “beginning of every meeting”)
  • Seek the unconscious process inherent in the group
  • Create an environment that inspired the members to share their ideas and feelings
  • OUR rules

Principles 2

  • Open Communication
  • Transparency
  • Flexibility
  • Safe, non-judgmental environment
  • Real-world practicality
  • Encourage creativity
  • Playfulness and fun
  • Support for personal as well as group goals


True Learning


 Mary Ellen


 Project Page

Purpose 1 : Community reform. Create a better community based on learning, where “community” means the global system of human interactions, working to teach people how to better understand one another.

Purpose 2: The purpose of True Learning continues to be the development of community reform through learning in the education system; however we are refocusing our vision toward a younger audience. By involving elementary-age students with volunteer activities in their community, it not only increases the child’s feeling of self worth, but it also helps to improve the community.

It is our belief that a child’s worth cannot be established and promoted through test scores alone. With the school systems’ increased focus on meeting requirements for No Child Left Behind, it is more important than ever to seek alternative avenues for developing characteristics that cannot be developed through books and tests. The adage that “It takes a village to raise a child” is applicable here, because there is an opportunity to build confidence in these children that is not being developed at home or through the schools. Confident children go on to develop a more confident, organized community.

We hope to develop this into an enterprise that can potentially be carried forward by future OTL groups with similar passions.

Vision 1: True Learning, a non-profit organization utilizing students as consultants working together with communities and institutions of learning to reform learning environments; to change the structure of BIS classes and the hierarchy between faculty and students so that a community of learners is created

Goals 2 : Community reform through student learning. The more we involve young people in our communities, the better tomorrow is for all of us.

Next Steps

The thoughts currently are revolving around developing a garden at the school and then transferring those skills to the development/improvement of a garden at a local senior center. This would not only provide an opportunity for the children to get outside and learn practical gardening skills, but it would provide them an opportunity to learn from a different group of people- the population from the senior center.

An overview of our next steps would be:

1. Talk with Debbie Beale, fourth grade teacher at Johnson Elementary to establish the feasibility of the project. Follow with conversations with school administration.

2. Have a conversation/ exchange email with Bronwyn Blackwood with IRB to ensure that there are no potential conflicts concerning the University.

3. Have conversations with local nursery(s) to find donors to donate necessary plants. Perhaps consider growing plants in class as part of a science class.


  • Continually change the way the way particpants learn by challenging established hierarchies and adopting a systems thinking mentality
  • Community effort in a broad sense

Learn to learn and share it with others

Principles 2

  • Developing honesty and integrity in youth through modeling.
  • Encouraging initiative among the students to perpetuate volunteerism.
  • Hard work and continuous self-improvement builds confidence in the individual and organization.
  • Encourage individual ability and creativity.





Janet Raymond *Trisha

Mind Map

Mission Statement

Vivid Descripton

Purpose 1: To evolve; passionate conviction for becoming the best we can be … continuously

Purpose 2: EVOLVE

Vision : Create a culture that fosters learning both on an individual and organizational level; embodiment of community


Our organization is committed to

  • Setting the Bar of Excellence in Organizational Learning and Leadership
  • Becoming the Embodiment of Community in Spirit and Practice



Mind Map


  1. Establish Criterion of Excellence in Org. Leadership and Learning
  2. Reward Models of Excellence in Industry, Public Org.s, etc.
  3. Provide Consultation and Training in Excellence in OL&L


  • Identify Interests and Expertise of Principle Members
  • Strategically Place Team Members
  • Action-Plan Implementation/Execution


Principles 1

  • Students will make the experiment succeed
  • Encourage culture of inclusivity, transparency, intelligent action-taking, constructive reflection
  • Implement best practices; shed failed practices
  • Think locally, act globally
  • Embrace & celebrate diversity
  • Build a better global community
  • Ensure our survival
  • Have fun

Core Values 2

  • Think locally, and act globally
  • Embrace and celebrate diversity
  • Be a part of, and build, a stronger, better global community
  • Ensure the survival of our organization
  • Have fun!

We ever to accomplish these goals through:

  • Social responsibility
  • Personal excellence
  • Intelligent change-based innovation
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Continuous self-assessment and self-improvement



…Inspire continuous discovery


Tool Time

Web Page


*John R

Purpose : To change lives through learning

Vision : Prototype for a new type of learning in university all along the East coast – release the angel in the marble


BHAG : “Work of Art” toolkit

Description: a website to help BIS students identify their purpose and passion; a first-semester class to introduce BIS students to the notions of learning that we were being exposed to; a second-semester, one-credit class - more like a short weekly meeting in small groups; and a link with the peer mentor program, where mentors and mentees could be matched who had similar interests/goals. We all presented our team project values, principles, and I can't remember what else, which were written down on a chart.


  • Instructor/students
  • Personal commitment
  • Personal mastery




*John C


In pursuit of the broader organizational goal of learning about organizations that learn by creating one, our LOG’s goal is to capture the data we are generating in the class at the individual, group and organization levels, view it through the lens of the "traditional" learning organization literature, and use the results to evaluate some of our initial hypotheses about organizations that learn. We would like to report back to class with findings of interest during the semester and then compile our results as part of our group’s final deliverable (perhaps in the familiar "case study" format -- "The instructors arrived early for the first session at the OTL classroom in Zehmer Hall ..." ). From time to time we will also attempt to generate some more focused data at the individual, group and organization levels. This information will help us fill in missing details from perspectives not otherwise available.  We may also look to individuals and organizations beyond OTL to supplement our findings.

As initially advertised, in the interest of encouraging student-instructors, we will no longer assume the role of steers-people for the class. On the other hand, we recognize that we do have specialized knowledge that may be of value to individuals, LOST, LOGs and the class as a whole. We will therefore make ourselves available to subsystems at all levels on a consulting basis to pursue issues and topics of specific interest.

See the Instructor Notes page for some our hypotheses, assumptions and core values.




The Assignment: Special to the NY Times




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