Imagine a canoe floating down a gently flowing river. Aboard is a man- ager who’s responsible for guiding the canoe and providing direction to the paddlers. The paddlers are the employees, simply doing what they are told.
This image reflects the old economic system. However, navigating today’s business world of constant change; instantaneous information and data; and fierce, global competition is a different experience. Instead of a gentle river, think of continuously churning white-water rapids. There’s lit- tle time for paddlers to wait for guidance from one manager. Everyone must take responsibility; everyone must make quick decisions.
Do your employees have the knowledge, skills and information needed to make decisions? Do they have the self-confidence, as well as the organi- zational support, to take responsibility and initiative?
The answer to these important questions, according to author Linda Honold, can be wrapped up in one word: learning.
A workforce of employees in a learning mode — that is, motivated and prepared to take responsibility for learning — is key to the short- and long- term success of your company, Honold says. In this summary, she shows what it takes to create such a workforce.