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A Blueprint for Learning & Knowledge Creation

January 8, 2012

Updated June 25, 2014

We’ve heard for a number of years about the importance of learning in organizations. Our world is changing faster because of technology. The population is ageing steadily, distorting the traditional age pyramid. And new emerging economies (read previously developing countries) are changing the competitive game for Canada and the United States, not to mention other industrialized nations.

Corporations that aim to succeed in the long-term, and governments that wish to maintain their countries’ standards of living, need to embrace learning and the generation of new knowledge.

However, any initiative that attempts to address employee learning and knowledge creation needs to ensure a strong link between the organization’s goals and priorities and its people– those responsible for achieving results.

To do this properly means it’s done within the corporate culture (the values and beliefs that drive behavior and performance), in which business processes, client service and employee learning are integral parts.

My blueprint outlines an integrated approach to continuous learning, knowledge creation and transfer. I want to stress at the outset that knowledge creation and transfer are not one in the same. It’s one thing to foster knowledge creation through learning and experimentation; it becomes even more of a challenge to create the workplace environment, processes and systems to capture, document and transfer knowledge.

In that context, my blueprint has been developed for a rapidly changing and unpredictable global environment. It provides a framework for enhancing personal and team learning, transition and change, and understanding the context in which people work and collaborate as they carry out their organization’s mission.

The blueprint includes methods on how to put into practice knowledge creation and transfer. One vital point needs to be reinforced: Learning is not an end in itself; it must be connected to something meaningful, whether it’s client service, research and development, manufacturing or public policy.

The intention of a learning and knowledge blueprint, therefore, is not to impose a structure but rather to enable an organization to adapt strategies and activities to its business needs and priorities.

The blueprint encompasses four cornerstones: people, processes, roles and leadership. These cornerstones are inter-related, and together focus on achieving the organization’s goals and priorities.

The essential elements of a learning and knowledge blueprint (the four cornerstones) need to be grounded. This is where a set of 10 principles is essential, serving in effect as a compass to the organization, and which is especially vital during periods of significant change and disruption.

To learn more, click here to download your complimentary copy of A Blueprint for Learning & Knowledge Creation: Staying Ahead of Your Competitors in a Turbulent World”.

What leaders are called upon to do in a chaotic world is to shape their organizations through concepts, not through elaborate rules or structures. – Margaret Wheatley

Visit my e-Books, Resources and Services pages.

Take a moment to meet Jim.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2012 2:01 pm

    Thanks very much, Susan, for your feedback. Yes, I read Outliers when it first came out. I should read it again. I saw Gladwell interviewed on CBC in early January. Fascinating guy.

  2. January 15, 2012 1:20 am


    Just read your ebook. Bravo! You’ve done it again — taken a complex subject and explained it in interesting, easy-to-understand terms.

    Some of the concepts reminded me of points made in the best-selling book, “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s fascinating, and you may be able to draw a parallel between your blueprint for learning and Malcom’s stories of success.

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