Synergies Between Organizational Learning and Creativity & Innovation



In today’s fast changing business environment, where knowing more and knowing it faster than the competition is often the difference between surviving and not surviving, organizational learning is more and more being recognized as a crucial organizational function. Never mind that the term is over-used, over-hyped and made to mean whatever the writer really wants to talk about. See through the snow and recognize that organizational learning is an organizational function that is here to stay and that will grow in importance. Unending changes in technology and in markets and the removal of logistical and regulatory buffers from competition will make it so.

As a consequence of these facts, organizational learning has become a subject of study by management researchers and a subject of considerable interest to corporate leaders – so much so that many large US business organizations are creating positions with the titles like Chief Learning Officer and Chief Knowledge Officer. Certainly organizational learning is a phrase in high fashion. But in what specific ways, if any, does it lead to creativity and innovation? Or, consider the reverse directionality – in what ways do creativity and innovation lead to organizational learning? In this article, I offer some partial answers to these questions, with the intention of giving readers an additional way to frame the processes of creativity and innovation in their organizations.