The Learning Organization

All of our assets are in the heads of our staff, and walk out the door every day.  As a company, we are as good as our ability to learn, and to share our skills and knowledge with each other.  Creating a culture where it is safe not to know is critical to fostering an environment of learning.  Sharing has to be a valued and rewarded activity.  Some of the things we do to foster this process are:

1. Work with each team member on their career goals – everyone has a next certification goal. The company pays for the certification tests if passed, and for the training tools needed to prepare.  We try to give people a chance to do work in the areas they want to grow.  Retaining good staff depends on them seeing a bright future at Torian Group.

2. Reward sharing – along with every paycheck, team members get a scorecard, which tries to pull together objective measures of their effectiveness in relation to their job description. One area measured is learning on the job.  Another is contributions to innovation within the company. A third is ideas shared for our newsletter to clients. 

3. Provide plenty of resources.  We enroll in every vendor program we can, sign up for training and resource web sites, and do our best to let everyone know about what is available.  The internet is making it easier all the time to learn on demand. 

4. Stay focused. With technology, there are constant changes, and new sources of learning show up every day.  The skill of managing your skills comes first – learning how to learn and how to prioritize and manage work.

Here are a few resources on the Learning organization: 
Chief Learning Officer Magazine  – Great articles on Organizational learning and tools
E-Learning Magazine
Tech & Learning eNews
US Distance Learning Organization

I think there is an opportunity for companies to use the low cost video production and screen capture tools now available.  We can become an organization that learns better by developing our own training library.  First, we need to learn how to learn.


About Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.

Tim Torian is the owner and president of Torian Group Inc. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is a Cisco CCNA and CCAI, and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He has a BS Degree in Computer Science, and has been working with computers since 1973 (over 35 years). He is a consultant on technology for the Central California Small Business Development Center. He is has taught at College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension, and is President of the local Network Admistrators User's group. Tim provides network and design services to clients, and manages the company.
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