How healthy organizations support learning and innovation

Keynote talk at The Changing Face of Work and Learning conference, Telus Centre, Edmonton. Sponsored by The Work and Learning Network, University of Alberta. For conference details see:
TALK OUTLINE: Marshall McLuhan once predicted that we would all be “learning a living” in the information age. This age has arrived, but learning in workplaces is easier said than done. The rhetoric is clear: economic policy links national competitiveness to skill development and learning, social policy promotes life-long learning, and employers are striving for knowledge-intensive business strategies. However, implementing these ideas is difficult because many work environments do not enable learning. The solution requires more than new human resource management practices or a stronger commitment to build a ‘learning organization’. A useful guide for supporting learning in workplaces is the model of a healthy organization – one that has healthy, sustainable and innovation outcomes for employees, investors (or citizens in the public sector) and communities. From this perspective, personal and organizational well-being depends on active learning.

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