Learning organisations: The informed policy maker
The following may be considered some parameters by which senior staff, councillors, trustees and board members could judge organisational policy against learning organisation principles.
Do current policies and new developments:
- Encourage lateral, not just hierarchical, relations between staff and managers?
- Involve all internal and external stakeholders in reviews of practice/policy?
- Identify the potential of staff irrespective of their grade and role?
- Select by skill and not just job title for review and development work?
- Make clear that leaders can and should be at all levels, and not just in designated (top) posts?
- Demonstrate the knowledge underpinning policies or development, citing service user and carer views, experiences and preferences, professional practice, and research evidence?
- Provide ways of gathering information from service users and carers?
- Ensure that information is provided for development, not just compliance?
- Ensure that audit staff are involved in development advice, not just checking work after the event?
- Build positively on the cultural diversity in the organisation’s internal and external stakeholders?
- Encourage openness, appropriate risk-taking and reflection?
- Provide workload time for reflection and development?
Note: Are policies tested regularly to see if they could encourage more experimentation?