What is Managing Learning?

Learn about Learning organization with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Case Breakdown: Movie Kindergarten Cop

The scene that you just saw shows how John Kimble ( played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is a ex-cop is now a kindergarten teacher. He is devising a strategy that makes the kids become more  disciplined.  Kimble started to love teaching and decides to become an educator. His methods are new and different but they work for kindergarten students.

A learning organization is an organization that has developed a continuous capacity to adapt and change. Similar to how children learn, organizations learn too. To make an organization a continual learner, organizations takes the following steps:

Establish a Strategy:

Management needs to make explicit commitment to change, innovation and continuous improvement. Similar to how Mr. Kimble devised a strategy of whistling to instruct kids.

Redesign the organizations’ culture:

Formal structure can be serious and rigid. This becomes a serious impediment in learning. By flattening the structure, removing or combining departments and increasing the use of cross-functional teams, interdependence is reinforced and boundaries between people are reduced. In the scene that you saw, we see Mr. Kimble is redesigning the culture of learning for the kids. He is not nurturing like most kindergarten teachers but it works for his advantage.

Reshaping the organization’s culture:

Learning organizations are characterized by risk taking, openness and growth. Management sets the tone for the organizations’ culture both by what it says and what it does. Managers need to demonstrate by their actions that taking risks and admitting failure are desirable traits. That means rewarding people who take chances and make mistakes. Similar to Mr. Kimble, he was taking a risk when he started training kids as deputies, even though this was a new method, he took that risk and it paid off.

Being more open, taking risks and preparing individuals for complex situations in organizations helps in managing learning.

Written by: Gitika Chandra

Leave a Reply