If you want to grow your business, get a learning culture.
Business Owners and Managing Directors, amongst other movers and shakers in business say something like it to me all the time. “In my business I hold my team responsible and accountable for their actions and I insist they take ownership for their role in the company’s performance”. Of course they do. Everything is fine and dandy: No!
Responsibility, accountability, and ownership cannot be foisted upon employees just because the Boss says so. Why? Forcing such circumstances upon the Team will cause, when errors occur, blame, excuses, and denial to break out. A blame culture is created. The zealous, top down, iron fisted Bosses will only be told by their teams what they want to hear. Mistakes will be covered up. Blame will be shifted. Scapegoats will be made. Morale will sink.
How you can use a learning culture effectively
Of course, each Team Member’s performance has to be monitored. Firstly, to establish what individuals are doing well so that can be recognized and thanks can be given. Secondly, where other individuals are not doing so well the performances of those that are, can be transferred through coaching, spreading best practice across the company. Thirdly, when mistakes are made by individuals, it is better to avoid naming, blaming, and shaming. It is far more constructive to establish the causes of the mistake and ensure that the individual concerned, plus the rest of the Team, are coached in how to avoid repeating the same mistake. This is a learning culture.
That said; cynicism, neglect, and dishonesty amongst Team Members has to be identified and policed. This bad attitude and behaviour is often brought about by poor recruitment standards and exacerbated by extreme task orientation at the expense of the team and the individual.
In my opinion, developing a ‘Learning Culture’ within a company is a necessity to achieve sustained growth. Business Owners must nurture this culture with patience and consistency.
The result will be a happy motivated team, with high morale, intent upon increasing revenues and profits.