Continuous Learning

The synthesis of Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy, and Agile (BOSSA nova) has lots to say about continuous learning. BOSSA nova creates the spirit and structure needed to make continuous learning a reality!

This article is the fourth in a planned series prepared from our new book: Company-Wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and SociocracyChapter 6, Continuous Learning. The first three articles were on the other three BOSSA nova core values: Self Organization, Transparency, and Constant Customer Focus. Look for the next article about a revolutionary new way of drawing the structure of an organization.

Continuous learning recommends:

  • Learning through interaction with your environment. BOSSA nova asserts that constant customer focus provides the richest learning environment for the whole company-wide venue.
  • Using a structure across different teams, roles, and hierarchies that follows a regular rhythm and creates space for feedback.
  • A disciplined process that defines an hypothesis first (usually grounded in reflection), then experiments around this hypothesis and learns from the results – which then feed into the next hypothesis.

Having a focus on the aim of the company encourages not just training but also teaching and organized research. Organized research includes sharing or publishing what you are learning with peers so that they can attempt to replicate and validate your conclusions. Key components are:

  • Viewing failure as a learning opportunity and making the learning transparent and independent of the function in the organizational structure.
  • Reflecting and learning both from outcomes and from interactions.
  • Openness to dramatically new learning paths that may emerge spontaneously by interrupting daily routines (e.g., moments of silence in a meeting, retrospectives especially when you are under stress, hold an ad hoc Open Space for new ideas).

Finally, performance evaluations should relate their measurements to customer focus and organize learning and development for the individual that supports organizational growth. The most effective evaluations separate individual objectives from bonuses.

Jutta & John