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Building a learning organization.

Garvin DA. Building a learning organization. Harv Bus Rev. 1993;71(4):78-91.

March 27, 2005
Garvin DA. Harv Bus Rev. 1993;71(4):78-91.

Garvin, a Harvard Business School professor, postulates that for organizations to truly improve over time and succeed, they need to become "learning organizations,” which are skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge and modifying their behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights. As a framework, Garvin states organizations must have the “three Ms”: meaning, management, and measurement. Using examples from different industries and companies, including Xerox and GE, the author states that true learning organizations become skilled at five main activities: systematic problem solving, experimentation with new approaches, learning from past experience, learning from the best practices of others, and transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization.