Ask the Engineer to define lead time. Ask the Marketing manager to
contrast the third law of Thermodynamics with the first. How are
these people going to work together?
People perceive and process information differently. People find and
solve problems differently. These differences can be classified,
understood and used to develop team building methods that take
learning style differences into account. Once the differences in
learning styles within a group are known and understood, diverse
people can be brought together to solve problems or to learn new
The need to solve problems, learn new skills and improve performance
is critical. There is an immediate crisis of competition faced by
companies today. Companies are not just being asked to meet defined
customer needs. Companies are being asked to provide customers with
products that make their customers' customers successful—and to do
so in the simplest way, at the lowest cost, and in the fastest way
In response to this crisis, improvement programs abound as companies
seek a competitive edge. Despite the need, despite the efforts, the
following is a pervasive lament:
"Most improvement efforts have as much impact on company performance
as a rain dance has on the weather." —Some grump in Harvard Business
Reengineering advocates tell us that the reason for the failure is
that the old ways of doing business simply do not work. To be
successful, companies must learn new ways of doing business. They
must change their fundamental behaviors and processes. Companies
must change how they serve customers, do work and achieve
objectives. Unfortunately, most improvement programs do not address
these fundamental changes.
There are however, some exceptions. There are some success stories:
• A company awash in inventory and operating at zero profit in 1990,
improves return on assets to such an extent that for 1993
performance, $14 million in bonus checks are distributed.
• Other companies boast of increased market share and profits
despite the recession by relentlessly building customer advantage
and eliminating waste.
What is it that these successful companies have, versus those who
make an effort, but see no results? These companies address learning
as the basis for changed behavior, processes and results. These
successful companies are truly learning organizations. The
successful companies have become adept at:
• Creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge
• Modifying behavior as a result of absorbing new knowledge.
(If the old ways of doing business can't work, then accomplishing
change in organizations is a process of "teaching old dogs new
tricks." To do so requires an approach to learning as a process of
acquiring and applying a critical mass of knowledge. These companies
are capable of systematically identifying the market expectations,
making competitive changes, and learning the new concepts and skills
needed to improve performance.
The ability of an organization to change stems from the ability of
and opportunity for members to continue to "learn new tricks."
Learning is effective when the learning situation accommodates the
various learning styles of people in the organization. Learning is
effective when an individual understands his or her learning style.
Learning styles describe the way people learn and deal with ideas
and situations. Learning styles help us to understand how we:
• Deal with new situations
• Solve problems
• Set goals
• Manage others
In this presentation, we will learn what learning styles are, how
knowledge of learning styles can build the learning organization and
what some of the outcomes are when learning style concepts are
applied to specific situations.