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Building Adaptive Capacity: Developing a Learning Culture in Your Organization (EPS 644)

This is a prezi originally developed for a capacity-building workshop delivered at Catalyst Miami as part of their Nonprofit Leadership Training Institute. Shared also with my students at UM.

Scot Evans

on 4 November 2018

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Transcript of Building Adaptive Capacity: Developing a Learning Culture in Your Organization (EPS 644)

Learning Objectives
Understanding of
adaptive capacity
and the ability to distinguish it from other forms of organizational capacity.
Will be able to explain the concept of a
learning culture
to coworkers, colleagues, funders, and community partners.
Will be able to assess your own organization’s learning culture and identify
barriers to learning
Will be able to design new
organizational strategies
to foster organizational learning.
Building Adaptive Capacity: Developing a Learning Culture
Scot D. Evans, University of Miami
Peter Senge asserts that a learning organization “is continually expanding its capacity to create its future. For such an organization it is not enough merely to survive. ‘
Survival learning
’ ... is important--indeed it is necessary.” But it “must be joined by ‘
generative learning
,’ learning that enhances our capacity to create.”
Macro Context
Task & Institutional Context
The most critical dimension of capacity for a nonprofit organization is
adaptive capacity
– the ability of a nonprofit organization to monitor, assess, and respond to internal and external changes.
(Connolly & York, 2003)
Adaptive capacity
entails explicating goals and activities and the underlying assumptions that link them, evaluating organizational and programmatic effectiveness and programs, and flexibly planning for the future.
5 organizational systems
Adaptive capacity
also encompasses improving the level and quality of creating strategic alliances, collaborating and networking with others in the community, and increasing knowledge sharing with colleague organizations.
the organization as an open system
What gets in the way?
(Milway & Saxton, 2011)
Goals gap
Incentives gap
Process gap
Organizational Culture
But what is a learning culture in organizations?
no clear and compelling learning goals
no systems for encouraging and measuring learning behavior
no clear processes for capturing, sharing, and using knowledge
What are concrete examples of organizational learning in practice?
TIME is one barrier, but also...
organizations must tune their practice constantly in their attempt to get the job done.
(Wenger, 2005)
articulating a clear theory of change for example...
adaptation, reflective practice, enabling structures, teaming
Full transcript