Strategy Dynamics Briefing 86: Multiple capabilities and organizational learning

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We have shown throughout this briefing series how performance arises from the complementary development of resources, leading to outcomes that reflect the power of the entire system, rather than the sum of individual elements (first outlined in Briefings 16-22). Adding capabilities to this understanding offers a still more powerful structure.

Any organization will possess capabilities linked to each of its main resources. It is therefore to be expected that learning on several of these would add still further to performance. ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 85: Grasping tacit knowledge

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Briefing 78 explained the importance of the intangible resource of knowledge to the performance of a firm’s tangible resource-system. For effective learning, knowledge must be captured. Since we are concerned here with the ability to get things done, this discussion is about know-how (how to do things), rather than the know-what of factual information.

A framework for understanding better the effectiveness of group learning starts with a distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge. The discussion of the retailer’s building of ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 84: Drivers of learning and forgetting

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Some further features need to be added to the standard architecture of learning dynamics in Briefing 83.

Limits to learning. Like most asset-stocks, there is a limit to how far capabilities can be improved, even if everything went perfectly, and all internal processes were instantaneous and 100% reliable.

Learning from failure. There is much opportunity to learn from failure, both on acquiring and retaining resources – product launches that did not work, bids for projects that failed and marketing campaigns ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 83: Capabilities and learning

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‘Learning’ clearly implies ‘increasing capability’, but this Briefing clarifies how this mechanism actually works. First, we must distinguish this collective learning that grows an organization’s or team’s capability from the individual learning that adds to their personal skills. Briefing 26 explained how to capture the dynamics of the skills held by individuals in a call-center team – in simple terms, that model looked at how the number of specific skills of average team members is increased or depleted.

In contrast, ...

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