Extending the Organizational Learning Process in Order to Enable Innovative Ideas

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Innovation processes require organizations to transcend current boundaries. These include not only technological as well as social limitations but -above all- the way we address the future. We are used to face the future with our existing knowledge and experiences from the past. This strategy, however, can hardly lead to knowledge off the beaten path. We therefore suggest a new learning approach for organizations which enables to literally envision a desired future scenario and thus, allows for the creation of radical new knowledge. In this paper we focus on organizational learning towards the future and compare its output with traditional learning from the past. Based on the idea of Learning from the Future (Greenleaf, 1977; Jaworski, 1998; C. O. Scharmer & Kaeufer, 2013; Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski, & Flowers., 2005) we extend the organizational learning process with an additional source of learning. By interacting with an ideal envisioned future, individuals are enabled to detach particularly from their doubts, concerns and restrictions grounded in their past experiences, which in turn clarifies the necessary actions to realize this desired scenario. We have been successfully applying Learning from Interacting with an Envisioned Future, in short Learning from an Envisioned Future, to various problem settings and different project sizes. (Kaiser, Fordinal, & Kragulj, 2014) We argue that our method leads to new knowledge which generally yields a higher degree of novelty and radicalness. In order to support our assumption we present our findings from comparing the output of Learning from an Envisioned Future and learning from the past. For this study we use data from an on ongoing organizational learning project we are currently conducting with a high school in Austria. (Kaiser & Kragulj, 2015) ...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ECKM-2015 (16th European Conference on Knowledge Management)
Editors Andrea Garlatti and Maurizio Massaro
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Pages391 - 398
ISBN (Print)978-1-910810-46-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509018 Knowledge management
  • 502050 Business informatics
  • 102
  • 509011 Organisational development

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