Spiritual leadership is a model for organizational development/transformation designed to create an intrinsically motivated learning organization that maximizes the triple bottom line. A learning organization has the skills to create, acquire, and transfer knowledge, while modifying behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights. In learning organizations employees are empowered to achieve a clearly articulated organizational vision. Quality products and services that exceed expectations also characterize learning organizations. This new learning organizational paradigm is radically different from what has gone before: it is customer/client-obsessed, team-based, flat (in structure), flexible (in capabilities), diverse (in personnel make-up) and networked (working with many other organizations in a symbiotic relationship) in alliances with suppliers, customers/clients and even competitors.
The employees of learning organizations are characterized by being open and generous risk-takers who are capable of thinking in teams and motivating others to succeed. Furthermore, they must be able to abandon old alliances and establish new ones, viewing honest mistakes as necessary to learning and celebrating the noble effort, while exhibiting a “do-what-it-takes” attitude versus a “not-my-job” attitude. Committed leaders at all levels act as coaches who constantly strive to listen, experiment, improve, innovate, and create new leaders. The major challenge for the learning organization is developing, leading, motivating, organizing, and retaining people to be committed to the organization’s vision, goals, and culture.
Take a minute and see if your company is a learning organization by answering the following questions:
- Do you have an emotional bond with your stakeholders? Companies that prosper over the long term exude genuine affection for their customers and employees by providing a feeling of membership so that individuals feel understood and appreciated.
- Are you a fun place to work? The most productive companies tend to be the most playful. You don’t have to be downbeat to be disciplined. People are committed to an organization where they feel like part of the family and are highly regarded by leadership.
- Are you built to change? The only certainty in business today is that change must become a core capability in organizations that prosper over the long term. The best organizations may look to the past as a source of inspiration, but they don’t allow it to become an excuse for a lack of change. Instead, they pursue future productivity through the implementation of innovative strategies.
- Do you embrace the value of values? Today, more than ever, stakeholders demand to know; What values do you stand for? The company with the clearest sense of purpose wins. The heart of an organization’s success must include altruistic love – a sense of wholeness, harmony, and well being embraced through care, concern, and appreciation of both self and others.
- Are you as disciplined as you are creative? In successful organizations there is no contradiction between creativity and execution. Indeed, the most innovative companies tend to be the most disciplined through a clear and compelling vision.
- Do you use technology to change expectations and reshape your business? The Internet has become the most powerful tool for business experimentation ever. It transforms the learning organization – how people work together and how organizations interact with customers. There is no hope/faith in the economics of an organization disrupted by the fear-led, bureaucratic, hierarchy that can’t keep pace in this chaotic Internet-driven environment.
- Have you built a company of leaders? The organizations with the most confident and committed leaders, deepest in the ranks – Win! A learning organizations creates empowered teams and gives them the resources and freedom to maneuver outside the established hierarchy. It pushes decision-making authority deep into the ranks, providing employees with a sense of purpose and belonging. In doing so everyone has the opportunity to lead to the point that the distinction between leader and follower becomes blurred.
If you answered no to any of these questions, keep reading.