How Does Institutionalised Learning and Best Practice Sharing Build Organisational Capability?
Institutionalised learning—or capability academies—is learning focused on building capabilities through processes, programs, events and developmental assignments. It’s designed to give employees the exposure and experiences needed to grow professionally and develop their capabilities.
What are the benefits of institutionalised learning and best practice sharing on building organisational capability?
Best practice capability academies aren’t just about learning the capabilities needed to perform in a job. They focus on the organisational capabilities needed to meet business goals. There are a few benefits to using these capability academies for your organisational capability building.
- Employees only learn what is important. Your business leaders will organise and control a capability academy, allowing them to pick and choose which content and experiences will best support their human capabilities.
- A capability academy is a place. It can be physical or digital, but the idea is that everyone can go there to engage in learning, get feedback, and contribute to intellectual capital. Not only does that encourage better knowledge transfer, but it offers value in return for employees contributing to intellectual capital.
- It can be scaled with your business. Learning infrastructure can match pace with growing talent needs in terms of both physically onboarding staff and quickly implementing new training programs.
- It increases retention. Practice makes perfect. Capability academies allow you to learn by doing. It’s not just testing your memory recall after reading about a subject; it’s letting you try what you’ve learned in a safe space.
The challenges of capability academies when building organisational capability
Like all activities related to developing your workforce and business, building a capability academy for your organisation doesn’t come without its challenges.
The first hurdle to clear is actually defining and determining capabilities for development. Not all will be high priority in terms of business impact or availability. Training should reflect risk factors, otherwise learning practices won’t feel meaningful to employees or business leaders.
You’ll find the external pace of change has an impact on prioritisation. Consistent assessment of the relevance of your capabilities—alongside assessment of employee performance—may be hard to navigate with a leaner L&D team.
You’ll also need means with which to measure progress. You’re essentially answering questions like: Are your training methods working as they should? How has time to proficiency been impacted post-training? How do you evaluate learning transfer? Evaluation is the only way to determine the efficacy of a capability academy. Remember that training is only half the equation. You need to ensure you’re achieving real behavioural change for training in any form to be effective.
The impacts of not using institutionalised learning or best practice sharing on building organisational capability
Capability academies are often designed with an “always on” approach to learning. That is, it’s available when, where and how learners need it. Without that constant backbone of learning in your organisation, you’ll find that many complementary processes will degrade. That could be capacity building, succession planning, talent mobility or even organisational agility.
And without a developed capability academy, you’re kind of at the mercy of stagnant learning materials. A content library is one thing, but it doesn’t beat the benefits of guided, hands-on learning. In that case, you’ll find your organisation is disadvantaged by a workforce that doesn’t understand the contextual, practical applications of your strategic capabilities.
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