Society for Organizational Learning, North America

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SoL Consulting & Coaching Services

Learning-based consulting services

Building capacity not dependency

Capacity building linked to current projects and goals

World class independent consultants teamed together to address your issues

Becoming a Learning Organization

The best overview of SoL's understanding of building a culture of collective learning and action is described in the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations. [Download The Dance of Change study notes].



There are three key points:

  1. the interaction of leadership communities necessary to sustain change
  2. the basic system attributes that reinforce a learning culture
  3. the limits that most change efforts face

With respect to leadership communities, it is essential that there is involvement of senior leadership, line leaders with a commitment to implement new practices and informal leaders who help provide facilitation and the infrastructure for internal capacity, support and sharing of resources.

The basic system attributes that reinforce change in our experience are not too surprising. A shift in culture will spread if it is seen as worth the time; if it is the right mix of being personally satisfying and practical in terms of delivering better business results, and that connections are fostered so that a network of supporters is accessible and visible to those who are committed to this change.

SoL's preferred methods and tools include:

  • Shared Vision and Purpose Alignment
  • Productive Conversations to include Advocacy and Inquiry
  • Dialogue and Reflective Conversations
  • Systems Thinking
  • Emergent Learning Maps
  • After Action Reviews
  • World Café
  • Personal Mastery
  • Mental Models and Exploration of Assumptions and Beliefs
  • Enterprise Point of View in Mergers and Cross Organization Efforts
  • Organization Architecture and Alignment
  • Methods of Understanding and Appreciating Difference, ie. Human Dynamics
  • Emotional Intelligence

Finally, we know quite a bit about how change gets derailed, and engaging the sponsors of the change effort in diagnosing their systems specific attributes can help you avoid the worst of the disasters. As a reminder, the challenges to taking the first steps are: time/money, relevance, human resources (availability of mentors and coaches), and living up to the expectations of the system with respect to walking the talk. Recognizing these challenges, almost all successful systems start slowly!

Contact Frank Schneider at frank at or 1 (617) 300-9535 to discuss specific projects.

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Society for Organizational Learning
101 Main Street, 14th floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
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