Book

Smerek Book CoverIn Organizational Learning and Performance, Ryan Smerek combines organizational examples with insights from research, to provide readers with a unique and distinctive lens to improve personal and organizational performance.

The book begins with an overview of how individuals learn and vary in their openness to learn. Drawing from cognitive and personality psychology, thinking dispositions such as a growth mindset, curiosity, and intellectual humility are explored, including how they help foster learning in organizations.

Next, the author describes principles of a learning culture, providing a look into the world’s largest hedge fund, a renowned food company, a highly regarded children’s hospital, and a preeminent innovation and design firm. Through these examples readers will come to understand the social norms that increase learning, including a commitment to transparency of thinking and the pursuit of truth, “Big Picture thinking,” a willingness to learn from failure, and the social norms needed to foster innovation and creativity.

Throughout the book, the author discusses Learning Mechanisms, which are the specific practices needed to build a learning culture. Learning Mechanisms help translate lofty aspirations into tangible actions.

In drawing from compelling examples of organizations and research in the social sciences, Ryan Smerek demonstrates what it means to build a learning culture — and how it can improve personal and organizational performance.