Nigel Paine is a real specialist in the field of Learning Cultures. He has written several articles and a most interesting book on this subject (Workplace Learning: How to build a culture of continuous employee development).

His definition of a Learning Culture is to allow inside knowledge to come from outside the organization and be shared rapidly in order to take rapid decisions. It's about the collective ability of the organization to learn and to translate this knowledge into action.

In his vision, you don't get a Learning Culture only by investing in more learning opportunities. It's all about creating the right circumstances for individual learning, sharing learning and curiosity.

So, first of all, as an organization you have to get rid of the blockages that stop information flowing through the organization. Secondly Nigel Paine emphasizes the fact that Learning = Work & Work = Learning. Making learning part of everyday work is another big challenge.

The most interesting parts in Nigel Paine's book are the examples described in the best practices (WD-40, Happy Ltd, HT2 labs, Microsoft, Polaroid, BBC, Nissan), confirming that a learning culture leads to more flexibility, empowerment and productivity. See Nigel Paine's video in which he talks about best practices in the field of developing a learning culture.


A learning culture is the essence of what is required to cope with a permanent state of uncertainty. 

Nigel Paine

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