History SOL Netherlands

The Netherlands was one of the first countries to establish a Society for Organizational Learning.


History Organization Learning Foundation (SOL)

Organizational Learning (OL) activities in the Netherlands started in 1990, when Arie de Geus (co-founder of the MIT Center for Organizational Learning) and Herman Rottinghuis from Stratix Consulting Group decided to connect their networks in order to get OL going on the Continent .

In 1991 a Foundation was established with the name Netherlands Foundation for Organizational Learning (NFOL). The Foundation's objectives were to establish an Organizational Learning Center, based on a similar format as that of the OLC at MIT and to promote the use of organizational learning concepts in business.

In 1992 a Letter of Intent was signed between the Foundation and Nyenrode University to set up an OLC, and an Executive Briefing was organized for 35 captains of industry in the Netherlands at Nyenrode University. Speakers were: Peter Senge from MIT/OLC, Arie de Geus and John Morecroft from the London Business School.


The organization really started to get momentum, when in 1995 a Summer Workshop was organized by Renee Moorfield (from EDS), Peter Schutte (Nijenrode) and Herman Rottinghuis at Nijenrode University for 65 participants from all over Europe, representing the three constituencies on which OL is built: academia, business and government, consultancy. Arie de Geus was the unofficial chairman of that meeting; Peter Senge came over to brief the participants on the developments of MIT/OLC. The workshop was successful in many respects and led to a series of follow ups, usually organized and hosted by Herman Rottinghuis and Stratix.

In these workshops NFOL was converted into ENFOLD (European Network for Organizational Learning Development), and a small active network was created. However, the efforts to help build a European network were too a heavy burden on its resources, and ENFOLD faded. The lessons learned in ENFOLD about the actual practice of setting up such a network can be found in the design of SoL Netherlands.Therefore SoL-Neth has a good lineage and a strong Dutch network can grow out of it, to be a valuable partner in the wold wide network.

Peter Senge

dr. Peter M. Senge is the founding chairperson of SoL and a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

dr. Senge is the author of The Fifth Discipline: the Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. He has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change. He has worked with leaders in business, education, health care and government.

The Journal of Business Strategy (September/October 1999) named Dr. Senge as one of the 24 people who had the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years.

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