Do leaders in today's organizations have the flexibility to move their organizations toward a learning paradigm or are they bombarded by so much external pressure that survival is the focus?
"Learning paradigm" is defined as the changes that are current in management theory, changes such as "employee empowerment" theory. Empowerment is defined as "job empowerment" and "job enrichment" and specifically involves management contributed skills training and information dissemination and employee generated initiative.
"Learning paradigm" involves planning to implement a new management and company organization paradigm, which needs willingness and agreement from management and employees. It involves proceeding through the management shift with detailed communication between management and employees about how things are or aren't working. It involves persistent focus on meeting objectives even though meeting objectives may at times be challenging.
If an organization is at the "survival" stage, this sort of management paradigm shift will be more difficult to implement than for a stable established organization that has human and financial resources to organize, provide oversight for, and guide persistent objective attainment through the management paradigm shift. Not every organization is at a stage to be able to implement this kind of shift at a given moment in time.
Any leader has the ability to move a company forward. Some leaders get so distracted putting out daily fires that they forget to look ahead. If you don’t plan for the future, it will soon become the present and you won’t be ready. For this reason, companies have to have plans for evaluating the future.
Whether or not a leader has flexibility to plan for the future is based on the leader’s autonomy, or ability to make decisions, to push the company further. Leaders have to be able to identify and take advantage of opportunities and have the freedom to explore them.
If the leader is a learner, he or she can set an example for the rest of the company. As a leader, the leader will understand the importance of creativity and experimentation, and encourage it in others.