Summary of Creating a Learning Culture

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Creating a Learning Culture book summary
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  • Concrete Examples
  • For Experts
  • Insider's Take


This collection of essays would make the perfect gift for that friend who loves nothing more than to curl up with a human resources manual. The fruit of a colloquium held at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 2002, it brings together a wide range of contributors, spanning the spectrum from A to P - from academics who write about learning to practitioners who implement learning programs in corporations. The quality of the essays is uneven. Some of them are so chock-full of jargon that they could only make sense to a knowledge management consultant. Others are clear enough to be practical, at least in the hands of an insider. While the theoretical and abstract dominate the discussion, a couple of real-life case studies by actual executives bring the book down to earth. recommends this compendium to practitioners in its field. They will particularly love the stimulating reflections of an Australian-born CEO who unabashedly professes his admiration for the great white shark and expresses the fond wish that his employees would approach learning in the spirit of great whites in a feeding frenzy.

About the Authors

Marcia L. Connor is managing director of Ageless Learner, a think tank and advisory service. She is the author of Learn More Now: 10 Simple Steps to Learning Better, Smarter and Faster. James G. Clawson is a professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He is the author of Level Three Leadership.




This book's roots stretch to a colloquium held at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 2002. But it has a long lineage. In the 1980s, Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was working on issues of learning. Its work inspired the creation of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL), which brought together researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines. IRL promulgated two discoveries:

  1. Learning is social — What you decide to learn is a result of who you are, who you want to be and what communities you would like to join.
  2. Learning changes people — Learning about something and learning to be something are different. Learning is not just the acquisition of knowledge.

In 1990, Peter Senge published The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, which established learning as an important part of the business agenda. Five years later, editors Marcia L. Conner and James G. Clawson wrote an article for the debut issue of Fast Company magazine entitled, The People Are the Company. Their...

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