In the book, The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge mentions some half a dozen or so companies whose leaders helped crystallize the concept of Learning Organization. This was in 1992, remember.
So I decided to see if the companies are still around or vanished ( I believe most of the companies mentioned in the giant best seller In Search of Excellence vanished within a few years).
Here's how ...
Hanover Insurance: As per them "Since January 2008, The Hanover is the only significant financial services company to be upgraded by A.M. Best, Moody's, and Standard and Poor's." Not bad. Not bad at all.
Herman Miller: Brian Walker, Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We were encouraged by our results this quarter for a number of reasons. The ramp-up in orders over the first quarter reflects the pattern of seasonal improvement we anticipated coming into the period. While orders remain below prior year levels, we were encouraged to see demand follow a more normalized trend this quarter." Hmmm.. Ok. Not bad.
Analog Devices: They seem to alive and kicking and innovating. So again. Not bad.
Apple: I own an iMac and iPod myself. I am waiting for their Tablet. They just rock!
Ford: The only of the Big Three to still hold their head high.
Polaroid: Frankly when I first heard of them - ages ago - with their instant photographs, I was not sure who would like to buy them. The cameras seem bulky and were very expensive in India. With the arrival of digital camera I was very sure they would disappear. I was obviously wrong. See here. They are still around and innovating. Good for them.
Royal Dutch / Shell: Deep sea oil find in Brazil; Contract in Iraq. They seem to be doing well.
Trammell Crow: I have never heard of them. My bad. But if a real estate development and investment company has survived 2009, they can't be too bad either.
So there you have it. All companies alive and kicking. Learning Organization cannot be such a bad thing then.