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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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35. Organizational Learning

Some organizations can learn and some can’t. Some can learn a lesson in the abstract but can’t change themselves to take advantage of what they have learned. Some can learn, but the pace of their learning is offset by the pace of their unlearning. We all understand that the difference between being among the learning washed, as opposed to among the learning unwashed, is a matter of vital importance, because non-learners cannot expect to prosper for very long without learning, a critical improvement mechanism.

Experience and Learning

The first thing to realize about organizational learning is that it is not the same as simple accumulation of experience. By the 1930s, for example, the French army had accumulated hundreds ...

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