Prokesch’s Interview with J. Browne on Knowledge Management
In the article, Unleashing the power of learning: An interview with British Petroleum’s John Browne, the aspects of learning and knowledge management are highlighted as important in sustaining competitive advantage at BP. Basically, learning in an organization focuses on the individual learning context as a model for understanding organizational activities. BP has a very unique organizational structure. The company exhibits a distinctive and unique organizational structure that is shaped by the organization’s goals. In advancing organizational learning, the system that helps the organization avoid learning disabilities is proactive organizational thinking. The company concentrates on systems thinking, mental models, personal mastery, shared vision, and team learning. These factors are critical in creating effective employee and organizational performance. The concept of knowledge as applied in BP refers to a series of skill-based training to ensure that employees have relevant skills in executing their duties in an effective and efficient manner.
The strategic importance of learning, leadership, and knowledge management in gaining and sustaining BP’s competitive advantage is to ensure continuity in the acquisition of knowledge to help the organization to continue to grow as a result of motivational strategies directed toward the employees. A learning organization comprises workers who have excellent interpersonal skills. They have the capacity to solve problems through creative evaluation of different possible outcomes, and by using their own ideas to find solutions to the rising problems. The BP appreciates that strong performance is a prerequisite for future career development and thus employs people with global mindsets, customer focus, result-oriented, and deep business understanding. This is necessary to facilitate the elimination of poor skills and go a long way in reducing overhead costs, while efficiently increasing productivity.