An orientation to learning
System and organisational goals provide the focus for learning. However, it is the underpinning organisational structures and processes that determine opportunities for learning and its role in decision making.
Devolved management structures
Hierarchical, command-and-control organisational structures are not conducive to effective adaptive learning within dynamic and complex systems. Devolved management structures based on trust, openness, cooperation and respect can enhance self-organising processes.
Nested goals across scales
Short, medium and long term strategies provide a 'map' for learning. Flexibility, particularly in medium and long term strategies, allows for modification based on reflexive practice and new insights. Cycles of learning should be linked to other regular planning processes such as budget cycles.
Monitoring and evaluation at required scales
The role of an adaptive learning organisation is to develop capacity to access or generate a range of information and associated responses to achieve system goals in a sustainable way. Monitoring and evaluation is vital to assess and demonstrate the links between goals, actions and outcomes across a diversity of scales.
Societal validation of outcomes
Adaptive organisations form part of broader networks where they influence and are influenced through their decisions and activities by broader systems. Societal validation, underpinned by participatory processes that consciously and creatively addresses power imbalances and the need for meaningful engagement, is essential.