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  • Writer's pictureHelena Eketrapp

How can you future-proof your company? 9 engines for the Transformative and Learning Organization

Updated: Jan 2

The key lies in becoming a transformative and learning organization - to be able to develop and grow sustainably and creating value. To build an organization that has the ability to constantly transform itself, to be relevant today, tomorrow and in the future.

SpryHouse, supported by research and extensive experience, has identified nine fundamental engines that are crucial to developing and strengthening the transformative and learning organization. The nine engines describe principles and characteristics that are common to organizations that have succeeded in building a business that can operate in constant change and at the same time develop and grow sustainably and create value.

In this article we dive deep into these nine engines, but first some background.

Why should we become a Transformative and Learning organization?

How our organizations work today, traditional organizational models and the way we lead and manage our companies, are increasingly inadequate for today's challenges. Everything from technological disruption, societal change to global competition requires something different from our organizations, something that is based on continuous learning, the ability to adapt to the changes that take place both within the organization and in the outside world, and at the same time be innovative to come up with new and useful things. So we not only need to learn to adapt, but also learn to lead.

We need to learn to adapt and learn to lead!

To succeed, we must take into account the entire organization and its environment

To transform a business into a learning organization, we need to take into account the "whole" organization and the context in which it operates. We need to see the entire organizational system.

In order to create the dynamism needed for the organization to be able to constantly learn and develop in order to transform sustainably and create value, people, culture, working methods and technology need to work together and be in sync.

We can say that the transformative and learning organization is a complex system where technology, working methods, people and culture interact optimally.

The Nine Engines: A Deep Dive

The nine engines describe characteristics that are common to organizations that have succeeded in creating a business that can operate in constant change and at the same time develop sustainably and create value.

The engines create a common language for the transformation and help organizations to focus on what has the greatest importance and impact in this ongoing transformation.


The nine engines - to develop and strengthen the transformative and learning organization

Purpose driven – The why of the organization and a compass for everything it does.

Create lasting value by letting purpose guide strategy. Use the organization's purpose to create a shared vision and as the basis for everything the organization does.

Organize for complexity – Systems thinking, holistic approach, tear down silos.

Ability to see the organization as a system, how each part affects and works together to create long-term sustainable path choices and priorities.

The customer at the center - Always focus on the customer, both internal and external.

Put the customer at the center, with empathy and responsiveness, in operations and product development as well as in internal processes and decisions.

Transformation of work – Dare to let go of the old and try new, test , learn and scale.

Put the customer at the center, with empathy and responsiveness, in operations and product development as well as in internal processes and decisions.

Technology adoption - Using technology to drive change.< /span>

Ability to accept, implement and use the opportunities of new technology and to use technology to drive change.

Intentional collaboration – Design for collaboration that brings many different perspectives.

Design for inclusive collaboration, both inside and outside the organization, to promote diverse perspectives, collective learning, make better decisions and strengthen the power of innovation.

Open Leadership – Build capability and confidence for decision-making, transparency.

Open and transparent leaders who provide mandates and work to build the ability and confidence of people and teams to make decisions and solve complex problems.

Learning approach – See opportunity instead of problem, learn, develop and grow.

Culture where everyone is passionate and persistent in learning, developing and growing together, with a focus on seeing opportunities instead of problems and at the same time the ability to question existing assumptions.

Continuous team learning – Collective learning linked to the organization's strategic goals.

Continuous and dynamic development of strategic skills and collective competence of the team, which is aligned with the desired movements and strategic goals of the organization.


The engines is based on deep and broad research and with synergies between several disciplines as well as many years of experience in relevant fields.

The engines form a framework based on systems thinking, and have a holistic approach to the organization. Each engine is part of the organization's system, which affects and is affected by the other engines.

The nine engines together cover culture, people, working methods and technology and all have an influence on each other and a mutual dependence.

Relevant today and in the future

In the transformative organization, the dynamics needed are created so that the organization can constantly learn and develop sustainably and value-creating and move in the right direction.​

A transformative organization invests in the future without losing focus on what is required to be successful today. The nine engines help the organization to constantly move in the right direction.

Something constantly going on

Becoming a transformative and learning organization is a journey, something ongoing and not a final destination.

With the insight into the importance and impact of all engines, and understanding of the organization's maturity for each of the engines, the organization can focus on the engines that are most pressing in relation to the organization's challenges at the moment. And then build from there, always with the understanding of how each engine relates to, and reinforces the other engines.

An example: One organization successfully implemented these nine engines over a two-year period, which among other things contributed to a 30% increase in the number of innovations and 20% fewer employees leaving the company. The organization started with the engine "Purpose driven", which naturally led on to the engine "Customer at the center" and eventually all nine engines were in harmony. The organization now continues to work continuously with the engines, but with different focuses depending on which engine is judged to have the most importance and impact at the moment and in relation to the organization's level of maturity for each of the engines.

The nine engines for sustainable and value-creating growth

The nine engines for the transformation into a learning organization offer a robust framework for businesses that strive to develop sustainably and create value in today's complex landscape. By understanding and implementing these engines, you not only future-proof your business; You pave the way for sustainable and value-creating growth and success.

Which of the engines feel most important to your organization in the transformation to a learning organization? Feel free to share below.

Which Engines are most important to your organization?

  • 0%Purpose-Driven

  • 0%Organize for Complexity

  • 0%Customer Centricity

  • 0%Transformation of Work

You can vote for more than one answer.



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