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It’s difficult to pinpoint the single, most compelling reason why organizations can’t learn. However, after listening to the challenges of organizations where their people are concerned, I’ve come to realize it is far less about acknowledging the need for change — and much more about how to transact identified needs into action. There are distinct inflection points where organizations can pay close attention and shape action. However, these opportunities are often left on the table. One such opportunity, is when an employee is about to leave us.

Most of us have left organizations, yet were never asked in any detail why we were leaving. While, I suppose my own managers thought the reasons were quite obvious — upon reflection the reasons were likely more nuanced. In many cases, we’ve realized that the organization is no longer able to fulfill their end of the operating exchange relationship. However, exploring why that exchange has changed (or soured), could provide highly useful to the organization going forward. If we could embrace an “organizational” growth mindset, where potentially valuable information isn’t immediately discounted (for example, that a departing employee’s feedback is only is driven by emotion), organizations could possibly make improvements and limit premature departures.

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