The fundamentals of learning organisations are revisited to provide a relevant perspective for achieving world‐class performance. A new concept termed the ‘total learning organisation’ is created and developed based on the theoretical background and the author’s consultancy experience. Three important World Cup matches are used as case examples to illustrate the application of innovation through the conceptual framework of the total learning organisation. The findings are useful for firms wanting to benchmark against the experience of leading firms which have survived and grown despite the two global oil crises and the recent Asian financial turmoil.
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