Learn, Share, Grow – Make Learning a Part of Everyday Work
Below is a lesson from Harvard Business Review on how to make learning a part of your everyday work, as well as our key learning.
The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth. We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”. We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning. As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.
Make Learning a Part of Everyday Work
By Josh Bersin and Marc Zao-Sanders
What is the 80/20 Rule and could it actually make 80% of your work disappear?
As automation, AI, and new job models reconfigure the business world, lifelong learning has become accepted as an economic imperative. Eighty percent of CEOs now believe the need for new skills is their biggest business challenge. For employees, research now shows that opportunities for development have become the second most important factor in workplace happiness (after the nature of the work itself). At the most fundamental level, we are a neotenic species, born with an instinct to learn throughout our lives. So it makes sense that at work we are constantly looking for ways to do things better; indeed, the growth-mindset movement is based on this human need. And whereas recruitment is an expensive, zero-sum game (if company A gets the star, company B does not), learning is a rising tide that lifts all boats.
Yet the urgency of work invariably trumps the luxury of learning. A study we recently ran with LinkedIn found that employees waste one third of their day on emails that have little or nothing to do with their jobs. The traditional corporate learning portal (the learning management system) is rarely used (other than for mandatory compliance training) and it often takes many clicks to find what you need. Learning therefore ends up being relegated — consciously and subconsciously — to the important-but-not-urgent quadrant of Eisenhower’s 2×2 matrix. On average, knowledge workers carve out just five minutes for formal learning each day. We’re all just too caught up in the inexorable flow of work.
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- 80% of CEOs believe the need for new skills is their biggest business challenge.
- Research shows that opportunities for development become the second most important factor in workplace happiness. At the most fundamental level, we are a neotenic species, born with an instinct to learn throughout our life.
- Study recently ran with LinkedIn found that employees waste 1/3 of their day on emails that have little or nothing to do with your job.
- For workers, 780 million of them sit in front of a computer for 6.5 hours each day. They spend 28% of their time on email, 19% of their time gathering information, and 14% of their time communicating internally. Those three activities combined constitute 61% of the total time at work for this population.
- Finding data, fax, information, and insights, and then sharing it with others, is a daily activity for most of us. In fact, 30% of content that shared online is either educational or informational.
- Learning in the flow of work is a new idea it recognizes that for learning to really happen, it must fit around and align itself two working days and working lives.
- Some practical measures you could implement today to incorporate learning in your daily workflow:
- Practice metacognition and mindfulness – be aware and be present as you go about your daily job benefits are and increased ability to learn and develop.
- Maintain a to-learn list – write down a list of concepts, thoughts, practices, and vocabulary you want to explore, bookmark them in your browser, and add them to your list. You can later explore them when you have a few moments to reflect.
- Use text-enabled tips as you work – Technical tips from the likes of Google’s explore with in Google docs can help with context-relevant research or suggestions for formatting or analysis.
- Calendarize dedicated learning time into your work schedule – let colleagues know how important learning is to you. Agree on a sensible portion of your work week that can be devoted to learning with your manager.
- Subscribe to a small number of high-quality, hyper-relevant newsletters – choose them with care, to suit your role, industry, and personality.
- Contribute actively, expertly, and kindly to a learning channel where work actually happens – if your company doesn’t have a learning channel, create one. When you share something new and interesting with colleagues on these platforms, don’t just paste the URL. Help people understand why you’re sharing it, unpacking the what-it’s-about and why-it-matters aspect of a content pieces.
- Top-down learning – it is six times less expensive to build technical skills internally then it is to go hire them from the job market.
- Make sure corporate knowledge systems are accurate and easy to use – spend some time curating and fixing the internal systems you have to make them faster and more useful.
- Share content internally – it’s now possible to use technology to harness organic learning that’s happening in one part of the company, and scale the benefits within the water organization.
- Leverage APIs to bring content to the workplace – most software is now built with inter-operability in mind which is often deliver through APIs.
- Devote a channel in your corporate communications software to learning – create a dedicated online space for learning and promote it with meaningful contributions from business leaders. Encourage naturally active sharers and influencers to post and promote new content.
- Consider a conversational or chat interface – adding a chat layer on top of primary workflow software is a straightforward, effective way to pair learning with work.
- Place learning in the inbox – the sparing use of personalized emails may be the most efficient, effective way to sprinkle learning into your staff’s worked days.
- It’s important that we spend more of our time as learning professionals understanding the practical realities of daily work for people, and ensuring that our products and services are in tune with those realities.
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