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‘Own Your Learning’ is Today’s Mantra

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With the pace of change in every aspect of life, it has become crucial for every individual to practice ‘Continual Learning’. The beauty is that with the knowledge explosion, we have so many ways to access knowledge and learn. Information is all around us, but we must make the choice of making time, getting the right information, learning and then practicing it to gain expertise.

While organizations today promote a culture of continual learning, individuals need to take time out, leverage every opportunity that is available, build new knowledge and skills for personal and professional growth.

Here are some ways by which people can practice continual learning:

Books and articles – Some of us like to read books or articles – a great source of information. It is available as printed copies as well as digital. Many have lost their interest in these, and the buzz phrase one gets to hear is, ‘I don’t get time’. With long hours of travel and bad traffic, this is perhaps not an excuse, but a fact. Some say a lack of energy, and some have less attention span! While digital methods have given various options like kindle and tablet. Book summaries are one way to get the gist of various books. There are various speed reviews available. YouTube also has book summaries presented in infographics, which are easier to understand. Reading articles from various websites such as HBR, McKinsey, Gartner, Deloitte-Bersin, etc.

Podcasts and mobile learning via apps are another way to learn – it is like listening to a radio show. Audiobooks are like lectures that people can listen to on their own schedule. TED Shows and watching videos are another great way to learn from experiences. Attending webinars and seminars is another method by which individuals and teams can develop a focus on their continuous learning to build new knowledge and skills. Taking online courses using the various MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) gives a lot of opportunities to individuals to learn from masters, experts and educational organizations across the globe.

Taking challenging assignments and new projects in areas that individuals have not been exposed to earlier. This gives them opportunities to network with people across teams as well as external experts. When people reach out to mentors and coaches when things are unclear, they get guided into solving complex problems and also learning from experiences. When working with an expert, observing the approaches of the experts also gives insights to specific areas. Immersive learning by solving real-time problems with the team by trial and error is another great way to learn in an agile manner. Once concepts and new approaches, technologies, or tools are learned, practicing, and applying new skills helps in gaining expertise in various skills and competencies. It is also important to reflect on progress as a self-assessment. Self-analysis is a great way to track improvement and progress of learning. Another way to work towards improving skills is asking for feedback. Meetups, participating in discussion groups, and other networking methods are other methods to learn from experts around you as well as across the globe.

It is important in today’s times to be aware of changes, appreciate those, and keep one’s mind open to new learning.

Points to remember:

  1. Learn a wide variety of things, not just topics related to current role or work
  2. Seek out more knowledge from a variety of sources, by doing new things and having new experiences
  3. Always be ready to learn something new and look out for trends and future technologies/industry changes
  4. Appreciate change and see it as a new opportunity to discover new paths
  5. Be ready to take risks, experiment, fail and learn
  6. Be connected and increase your networks – there is always new experience and perspectives which broaden our minds to provide new ideas
  7. Be agile and leverage every opportunity to learn
  8. Use your social connections to share and learn

So, leverage every moment to learn something new through reading, sharing, observing, reflecting – any mode that you get – enhance your knowledge, skills, and get empowered!

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