The world is an increasingly complex place where people need more and more skills to be effective contributors to the workplace. To develop new and higher levels of skills, people need to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn continuously throughout their lives.
Learning no longer only happens in classrooms, with around 70% of learning happening as informal learning in the workplace and beyond. The time has also come where learning needs to shift from simply listening to others share their second-hand experiences through lectures and books to actually experiencing things first-hand.
This ongoing development and growth is critical to the success of individuals and businesses but this will only happen if it is supported by a ‘culture of ongoing development and growth’ at an organisational level.
For your business to succeed, you need your team to be able to:
- find and determine what is relative information from different sources through critical literacy skills
- develop informed opinions and be able to articulate them through written and verbal communications using various multimedia and social networking technologies, and
- be creative and innovative by using their imagination to solve complex, unscripted problems with others
This ever-changing environment needs your team to increase their capacity to deal with new and unknown situations through the skills and knowledge they have gained in their informal workplace and/or daily life experiences, as well as participating in formal education at ever higher levels.
This requires your team to have self-directed learning skills. Unfortunately, self-directed learning cannot be solely left to the individual to manage as learning rarely happens in isolation. In order to help your team manage their own learning, you need to create an environment which directly supports them to reach their potential. Goleman (2002, p. 18) states that “getting the best out of people pays off in hard returns” as learning ensures an organisation remains relevant. Without the creation of these learning environments and the involvement of others in self-directed learning, “lasting change can’t occur” (Goleman, 2002, p. 111). The key to managing this change is by creating a culture of ongoing development and growth in your organisation.
This post is an updated version of the very first post on this site in January 2012 called “Looking to the future … creating a culture of ongoing development” – interesting that the need for ongoing development and growth has only increased since the original post.