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What have you learned in the past month? It’s a question that is becoming increasingly important to consider. Knowledge these days becomes outdated way faster than in the past; in 1985, knowledge obtained would be relevant for 15 years, now the average is only 13 months. This means that the knowledge you are now acquiring will be outdated or no longer relevant in about one year. What does this mean for the future of our jobs, and how do we stay relevant, productive, and efficient as employees? Being able to keep up with change requires us to constantly adapt our way of thinking and acting so as to be able to offer what is required of us at that moment. It takes lifelong learning. Working is, therefore, increasingly equal to learning.

A fast changing environment gives managers a great deal of responsibility; they must be able to quickly anticipate possible changes and help their team to respond quickly if they are to remain successful in the future. We now see that ‘managing’ people is becoming less important and that the focus is on facilitating learning and contributing to developing a learning culture within the organization. Because scalable efficiency doesn’t work in times of rapid change, scalable learning is the future.

Learning as a habit
To make learning a daily routine, employees must adopt new habits. Adopting new habits takes some time, but it’s worth it. Employees who do this can more easily see things from a broader perspective, develop new ideas, and quickly adapt their skills to new circumstances. They continuously add value to their team, customers, and especially themselves by learning something daily. These tips will help you make learning a habit in your work practice:

  • Learn from others involves new knowledge, but it can also be a way to broaden your perspective and stimulate your brain to think differently. Actively seek opportunities to engage in a conversation with new people and build a network of people with as many diverse views, opinions, and perspectives as possible.
    Take a fixed moment in your day to learn something new. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with your work. For example, start your day with a short online lecture, lesson, talk, tutorial or Q&A session on various topics such as photography, flying drones, or online marketing.
  • Learn together with your team and ask your employees to teach you new things. For example, invite a speaker to an online presentation and join them in a conversation. An expert from another field can help you to think outside the box and look at issues from a new perspective.
  • Learn by doing something in a different context. Actively make time to go ‘back to school’ at least 1 day per quarter and take a training/workshop . Stimulate different parts of your brain with, for example, a creative cooking workshop, a more analytical coding workshop or a ‘soft skills’ training.
  • Relearn something. Learning does not always have to take you to unfamiliar territory; you can also delve into something you already think you can do to get even better at it. Think of YouTube tutorials working with Excel or a speed reading course.

Remaining successful in a fast-changing world requires an active and continuous search for new information, applying it, and sharing it with others. It’s the way to become a self-directed learner, ready for anything that comes their way. Are you and your team ready for the future?

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