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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 Knowledge these days is outdated way faster than in the past; in 1985 knowledge retained for 15 years, now the average is only 13 months. This means that the knowledge you are now acquiring will be outdated or no longer relevant in about 1 year. What does this mean for the future of our work and how you stay relevant, productive and efficient as an employee? Being able to keep up with change requires us to continuously adapt our way of thinking and acting in order to be able to offer what is required of us at that moment. It takes lifelong learning. Working is therefore increasingly equating to learning.

This gives managers a great deal of responsibility; they must be able to quickly anticipate on possible changes and help their team to respond quickly to remain successful in the future. We therefore see that ‘managing’ people is becoming less and less important and that the focus is on facilitating learning and contributing to the development of 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 be able to make learning a daily routine, it requires from leaders to adopt a new habit. This takes some time, but it’s definitely worth it. Leaders who do this can more easily see things from a broader perspective, come up with new ideas and adapt their skills more quickly to new circumstances. They continuously add value to their team, customers and especially themselves by learning something every day. These tips will help you make learning a habit in your work practice:

Learn from others. This 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 start a conversation together. An expert from another field can help you to think outside the box and look at issues from a new perspective.

Learn by doing in a different context. Actively make time to go ‘back to school’ at least 1 day per quarter and follow 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 be in 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 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 his way. Are you and your team ready for the future?

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