In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while
the learned find themselves beautifully equipped
to deal with a world that no longer exists.
-Eric Hoffer, an American Moral and Social Philosopher
Love of Learning is the key to your company’s success.
- A study by Bersin & Associates found companies and organizations who have a strong learning culture: are 46% more likely to be the leader in their industry, note a 34% increase in their ability to respond to the needs of customers, and are 17% more likely to become the market share leader.[i]
- A researcher for the American Society for Training and Development discovered that the more a company invested toward developing employees, the higher its stock value went the following year.[ii]
Such a robust learning organization is clearly good for your company’s bottom-line, and it is good for your career as well. You see a thriving organization generates massive opportunities for everyone including you!
As an executive, you can no longer rely on organic, on-the-job growth to sustain your relevancy. The marketplace is too volatile. Aligning your time and commitment to growing your skills and intellect is mandatory.
How do you measure up in Love of Learning?
A Love of Learning has you immersing yourself in a continual development cycle. Sometimes this activates a state of flow where your mind is absorbing information with such ease it feels as though only minutes have passed when in reality it has been hours. A Love of Learning is a focus that has you attentive to new information or topics or expertise or skills that engage you. You may not even have an immediate use for the fresh insight as the nugget becomes part of who you are ready to spring forth exactly when needed.
What is a “just right” Love of Learning focus?
You love systematically soaking up information that improves your career development possibilities. You concentrate on learning whether on your own time or in formal corporate settings.
What are some simple shifts you can make to engage your Love of Learning?
- Add to Your Capabilities: Currently, there is a focus on developing two leadership skills: Building consensus and commitment and Communicating and interacting with others. And yet, there are two skills critical for your future and that of your organization which are often ignored: Fostering employee creativity and innovation and Leading across countries and cultures[iii]so as you explore adding a Love of Learning to your schedule, make sure you are also including these abilities as well.
- Growth Mindset: Carol Dweck’s breakthrough studies revealed that a fixed mindset, which has you believing that your intellect and inherent qualities are carved in stone, harms your future. Whereas, a growth mindset believes your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.[iv] Taking on a growth mindset or Love of Learning brings about a number of benefits:
- Supervisors in growth-mindset companies expressed significantly more positive views about the employees than supervisors in fixed-mindset companies rating them as more innovative and collaborative.
- Employees in a “growth mindset” company are:
- 47 percent likelier to say that their colleagues are trustworthy,
- 34 percent likelier to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company,
- 65 percent likelier to say that the company supports risk taking,
- 49 percent likelier to say that the company fosters innovation.[v]
- Learning Opportunities: Facilitated face-to-face training is utilized when an organization is looking to achieve dynamic group interaction and coaching in-the-room to produce breakthrough thinking both individually and corporately. 60 percent of leaders find the most effective leadership development to be formal workshops, training programs and seminars.[vi]Then, there is e-Learning an industry which is growing by leaps-and-bounds and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, for the last five years it has experienced a 9.2 percent compound growth rate.[vii] Additionally, according to a report released by IBM, companies who utilize e-Learning tools and strategies have the potential to boost productivity by up to 50 percent. For every dollar a company spends, it’s estimated that they can receive $30 worth of productivity[viii]. Learning and growing has never been more effortless with the proliferation of mobile devices, an abundance of available knowledge and accessibility that accommodates scheduling demands:
- MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) on wide-ranging topics. This area of learning is expected to rise 28% in the next two years[ix] with many corporations around the country committing budget for professional development.
- YouTube videos. Wow! There are amazing executive developmental videos on almost any topic. I particularly find value from the business Ted Talks.
- Corporate Training: Your organization in all probability has a schedule of both online and instructor led training. E-Learning is becoming a proportionally larger share of the learning marketplace as 77 percent of USA companies offer online corporate training to improve the professional development of their employees which is expected to grow by 13 percent per year.[x] Are you taking advantage of these learning opportunities?
Can you overdo the Love of Learning?
Since the Love of Learning is one of my top Via Character Strengths, my personal response would be “Heck, no! You can never overdo the Love of Learning.” That view is inaccurate. Learning is only a part of the success factor. Unless your Love of Learning translates into improved outcomes whether people, processes, or systems, it is a waste of time for organizations—and ultimately you.
Do you know your strengths?
Are you interested in learning more? If you are, I’d love to talk to you about your strengths. Isn’t it time to create a life and career that is engaging, fulfilling and fun for YOU. Click this link to schedule a FREE 10-Minute call. The first step to opening doors to the future you’ve dreamed of having. I can’t wait!
David Garvin and Amy Edmondson, Professors at Harvard Business School, are interviewed regarding learning organizations. They point out how companies with a committed learning environment to stay ahead of change and the competition..
[ii] (McCann, 2011)
[iv] Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck, 2007.