I quite liked this short blog post from Ton Zijlstra (thanks, Olaf) about owning your own learning path. In particular, I liked: “In terms of owning your learning path this means that you don’t have to wait for the educational system to change, or for organizations to start behaving differently. You can own your learning path, within the educational system, and within traditional organizations. As long as you don’t let ‘them’ unilaterally set your goals”.
This is the essence behind my own personal learning path. I have undertaken a number of university-based courses, among others, for the purpose of my personal learning, irrespective of whether I have had the support of an employer. Much of the learning has also been at my personal financial cost. And, in nearly all cases, the learning takes place in my personal time, especially the thinking time!
Interestingly, much of what I have learned in courses, at conferences, and through personal networks, is applicable to the workplace. The capacity from such learning to improve organisational performance is huge. Unfortunately, some managers fail to recognise the strengths and opportunities from such learning, let alone the learning from what is already happening around them in the contemporary business world.
My favourite anti-learning quote was made by a senior manager in an organisation I have worked in: “We’ve been doing it this way for the past ten years and we are successful. There’s no need to do anything differently now”. Yes, well I’m sure the dinosaurs had the same sentiments. It is not an attitude that I personally subscribe to.