Within every organization there are a few exceptional and curious learners. Those that know what to do when they don’t know what to do. And learning is infectious. Leverage their influence correctly and you can catalyze innovation. Something we could all do with in today’s ever-changing world.
Here’s five simple ways to unleash the learning bug.
Learning should be part of our daily experience, not something relegated to the classroom. Foster learning each day by promoting every experience as a learning opportunity and highlighting how everyone will benefit from it.
Institutional risk-aversion can kill a learning culture. We should be encouraging individuals to take smart risks, exploring possibilities in every idea that has promise. A tale is told that at Amazon if a manager said “no” they’d have to write a two-page thesis explaining why. This creates the effort that only normally exists if you say yes.
Learning should be seen as an iterative process. Failures can be more important than success in getting to the right answer. P&G hand out the “heroic failure” award to honor the employee or team with the biggest failure that led to the greatest insight.
Identify team members that are extra-curious and wanting to learn, and make sure you support them. They bring huge value to innovation and problem solving, and you might just have answered the conundrum of longevity in today’s business world. Or at least have the next great idea.
We shouldn’t try to teach people the right answer for everything. Encourage your team to arrive at the right answers by themselves, and be on hand with your network to guide and support.
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