✅ It is not enough merely to instill the vision, you must also enable the learning. That means that you must invest time and money in the learning process. That can mean something as a simple as creating a budget item for “training and learning” and allocating money for this process. It can also mean creating policies that reimburse employees for job-related learning. It can mean investing in outside trainers, classes and courses, and continuous growth programs. It can also mean policies which allow for release time for seminars, retreats and training programs.
✅ Begin to instill this capability in your organization by mandating personal growth. Write into every job description a phrase that says every employee is expected to continually grow in their capabilities to do this job better as well as to expand their knowledge of other jobs within the organization.
Make learning a strategic initiative. Manage it like he would any other strategic issue. Give it lots of conversation. Mentioned it in newsletters and memos. Write it up in the annual report. Talk about it at employee meetings. Create learning lists for individuals and small groups. This is a list of the things that they need to learn in order to do their job more effectively. Let everyone know from the top to the bottom that continuous personal improvement, i.e. active learning, is a necessary part of everyone’s employment in your organization.
Let everyone know that coasting along with last year’s knowledge and last year’s capabilities is no longer acceptable.
✅ Lastly, be a model of the kind of behavior you expect everyone within your organization to mimic. Let people see you learning and growing. Let them see you invest in your own development. Let them see you go to seminars, be involved in CEO roundtable groups, read books, periodicals, and go to training courses. Become a model for the kind of active learner you want your whole organization to be.
Implement these four strategies, and you’ll begin to instill the number one competency for success in the Information Age into your company. You’ll begin to turn your organization into a learning company.
Complete this quick assessment to determine how well your organization has embraced active learning. Answer Yes or No to each question.
Do you have a budget for training/learning?
Is the budgeted amount larger than 3% of payroll?
Do all employees know that they are expected to continually improve their capabilities?
Are employees regularly evaluated on how well they are learning and gaining new skills?
Does your organization have a compelling vision of what it could become?
Are all your employees aware of that vision?
Does each employee understand how he/she can contribute to attaining that vision?
Does each employee understand the benefit to them for moving the company toward that vision?
Do you encourage employees to expand their skills via reimbursement or release time programs?
Do you model the kind of continuous personal growth that you expect of them?
If you answered YES:
➡️ 9 or 10 times – you are in great shape.
➡️ 7 or 8 times – you are well on your way. Focus on adding the missing pieces.
➡️ 5 or 6 times – you are off to a good start but you need to spend more time moving your organization toward active learning.
▶️ Under 5 times – you are lagging behind. Time to get serious about building this competency into your organization.