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Continuous Learning in the Workplace

Posted 06 February 2020
by Clare Davy

Continuous learning in the workplace (and life in general) is essential to being able to adapt and respond to this fast-paced, constantly changing world. With an education and L&D background, I certainly have a bias towards education and learning being the elixir to…well almost everything! This McKinsey article encourages us to rethink and redefine the role of leaders in this continuous learning, reskilling era. What mindsets and behaviours must leaders learn in order to best support their people?

Some key points –

  • We need to stop thinking of ‘reskilling’ and ‘upskilling’ as only being possible through structured courses and learning programs. Our capacity to reskill can happen in our day to day job – if it is built into the job design, work environment and organisation culture. How can we allow our people to explore different avenues and build new skills while forging a path leading to future roles and functions?
  • We need to create a safe space to learn, to un-learn (just as important as learning something new – we also need to un-learn mindsets and behaviours that are no longer suitable) and to fail. Tim Welsh provides the analogy of creating a safe learning environment for our children in our homes. He says, “why can’t we be the same authentic, open leader at work as we are at home? Be honest but positive, painting potential opportunities for the future, and design the work and create the environments in which people can thrive.” The right environment is crucial.
  • And the last point I want to highlight really stood out to me – the need to rethink and redefine a whole new set of attributes that a leader should have. Such as, humility, empathy, act in service to others, an enabler of others, a facilitator empowering others to do things on their own.


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