January 14, 2019

Below is a lesson from Harvard Business Review on why it is important that our team embraces a culture of learning as part of their responsibilities, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Make Sure Everyone on Your Team Sees Learning as Part of Their Job

by Kristi Hedges

September 12, 2018

As an executive coach, I speak regularly at corporate leadership development programs. During discussions, participants often confess the real reason they’re in the room, and it’s rarely “to grow and learn.” Time and again, the reasons include: they are checking a box on their development plan, their manager told them to come, or they’ve been told that their participation will increase the chance of a promotion.

The reality is that most people are not set up to take advantage of development opportunities. Many organizations view learning as something extra, something to fit in on top of the regular work. But to create a culture that encourages employee growth, managers need to make learning an expectation — not an option.

Learning helps people keep a broad perspective. When we feel expert at something, sociologists have shown, the earned dogmatism effect sets in, causing us to be more close-minded and to disregard new ideas and perspectives. For managers, suggesting that team members go to a training or take an online course isn’t enough; for many professionals, that’s just more work on their plates. Instead, managers need to encourage continual learning with supportive behaviors that, in turn, will shape their company culture.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Most people are not set up to take advantage of development opportunities. Many organizations view learning as something extra, something to fit in on top of the regular work.
  • Learning helps people keep a broad perspective. When we feel expert at something, sociologists have shown, the earned dogmatism effect sets in, causing us to be more close-minded and to disregard new ideas and perspectives.
  • Managers need to encourage continual learning with supportive behaviors that, in turn, will shape their company culture:
    • Be a vocal role model – Managers should frame learning as a growth opportunity, not as a quid pro quo for promotion. Open up about your own personal areas for improvement — creates an environment where it is acceptable for everyone else to do the same. Come back from every workshop/training with a story about what you learned — be specific, talk about learning as being enjoyable…this encourages people to be adaptively authentic and open to try new behaviors.
    • Celebrate growth and lean into failure – people don’t simply have passion, they develop them. The best way to determine what you enjoy is to try new things, even when those things are challenging or uncomfortable. If you want your team to be excited about and find purpose in their work, encourage them to be curious and experiment. Recognize employees when they make progress on a new initiative – even if it doesn’t hit the goal – because they have proactively created a learning opportunity for themselves and the company at large. Support learning by not hiding failures.
    • Make it easy for people – people usually take on development opportunities on top of their regular workload, so the easier you can make it for them to find the right program, the better. Ask HR for recommendations, crowdsource what you need. When someone is attending a program, lighten their workload to reduce stress and allow them to be present. Make it easy for participants to apply the learning – it’s more valuable to let people apply what they’ve learned to their own projects first, giving them the opportunity to determine what lessons are relevant before sharing them with the rest of the team.
    • Foster new experiences – research shows that to be inspired, we need to transcend current thought and become aware of new or better possibilities. People benefit most and feel empowered when you allow them to weigh in on what learning opportunities are of the greatest interest to them. Only by tackling unfamiliar challenges will people get the feedback they need to learn. The goal is for them to learn from the task, not necessarily to knock it out of the park.
  • Companies are investing considerable money and time into developing talent, but without doing the up-front work to ensure that leaders are building a learning culture.

Do you have a resources that you would like to share? Contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

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