Who would have thought a few years ago, that you would pick up your smartphone and search Youtube to fix the espresso machine instead of looking for the paper manual! Or did we expect, at the time, to be able to instantly transfer money to our friends account as payback for the lunch – in a ‘swish’ – instead of forgetting to bring the cash five days later? What a difference a decade makes! You were struggling to understand how anyone could even manage to read their e-mail on a low-resolution screen smaller than the one you now have on your electronic toothbrush. How do you make sure you stay alert and open for new influences when they are right there in front of you? And how do you keep challenging your organization to stay on top of what’s happening next year in order to maintain a competitive advantage?
Remaining open and maintaining that eagerness to keep learning has become a necessity. May sound easy, but takes quite some training if this is not already in your DNA. So how can we keep learning?
Do your own homework and promote others who already did
When graduate university and begin our careers, we learn a whole new skill set. There are no more papers, no more exams. Instead you have to focus on your communication skills and how to reach your audience with your message. All great skills that needs to be refined. But we can’t forget that if the content is not right it will never work regardless. We need to make sure we did our homework on the content as well. It takes research and usually a valid network is helpful. We need to be critical and question the outcome, making sure we have done the background analysis that was premiered at school. As a leader, we need to make sure that this is valued in our organization.
Identify your boundaries
As soon as we get a problem we almost instantly set up the boundaries for the solution. Without thinking, we set up a frame for our thought and are trying to find the solution inside the frame. So let’s start by identifying the boundaries we’ve set up for ourselves. By identifying them it is so much easier to cross. I’ve tried this several times and it always made me come up with at least one good idea that could be used. Continues learning is also about knowing what limitations you put on your thoughts.
Pay attention to the people around you
One of the best ways to learn is to make sure you surround yourself with people who were not cast in the same mold. Network outside of your area own area of expertise and listen to what they have to say about your field and some the problems it may bring with it. They are probably not going to give you the solution, but they are likely to give you an idea to go in a different direction to find your answers. And the next time you go on the tram, instead of being fully absorbed by your smartphone take the opportunity to observe how people behave. Be aware of your surroundings, because there is a lot to be gotten from it that many of us miss out on.
Let technology get you inspired
There are so many cool things happening in the world of technology! Cameras and sensors make it possible to water your plants while on the other side of the world. Not only is technology itself inspiring – this has Capgemini taken into aspect in our Technovision 2014 – but technology is able to bring education and learning possibilities at almost no cost if any. Available to anyone, anywhere. In your own living room, you are now able to consume education with a quick click. This will surely change the world and erase borders!
Start getting into one of the most powerful ways to learn – read! Challenge yourself and get a regular reading habit. Hard to make time, I know. But you can steal some time on the train to work, at lunch break, at the gym? It’s all available – at your fingertips – thanks to technology.