Thursday, April 12, 2018

Three Continuum to Develop Learning Habit

We live in the information and knowledge economy, learning is not the things you are 'done' only in your youth, it has to become the lifestyle, and develop it as a habit.

To quote Peter Drucker, an American management guru, “knowledge is the most valuable commodity.” It couldn’t be truer in the digital era. On one hand, the fresh knowledge can be captured from the abundance of information, to create significant business value; on the other hand, it doesn’t take so long for that knowledge to become a commodity once the market is exposed to it. With overwhelming growth of information and shortened knowledge cycle, today's digital workforce must develop the great learning habit in order to build professional competency and unlock their performance and potential.

Ask-learn-share: With faster-paced changes, continuous learning needs to become a great habit and lifestyle, not only a job requirement. People who are learning agile can self-reflect and self-manage, they are self-driven with insatiable curiosity. They continue their learning cycle via "ask-learn-share." The clear manifestation of intellectual curiosity is to ask good questions, the open questions, the profound questions, and the thought-provoking questions. Because the good question brings multifaceted perspective, to enforce the culture of learning and sharing. Knowledge is the power; knowledge sharing is embedded in the business culture, work styles, perhaps most importantly, wherever knowledge is shared, it expands its power instead of confining its value. It takes the right dose of ego with both confidence and humility to ask and learn. It can be difficult for us to show a willingness to be vulnerable and admit that we may not know all of the answers, but we have the great attitude to learn. Informal learning is on the rise with the increase of social collaboration tools. The emergence of social platforms provides the new way to learn, share and collaborate. Digital leaders and professionals should understand that asking/learning is not a sign of weakness but rather an open door to illustrate the value of collective wisdom through developing the answer with others or sharing the power of diverse perspectives to stimulate innovation.

Connect-collect-collaborate: People with great learning habit continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, self-motivated, and get jobs done resourcefully. In digital leading organizations, the division between 'working' and 'learning' taken as linear steps, is replaced by combining and integrating 'working, thinking and learning, as an iterative learning/doing continuum. People do the real work by unifying mind, heart, and hands. When we light up our brains with positive thinking and learning, we are able to increase our critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. Digital professionals with learning habit collect feedback proactively to focus on making continuous improvement. To collect and collaborate, it is excellent to bring digital technologies to this realm, to urge a sense of connection via virtual "conversations" beyond the confines of a blighted neighborhood. Collaboration happens in that space in between people in relationship receptively and thoughtfully interacting with interest and caring for one another's needs and activities, to connect, communicate and co-create new knowledge or co-solve the business challenges.

Learn-think-understand: Don't stop learning. We live in the era of knowledge abundance. Absorbing knowledge is a paradoxical process: On one hand, you need to get knowledge from every source that you can. On the other side, you have to be selective. There is false information, and knowledge is outdated sooner than you think. Therefore, developing learning habit is important, but equally important, you need to learn how to learn. Over time, you develop an effective set of filters that help you find new information that interests you and refine them into valuable insight. The point of learning is to gather the details around the subject under scrutiny and then and only then can you be selective. So, the knowledge you select becomes "part" of you. Absorbing knowledge is only the beginning of learning. How deeply your understanding is based on the logic, lenses, philosophy, mindset, the methodology you leverage to interpret things. Understanding requires a person's ability to grasp or comprehend information. Climbing the information-knowledge-insight pyramid is a thorny journey full of perils and pitfalls, but it's worth the effort. It's important to take learning-thinking-understanding as iterative steps for moving up steadfastly.

We live in the information and knowledge economy, learning is not the things you are 'done' only in your youth, it has to become the lifestyle, and develop it as a habit; collectively, as the culture thing. Loving to learn and the passion to share, very much go together. Learning is a lifelong experience. Each thing you learn becomes potentially the thing to solve your latest failure, the potential secret to your next success!


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