5 ways to champion learning in your organization

Ways to champion learning in your organization

How do leaders go about creating an environment for innovation and innovative thinking?

In five ways:

1. Learn by doing. There is no better way to learn than through action. With the rise of MOOCs, it’s now very easy to gain new knowledge at minimal cost—all that is needed is time. But, acquiring knowledge without doing is only half the battle. That’s why it’s important to act, learning in the process, while uncovering personal insights. It’s about putting ideas into action.

2. Learn by asking. If you’re not asking questions, you’re not going to find answers. Questions open the mind, and the more questions you ask, the more insights you’ll uncover. The best questions are those that provoke—not with the intent of irritating, but of exploring the boundaries of what is known and unknown. Probe, and then probe some more. The only boundaries that exist are those that go unquestioned.

3. Learn by networking. We all network, however it’s not the size of the network you have that matters, but how diverse it is. To think differently and become more valuable, you need to know and understand multiple topics. You need to develop an idea network, which feeds you insights and ideas, and will keep challenging you and helping you grow.

4. Learn by observing. There is much being said around you, and it has nothing to do with the words people say, but rather how they act. Listening doesn’t just happen with your ears, but with your eyes too. True attention makes use of all of our senses, so make an effort to take a step back and soak it all in—there is a puzzle waiting to be solved.

5. Learn by sharing. Doing is great, but sharing what you’ve learned with others is even greater. When you share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences, your influence expands dramatically, not to mention that you’ll also learn more because others will do the same with you.

Bottom line: Making matters for learning.

Read the rest of my guest post at the BULLDOG DRUMMOND UNCOMMON SENSE blog.

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  • Pavel Bogdashov

    Learn by doing is my favorite – MOOCs facilitate this to an extent, but I love https://www.khanacademy.org/ The concepts behind “flipped classroom” are all music to my ears.

    Instead of listening passively, while the lecturer or expert tells you stuff, have a crack at doing it yourself for real and after the first naive experience – get the instructor to help you reflect on what went wrong, let peers work with you to figure out an alternative approach, immerse, get out of your comfort zone and open your mind… Thinking about it it has all 5 you mentioned, Jorge. What do you think?

    • Hi @PavelBogdashov,

      Yes. Taking action is my MO too!

      I too have taken a handful of courses on Coursera and other MOOCs. I like it because it has enough structure to follow a guide but also enough information that it piques my interest to look elsewhere.

      Don’t think they are for everyone though. This is just the beginning, and the main challenge is the engagement part of it. A lot of that is a technological challenge, but also an attitude challenge for people who are not used to bettering themselves.

      What challenges do you see for MOOCs or online collaboration in general?

      Thanks for the comment,


      • Pavel Bogdashov

        I agree with you – engagement is the toughest nut to crack. On one hand, because they offer free high quality education to anyone in the world with an internet connection – most useful to those for whom there is no other choice. On the other hand – being free, not everyone will commit to completing every course (I know I haven’t).

        For educational institutions monetisation is an added challenge, because they what MOOCs to add value and in future capitalise on offering the MOOCs – so if only 5% of those who enrol actually complete the MOOC of my faculty – as a provider, who pays the professors and lecturers salaries to run these, I would be thinking “What can I do to increase that conversion rate AND get a high ROI (Return on investment) on the time spent designing and delivering MOOCs?”… And there are many possible answers to these… For example. you could test different formats, support materials and homework options and you try charging money for some of them – I know Coursera is experimenting with optional paid certificates, others may go via a different route.

        Love them or hate them, one thing is for sure – the MOOCs are here to stay, there is great opportunity in this format for students to access knowledge and for educational institutions to re-invent themselves.

        • @PavelBogdashov,

          Yes. There is a chasm between online education and corporate training.

          Corporate training is becoming a focus for some MOOCs because companies need to better themselves constantly. It is an easier sell.

          On the other hand, individuals that have no corporate backing will only engage if they want to. I think there is an opportunity here, and I think apps like Google Helpouts will, whether they see it or not, fill this void simply because you can get one-on-one help.

          Collaboration is going to be redefined in the next 5 – 10 years. Existing tools are still trying to be an all-in-one. This rarely happens at the beginning.

          Actually, I just started a new venture that gets into collaboration. More news in the coming year…



          • Pavel Bogdashov

            Interesting that you mentioned Google Helpouts – there’s a way to combine it with MOOCs: AJ Sanchez is tutoring on Google Helpouts for the Machine Learning Coursera MOOC with excellent student feedback as well!

            I have also taken Coursera MOOCs that used Google Hangouts – a great way to bring interactive experience to the MOOC!

      • Pavel Bogdashov

        As for online collaboration, to me the greatest challenge is the collaborative interface. Getting to one that works for a purpose is a matter of trial and error. We use Yammer successfully to encourage casual info sharing and platforms like Spigit for ideation is specific subject areas…

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