Thinking About Learning

Well, I’ve been away some weeks and my blog stats have been moving along at snail pace, so let’s get things back on track some, hey what.

The simple question is are you thinking about learning? I mean are you, Dear Line Manager, Dear Chief Executive, Dear Financial Controller, thinking about learning? I’ll tell you what, you’re probably not. Not because you’re not interested, but because you haven’t been told what this means. So here it is, your wake up call. You. Are. Not. Thinking. About. Learning.

Bold statement? Yes. True? Probably. Here’s why. Learning at work is not something which you leave to your L&D department. If you even have an L&D department you’re probably on the first step to helping your staff feel like they’re being invested in, but I’ll bet you just trust them to get on with it. And that, Dear You, is where you’ve fallen and failed.

Thinking about learning at work means you are taking account of what your teams/people are doing, seeing if it’s working and helping them to do better. That means a lot of different things, all of which need to be driven by you. No-one else, you. Is your team not operating efficiently? You need to be the one to identify the inefficiencies and getting things on track. A black belt trained Six Sigma consultant won’t help you change the organisation, you do that. Is your team not developing their negotiation skills and losing work? That’s because you’re allowing someone else to take responsibility of that skill and you’re not dealing with it yourself. Only you can ensure your people are meeting the standards you want to be achieved. Is your team simply poor at time management? Don’t send them on an external training course, sit down with them and find out what’s causing the hold ups and get them sorted out.

Any L&D department/consultant can only do what they do if you’re willing to make change happen. You know all that stuff you read about organisational development and culture change? That’s only lead by one person – YOU. You can bring in whatever expert you want, they can only do a good job if you’re willing to make that change happen. And there are a lot of good managers who believe they can make it happen. The question is, are you one of those that does?

And what can you do if you’re not? Fight for the cause, as they say. Make it happen. Change happens only because we see wrong things happening and we see opportunities for clear development. Bob won’t do it, he’s too busy trusting someone else to do the job for him. You need to make it happen. Get up there, see what needs to be done, who needs to be convinced, and do it. Then, and only then, will you see the change you need to improve things.

So let’s change that questions to a statement. Start thinking about learning.