Learning Needs a New Approach

New challenges don’t have to hold back new ideas.

IF YOUR SPEED OF LEARNING isn’t faster than the speed of change, you will fall behind. Employees who don’t learn maintain the status quo. Helping create a workforce that is always learning is difficult. Conflicting priorities, lack of resources, antiquated training approaches and a hard-to-break command-and-control approach by managers make learning a challenge, even when the economy is strong, and the future looks bright.

Now, add in a crisis to the mix: Learning is faced with new headwinds, and companies need to find different ways to engage their people in learning.

Knowledge is one thing. Learning that leads to new habits is where it’s at. When fear and stress are high, people are more apt to pull in and play it safe. The brain sees taking on a new skill or mindset as a threat to safety. Neuroscience suggests that stress will narrow the brain’s ability to see the future and envision creative solutions to problems. Ironically, at a time when many employees don’t want to feel any more vulnerable, companies need learning more than ever. Here are five things you can do:

  • Create opportunities for employees and staff to enhance their interpersonal relationships,
  • Praise employees who share unpopular or untested ideas,
  • Create and call out short term successes,
  • Break up routine by giving employees new assignments,
  • Encourage new ideas before ever determining their value.

A learning-workforce that creates new ideas is our ticket to a brighter future.

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“Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do.”

–Bruce Lee