As a leader in your company, how can you help your team grow over time in all dimensions? You help them grow professionally; whether in marketing, analytics, sales, or any other job function, but there are certain professional skills that can always be enhanced. Don’t overlook other aspects of growth you can contribute to including, financial, mental, and emotional for example. What is your company doing to foster advancement, learning and new perspectives on a regular basis?
Start by creating a one year learning plan for yourself and everyone at your organization. It should cover multiple dimensions of one’s life and have elements that can be measured quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. To elucidate this continual learning process, think of it from two angles – one is where you are today (your achievement) and the other is where you could be (your potential). Even if it’s only 30 minutes per week dedicated to learning and development, that 30 minutes begins to build a bridge to get you from your current achievement all the way over to your future potential.
To use an example, one of the most famous pieces of sculpture is Michelangelo’s David. When Michelangelo was asked how he created the magnificent statue from a block of stone, he replied that he did not create David; rather he saw him in the stone and chiseled away at the marble until David emerged. We are the same way – underneath all that we currently know and do, lies an undiscovered masterpiece in each of us. Like Michelangelo carving away at the stone, devoting time each week to ongoing development or fostering a learning environment with your team will begin to uncover the work of art underneath. Like the unveiling of David, this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, dedication, and commitment to build a bridge from current achievement to underlying potential.
There are numerous resources available to augment a continual learning process. Initially, poll your team to solicit feedback in which areas they feel the greatest need exists. You may find the group is most interested in subjects such as personal development, public speaking, leadership skills, technological training, or financial planning. Gathering this information is vital to creating an effective learning plan.
Once the desired issues have been raised, the internal team does not necessarily need to be the solution to deliver content. Consider seeking outside experts to speak and coach on the subjects in which they are proficient. You may also consider an online training platform, webinars, college courses or a book written by a subject expert. Get creative and do some research to find a variety of modalities and topics to share with your team.
Creating a comprehensive year-long learning plan for an entire organization can be a bit daunting. But with some exploration, planning and gaining valuable feedback from your team, it can be an endeavor that returns your investment ten-fold.
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