Continuous learning is about the expansion of skills and knowledge. Technology is changing the business environment at an ever-increasing rate so continuous learning is essential to remaining relevant and avoiding the situation where a particular role becomes redundant. To remain relevant, we need to respond to these changes.
In business today, there is a growing culture of ‘investing in people,’ rather than hiring new people, not only as a cost saving but also to develop and retain talent. Continuous learning should be a personal responsibility, but as a business owner and employer, it’s important to provide employees with training and learning opportunities. This enables your team to be able to respond to your business’s evolving needs, and also keeps employees feeling engaged and valued.
Related blog: Three reasons we should never stop learning…
In Stephen Covey’s book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,' he discusses “sharpening the saw.” Often, business owners try to work harder or for longer hours, but the real solution is to “sharpen the saw” – focus on continuous personal development.
Learning from thought leaders
Having recently returned from the Gazelles annual summit in Texas, Andy Sleet shares some key highlights from the speakers from the three-day event:
- Robert Cialdini – Pre-Suasion. In his new book, Cialdini shares the art of opening the door ready for persuasion. He delves into how to influence appeal and how to effectively deliver a concept's appeal.
- Michael Bungay Stanier – Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead forever – Michael shares how to lead your team and achieve employee buy in, in order to get your team actively strive to achieve your goals.
- Chris Zook – The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth. In his book, Zook shares seven proven tools and ideals to help sustainably grow your business.
Although thought leaders are a great source of knowledge and can provide an insight into new theories and ideas, it’s important to remember that just because it’s written in a book, doesn’t mean that it’s fact. The best way to use this type of learning it to take the key learnings and apply them to your existing knowledge – this will help develop and grow your own opinions and thoughts.
Related blog: Fact or Opinion?
Another form of learning is from peer to peer. The power of this type of learning can be underestimated, but there is so much that can be learnt from others that have similar ambitions and goals. Joining a diverse group of business owners can provide the opportunity to learn, be challenged and share experiences and perspectives.
For most businesses, growth, profitability and sustainability are an everyday challenge. Peer-to-peer sharing, support, advice and perspective can be the most effective way to overcome these challenges. As business owners, we need to find ways to share with and learn from our peers and build strong support networks.
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Andy Sleet and Hugo Heij discuss this topic in more detail on the Fluid Business Podcast, listen below: