For the love of learning

Valentines Day IGHappy Valentine’s Day! Whether or not you’ve got someone special to snuggle up with on this venerable day of romance, there’s still plenty to celebrate.

As a learning pro, you can always wrap your arms around your noble career — a profession aimed at helping, empowering, and improving other people! Maybe you even have a little love for the LMS (hopefully Litmos!) that makes your greathearted job a bit easier.

Give yourself a big hug for being the type of person who works tirelessly to enable others to expand their minds, their skills, and their careers. You’re the driving force behind strengthening your company’s workers, striving toward performance goals, and making sure the organization is educated and prepared to meet important rules and regulations.

As Jack Welch said, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

And to think — it’s YOU who is the engine powering that advantage.

All we need is love (of learning).

When others in your organization feel the love you have for your learning programs, they’ll want to feel it too. There are, in fact, very few people who don’t ultimately perceive learning as a positive activity. What’s not to like? By nature, people like to improve and grow. Sharing your latest program(s) with pride and excitement reminds learners of that basic, human fact and entices them to approach corporate training with a fresh attitude — more “I want to” than “I have to.”

Here are a few other ways to spread the learning love:

  • Be the change. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” The same holds true in learning and development. Be someone who’s constantly learning on the job (and in life). You’ll inspire others to step outside their status quo as well. Be engaged by your own content and courses. The rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t want to take the course, neither will your learners. And lastly, be the champion of your own department. As I recently wrote, many L&D pros shy away from “selling” the value of their programs and of learning itself, but that isn’t helping anyone. Show yourself and your peers some love by standing proudly behind the work you do and its inherent value to the organization.
  • Encourage pull not push. Human nature dictates; we don’t like to feel forced into things. We like to feel that we’re choosing our own adventure. And so it is in learning. Rather than making learners feel like passive parties who are told what courses to do and when, allow them to become active consumers of chosen information, defining the learning paths that best accelerate their skill sets and their career goals. With the right LMS (i.e. Litmos) and a super rich content library (i.e. Litmos Heroes), much of the heavy lifting can be automated. Also, it will make self-service simpler and faster for learners to grab a quick course on-the-go from a mobile device, reinforcing ongoing learning as part of the normal day-to-day routine.
  • Cultivate your company’s leaders. It was John F. Kennedy who said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” which is an excellent reminder that your programs mean much more to the organization than meeting compliance regulations and checking requisite boxes. As you build your course library, keep in mind the importance of including leadership training. This should not be limited to managers and execs. People at every level of the company should have access to content that spurs a leadership mindset, whether as an individual contributor or a manager of others. Your programs could be the inspiration behind the next great innovation, the company’s most beloved and effective managers, or the next superstar CXOs.

Yours is a job worthy of some LOVE! Now, go buy yourself a box of chocolates. You deserve it!