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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 2007 - issue > Entrepreneur

Journey of Life Long Learning

Gunjan Sinha
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Gunjan Sinha
Learning as a discipline
As an entrepreneur, leader, programmer, sales person, or student every one of us is constantly being pushed to learn new things. In many instances, we actually do end up learning many of those things. But, how do you create a systematic framework for personal lifelong learning, one which helps us learn across various aspects of business, technology, and start-ups? How do you institutionalize learning within your organization, in such a way that the organization (be it a small group, or your entire company) can learn to learn new things in the ever changing marketplace?

I am a big proponent of building a learning organization. A system of learning that helps you develop a closed loop learning process with you and your environment. It is my firm belief that technologists and entrepreneurs who become good at learning, end up being much more successful in their careers eventually. They develop greater resilience to face challenges, they are able to morph to suit changing environments, and as a result establish their mark and leadership within their organization.

Many of us are so caught up with the intricacies of our day-to-day actions and reactions that we do not ever invest in developing a framework of learning, thereby foregoing the opportunity of life-long learning and career advancement.

Build learning loops
As you develop an organization (or network) of people who have to learn to learn from each other, it is important that there are clear and simple learning loops between these individuals. To establish learning loops, one has to consciously build organizational processes and culture, which foster team learning across groups of individuals. In many situations, when a group of people or even a single individual is failing to correct their problem, or learn from their past mistakes, it could very well be the result of missing the learning loops between this group and his environment. A good example could be a sales guy, who is constantly trying to get an appointment with his prospects but is repeatedly failing to establish contact and is not able to learn from his or her limitations. In this example, if there was a well developed learning loop between the prospect and the sales person, after 2-3-4 attempts at establishing contact, the sales person will start to study the effect of his sales calls and begin to realize that things are not working as planned. He or she will then start adapting to a “Plan B” which might drive him or her to try an alternate route to establish the contact with that prospect, or perhaps to change the game by having some one else reach out to the prospect instead, and then forward the contact to him. This adaptability is the essential element found in a learning individual or a learning organization.

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