A commitment to providing everyone with the opportunity for learning and development is one aspect of good management.
Personal development applies to all people, not just those involved in Leadership and Management positions.
Derek Stockley provides information about approaches to personal development, "lifelong learning" (continuous learning) and how organisations can become learning organisations.
Guide to Learning and Development
Everyone should accept the concept of personal development as part of their career and life approach. Personal ownership and action is important. Training and development is not the sole responsibility or task of organisations.
There is a current slogan:
If you are not going forwards, you are in fact going backwards.
We constantly talk about rapid change, the impact of technology, etc. We all have to keep up with the requirements that change dictates.
Personal development involves:
- keeping abreast of current affairs;
- developing our ability to communicate and relate to others;
- monitoring and learning new/improved methods in our fields of expertise;
- keeping our professional qualifications current and up-to-date; and
- adapting to and adopting new organisational and business approaches.
Organisations have been adapting to their environment for years. If they haven't, then in all likelihood, they no longer exist.
New styles of operating continue to emerge. Employee participation and involvement in decision making has increased.
Lifelong Learning and Learning Organisations
Derek Stockley shares his personal experience:
A commitment to personal development is a commitment to lifelong learning or continuous learning.
As the name implies, we should all be continuously learning throughout our life.
A good example is my father. He originally qualified as a carpenter. Later he became a builder, building houses and similar domestic buildings. Along the way he developed skills in welding, tiling, painting, fitting and turning, sheet metal work and other building tasks not associated with his original trade as a carpenter. Now retired, he is actively developing his computer and internet skills. His learning is continuous.
Continuous learning applies to individuals, but organisations can learn as well. Organisations should have a dedicated approach to ensure experience gained or new information and research is incorporated into every operation. The current focus on Knowledge Management (KM) is an example of an appropriate approach.
Customer interaction should be monitored and evaluated. Customer enquiries should be analysed to see what can be learnt. For example, if an internet site Email Enquiries Centre is receiving the same basic question on a regular basis, then the site should be reviewed to ensure that the information requested is more visible and accessible. It should not be hidden away. It perhaps should be included in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) section.
The combination of informal and formal learning is very powerful, see:
- Informal learning - important tips and information about informal learning, originally written for Capital Magazine.
The concept of the learning organisation was promoted by Peter Senge. Further information related to him can be found at: Peter Senge . (This opens a new page - close it to return to this point).
Personal development, lifelong learning and learning organisations fit well with the continuous improvement concept.
A performance management system is a method for addressing personal development and organisation learning needs.
Further information related specifically to learning and training can be found at: Derek Stockley's Training (Human Resources Development) Links and Links - Training.
If you are interested in general management research, there is a "basic" e-journey on the Derek Stockley site called 50 Top Business Intellectuals. It lists information and links to management gurus and their thinking. (This opens a new page - close it to return to this point).
For more information about Derek Stockley and e-learning, select: E-learning - Derek Stockley.
An example of an e-learning package that contributes to lifelong learning is: Web Site Design and Construction.
Another example is: E-journey on E-learning.
For more information about Derek Stockley's consulting services, select: Consulting Services - Derek Stockley