A culture of learning within an organization is critical now. New tools, new resources, new business models, new products, new skills, new markets. Either you are discovering these and maximizing their value for your stakeholders or your competition is doing it for their stakeholders. It's your choice.
Your organization must constantly be learning, be constantly developing the skills to learn, in order to succeed.
Mel DePaoli was a recent guest on our radio show. She’s the author of Contractors Doing It Right Not Just Getting It Done. Mel interviewed and researched 30 construction companies and profiled 8 of them and how they find ways to do it right not just get ‘er done but how they continued to do things right in one of the worst recessions to hit our overall economy in 60-70 years. You can listen to our conversation here.
Learning, a culture of learning, was a key component of those contractors doing it right, not just getting it done.
I asked her:
How did the companies you profile sustain learning in their company? What are the three ways they shared?Mel answered:
3 of the most common ways are:
- Reading books. The most common way is senior leadership would read a chapter in between their meetings. And then discuss what they read in the next meeting. It was about how can we take action with what we’ve read.
- Company outings. Not all companies took this approach. They would go somewhere and learn something...completely un-construction related. And then they would come back and see how they could apply what they had learned.
- Conferences. These companies would take frontline employees to see that these companies are dealing with the same issues. It helps to hear it from other sources.
Reading books. That’s why I ask each guest at the end of their segment, what are you reading? Leaders are readers, says Jim Rohn. And if your organization is going to lead, its members have to read.
Ask yourself, What am I reading? Then ask What is everyone else reading?
Those answers will tell you where you're headed.