perjantai 6. syyskuuta 2013

Manager: 3 ways to define your learning goals

Great leaders are always seeking knowledge and developing their minds. And the need is ongoing. It is commonly acknowledged that in order to succeed you have to renew yourself, as an individual and as a company. But how do you know what to start learning? This blog post aims to provide a three-folded framework to do just that.

We run probably the most learner-centered Executive MBA program in Finland. The idea for this blog post emerged from a simple question: What electives should I choose for my individually tailored study curriculum? Simple question but quite a fundamental one. I have written about this a couple of times earlier, from understanding the sources of true managerial learning (investing in competence development) and modern learning technologies (personal development cloud) point of view. But the big question still remains: how should you define your learning goals in the first place?

Here are 3 questions that you should ask yourself.

1) Are you fit for your company´s strategy?
What does your company's strategy mean from competence development point of view? Can you for example define 3 things, competence development focus areas that your strategy is demanding? And are you able to name the resources and actions that you are devoting to them?

2) How is your current managerial responsibility evolving?
What about your current job? The fitness landscape of competencies is in constant motion in every field of business. Do you know what are the core competencies and new areas of expertise in your profession?

3) Where is the biggest potential for you personally?
Strategy-focused competence development and your current job isn´t everything. True learning should definitely be guided also by a clear sense of personal purpose. That is how you stay motivated. So evaluate your current skill levels in various key areas and think carefully what you could benefit the most from professionally. That can mean learning what you know the least, or quite the contrary pursuing true excellence in something that already is your professional strength. What are you passionate about?

These questions are quite open-ended by purpose. And proceeding in the learning path can take many forms, not only enrolling into a specific educational program. We are talking not only about executive education here, but executive learning. Like the old folks say: "You always learn when you are away from home". Meaning that probably the most important thing is to make sure that you expose yourself to new ideas and insights.

Invest in your success.

Pasi Aaltola
Director of MBA Education