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Nurturing an environment of intentionality and encouraging a growth mindset are vital to enabling continuous learning...
“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” – William Pollard
Continuous Learning is vital to our ability to stay at the forefront of our field. Whether that be staying ahead of competitors, our personal development, or having greater confidence in the face of inevitable challenges at work or home.
Like so many things continuous learning is easier said than done. It is a habit, not an overnight success story. Any single fact or concept can be learned in a moment; continuous learning is more than a single moment, it is a state of mind. It requires attention, practice, and feedback.
Continuous learning requires a growth mindset and intentionality of action.
A growth mindset is a belief that our abilities are not limited, or fixed, but can change over time. It is an outlook that we are able to improve, our competency and behaviours. It is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which would view our competencies as static and immovable.
Intentionality is a mental state of being, directed towards some object or series of actions. It is the purposefulness of our actions and the clarity of what we are doing, why we will do it and what the expected outcome will be.
It is the combination of these, growth mindset and intentionality, that will accelerate your ability to continuously learn as an individual and as a team and organisation.
How did Sky Brown become an Olympic medalist at 13?
There is a theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. At ICE we do not believe this, or rather we do not believe this is the whole requirement. That time is not enough. It poses the question, how did Sky Brown become an Olympic medallist at 13?
Of course, there are many reasons for success and to accelerate success the hours it takes to must be ‘premium hours’. Hours of intentionality with a growth mindset.
Each time Sky Brown trains she is expecting to learn, she adopts the growth mindset, and she is intentional about the specifics of what she will practice next. It is this intentionality of action that improves the quality of the feedback she will receive and her ability to contextualise the feedback to know more accurately what needs to change to improve.
Her actions have intention behind them, she will not commit to trying things haphazardly. This is not to say that she will not try things just for fun, intentionality does not always have to be serious, but rather it is the clarity of purpose for the action.
With intentionality self-reflection and feedback do not hold any sting of hindsight or regret. Having a clear understanding of why we have decided to do something or to try something new, allows the review of the outcome to more easily remain objective and not become an assessment of the individual as a person.
Action without intentionality, and shared and communicated intentionality, allow reflections to blur the line between the person doing the task and the task itself. When something goes wrong, we often blame ourselves, or our team, and we can become less likely to try again. This can lead to the development of a fixed mindset.
When you commit to an action intentionally and with a clear understanding of the reasoning; you are ensuring you have the best understanding of the situation. As well as the effort that is required and setting yourself up to be able to learn. When we are clear with those around us or within our teams we are setting to up to learn. We are preparing the ground to be able to gain wisdom from failure.
Continuous Learning requires a growth mindset and intentional action.
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