This week I was listening to an episode of Jacob Morgan’s The Future of Work Podcast where he interviewed Abhijit Bhaduri, the Chief Learning Officer of Wipro Group, to discuss the future of learning and careers. In his role, he prepares all 170,000 employees in his company to be “future ready.” Bhaduri helped me realize that we need to look at ourselves as apps that get updated and continuously improved upon.
The way we look at apps is the way we need to look at ourselves.
Have you noticed how often do your apps get updated? On average, an app gets an update 12-15 times a year. In fact, most popular apps are constantly introducing new features, better security and more intuitive interfaces to stay ahead of the curve.
Our work in 4-H is very different from the work of IT professionals. Nevertheless, we need to regularly update ourselves. We are educating the leaders and scientists of tomorrow; we owe it to them to stay ahead of the curve in order to give them the best possible learning experiences.
Like apps that get updated, it is critical that we update ourselves by continually learning, reinventing ourselves and acquiring new skills. Attending one to three conferences a year is not enough anymore.
As the world becomes increasingly technical, many skills we have will be replaced by IF/THEN logic and our people skills will become even more valuable. So where should you start? Consider "The 20 People Skills You Need To Succeed At Work."
I recommend designing a learning plan by carving out a few hours for professional development every month. You don’t need a travel budget or an expensive online membership. To quote Bhaduri, “the world is your content university.” Start with any one or more of these "30 Websites That Will Make You Unbelievably Smarter." I also highly recommend learn.extension.org.
This blog post was originally published on the 4-H Today blog on February 8, 2016
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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