“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
As the quote above implies, continuous learning is a requirement to just keep up with the amount of change occurring in business, regardless of the industry. Our company core values reflect the importance that we place on education and its role in innovation. We live by what we teach. Throughout 2016, we vigorously pursued our own professional development to “sharpen the saw” and provide value to our clients by ensuring that our existing knowledge does not grow stale. Cara and I became certified facilitators of Ken Blanchard Companies First-Time Manager and Situational Team Leadership programs. Cara completed these two certifications in addition to completing her 2L year in law school. I continued my 2016 “sharpening of the saw” with two additional certifications, Blanchard’s Leading People Through Change and Wiley’s Everything DiSC.
We chose these certification programs for many reasons. Foremost, our focus is on leadership development at all levels throughout organizations, and we’re always looking for excellent programs to supplement our curriculum offerings. The need for leadership development continues to grow as current leaders continue to gray and exit the workforce – at least as fulltime employees! New leaders not only need training, they need support of current leaders to participate in developmental activities. And although the ATD 2016 State of the Industry Report identifies that 2015 managerial and supervisory training made up the largest share of development opportunities in the workplace, research suggests there are opportunities to “improve senior leader and organizational support for managerial training. The ATD research report ACCEL: The Skills That Make a Winning Manager found that less than half of talent development professionals believe that developing managers is actually a priority for their organizations.”
Secondly, we never assume that we have learned all there is to know about any topic, and we firmly believe that a periodic refresher of content is a great investment. Just as experienced leaders in our development programs share with fellow attendees, it’s a great opportunity to be reminded of what we knew, improve with practice, and add value to the learning experience for everyone by sharing the wisdom of experience. Case in point for me in having facilitated DiSC for over two decades: In 2016, Wiley (publisher of Everything DiSC), offered a first-time-ever virtual Everything DiSC certification for its distributors. The attendees and I were able to share exercises that we had previously created, build innovative new exercises, and practice them with each other for feedback and improvement opportunities.