This Is Not About Learning Management Systems
Before you dive into this article having an expectation that it would lead you to a discovery about all the formalities surrounding Learning Management Systems, (LMS), let me be up front with you and tell you that it is not. This post is simply about learning and management and their roles in your growth and development towards becoming a healthily functioning human being.
Almost everything in life today, especially in the workplace, revolves around structure and confinement. There is a process, label or model for everything and if we do not subscribe to any of them, we are frowned upon.
Pursuing these stamps of approval and certifications often drives us into an abyss of distress leaving us to wonder why we are not able to achieve the success levels that we yearn for.
To keep sharpening your effectiveness and remain relevant, these two lifestyles may well be the strongest building blocks that you need and, they will not cost you an arm and a leg. All it requires is that you use what you already have efficiently and effectively.
Why Is Learning Critical Today?
Learning has always been important. Without it, there would have been no exploration, inventions, innovation or improvements – self or otherwise.
According to Wikipedia, we are currently living in the Information or New Media Age which began in the late 20th century. This period is being heavily impacted by the rapid technological developments that appear to be happening almost overnight.
The Industrial Age lasted almost 100 years. The predictions are that we have already started to transition out of the Information Age, (which began around 1975), and into what is being described as the Experience Age.
Although today’s pace of change and development sometimes feels like light flashing by, it highlights the importance of how critical learning has become.
This is not academics. I am speaking directly to your education, learning and development. Have you ever considered that because of the pace of change, your formal academics may be irrelevant before you even receive your certificate?
Think about that in the context of an MBA and your organisational role. You spend a year or two investing time and money into studying business models and concepts that may have worked then. Without warning and time to even submit your final thesis, along came COVID-19 which threw everything you studied out of the window.
Skills such as learning how to cope with uncertainty suddenly became the most valuable and highly sought after. The thing is, you do not acquire these types of skills from studying for an exam!
How Management Impacts Your Effectiveness
Management is the process of controlling resources to achieve a defined result. Your resources include finances, people, tools, equipment, property, materials – everything needed to produce your goods and services.
Like learning, it is not complicated but entwined in what could often be described as a mystery. With all the theories and processes surrounding it, it can be quite overwhelming and complicated for the most qualified.
But does it really have to be?
I spent many years studying the writings and teachings of Peter F. Drucker on management. By far, the learning that has stayed with me over the years and that I consider to be quite profound is that management is doing things right.
For Drucker, learning to make good decisions was at the heart of doing things right. So, simply put, management is about learning how to make good decisions that position you on the right side of your objectives. Decision making is therefore crucial to effective management.
To manage effectively you are required to learn as much as you can about the resources available to you and your goals and objectives. Again, Drucker described this best when he referred to marketing by saying that the objective was to learn your customer so well that your product or service fits him perfectly and therefore sold itself.
Do you understand the essence of management?
The Problem Changed Right In Front Of You
To get the best outcome from your resources, you must learn as much about them as you can.
- What motivates your people?
- How well do they perform with the equipment and tools that are available to them?
- How best do you use your finances to achieve the maximum ROI?
- Where is the market need for your product or service positioned and can you access it comfortably?
If your management is weak or poor, you will continue to be inefficient and ineffective. Learning is imperative to provide the understanding and knowledge that you need to practice effective management.
There is a management quote that I love and that is so applicable for the constantly changing world that we live in today.
Change is happening so quickly that our learning has to begin with understanding the situation that we are managing and knowing whether it has changed. If it has, our management of it also has to.
A major personal and professional risk that we face today and that many of us do not consider is that we may well be killing out ourselves trying to apply the wrong management skills to a situation because it has become very different from when we started.
Relationships and behaviours are a prime example of that. People evolve and when we stop paying attention to their changes and learning about them and their needs and wants, we grow apart from them. Decisions made about the relationship may be done so based on old knowledge. When we act on that it can lead to a breakdown in communication and eventually the relationship itself.
What Is In Your Tool Bag?
Good, effective management demands that you stay relevant. To remain relevant, you must be learning consistently and constantly. These are the building blocks that contributed to Japan moving from being a lowly-regarded country to attaining recognition as one of the world’s best producers.
Kaizen feeds a cycle of continuous improvement through learning and management. Each one contributes to an improvement in the other and the cycle never ceases.
Through this ongoing cycle of learning and management improvement, you become more personally efficient and effective and impart those skills to the people around you through your behaviours and the results that are evident. You become admired and sought after for the quality of your work and efforts.
Mastery of these life principles demands that you diversify your skill sets.
Situations change almost by the minute in today’s world. To perform artfully, you must have a tool bag that contains a plethora of knowledge and abilities because one plaster will not fit every sore.
This is the power of control and confidence that learning brings. Your management efficiency and effectiveness will soon become your hallmark.
Avoid Losing Relevance
- Are you a source of knowledge and solutions?
- Do you fish for a man or do you teach him how to fish?
Maintaining relevance will ensure that you are well-equipped to not only survive but thrive in the dawning Experience Age. Strengthening your learning capacity and your management capability will definitely support that objective.
Do you want to understand how to stay relevant?
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