Why Learning Engagement Gives Us an Inspired Future
Change is everyone’s responsibility.
In front of us is a world filled with more opportunity to craft successful lives than ever before. But, in order to fulfill that opportunity, we have to learn how to change on very personal and fundamental levels. We need to embrace continuous education and self-inquiry. Why? Because without a compelling and personalized sense of mission, vision and purpose to fuel internal motivation, employees will lack the initiative, the “juice” to go through the challenges inherent in actualizing the personal change that is required.
Welcome to the reality of future shock. Over the last thirty years, we progressively removed predictability and survival from the workplace. Then, technology introduced change with such growing ferocity that today’s average college graduate will change careers, not just jobs, an average of four to six times. If we dare to expect the majority of our workers to engage, we need to help them become change experts in ways that are not only valuable for our organization but also in ways that are personally meaningful. Like every other set of skills, when and if our capacity to personally change becomes as natural as other relevant skills – navigating software platforms, mastering social media advertising, and the like – we will become more effective in responding to other organizational, market and technical changes that are continuously thrust upon us.
This is where many managers give up and organizations throw up their hands. This is where we look to the high potential and assume they are special because they learned self-promotion, accountability, personal drive, extensive people skills, and solid self-awareness. Why? We are certainly not teaching these skills and attributes in our schools. The average American family watches Television 4 hours a day. Out of the hundreds of families that I’m aware of, I can count on one hand the ones that routinely teach and role model these skills at home. The fact is, everyone needs these life skills today.
Is a positive and democratic outcome attainable? Absolutely. After awhile, investing in leader training becomes redundant. Why not invest in everyone’s ability to change? Afterward, why can’t we hold everyone accountable to change and engage? Why not jump start a culture revolution and sustain that revolution through internal mentorship? Why not build a workforce that is confident they can change with or without the organization?
We can only change and we can only engage if we teach each other how to connect, how to draw healthy attention to ourselves, how to build effective support systems, how to ask good questions and listen to the answers, how to become an active learner and how to conduct solid self-inquiry. Self-inquiry? Well, most people are tired of adopting other people’s vision and view the continuous drone of “buy-in” as manipulation. No, we have to get people to learn how to define their own vision and present that effectively, even if it leads to a departure. How can we possibly get people to own their vision and work if we don’t have the courage to help them define and articulate what they want? Or, to listen?
Is there going to be discomfort? I’ve observed that we are frightened with or without the ability to affect positive change. Without it, we stand in fear hoping we won’t lose what we have. With the skills, we experience the discomfort of growing. Here, we constantly learn how to be more, more capable, more gifted, more secure, more happy, more intentional, and more enthused about the future rather than pining for the past.
Which one shall we pick?
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
P: (310) 277-4850 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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