September 24, 2020

THE UPSKILLING IMPERATIVE

The past six months have spotlighted how rapidly the world and business landscape can change, placing even more imperative on individuals and businesses to learn new skills to sustain growth, and unfortunately for many businesses, to stay afloat.

The Imperative To Continuously Learn

First as a high school teacher and presently as VP of Learning at Udemy, I have dedicated nearly two decades of my career challenging one-size fits all Learning & Development (L&D) programs and advocating for continuous learning to become synonymous with long-lasting success. I put these years of experience to paper, and today I’m excited to announce the launch of my first book “The Upskilling Imperative: 5 Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way we Work,” published by McGraw Hill.

Having a highly skilled and agile workforce has long been considered an organization’s strongest competitive asset. Case in point: Estimates indicate a career launched today could last as long as 50 years, but skills stay relevant for only about five years. This book is a roadmap for leaders to prioritize upskilling and create a culture rooted in learning.

5 Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way We Work

The Upskilling Imperative challenges traditional L&D training approaches that are no longer relevant to 21st-century workers. Instead, my book offers
a modern and inclusive five-step approach to building an organization where learning is core to unlocking innovation and performance:

  • Develop and Foster Agile Learners: To create agile employees, organizations must empower individuals to access learning resources in their moment of need, even as those needs change and evolve, and then allow people to engage with learning when, where, and how they prefer.
  • Feedback Is Fuel for Learning Cultures: In a work culture that celebrates personal growth, feedback helps maximize strengths and encourages people to become their best selves. People stop putting forth their full effort if they believe others are only looking for perfection; it has to be okay to talk about our mistakes.
  • Think Like a Marketer to Drive Learning and Development: The best way to retain learners is to understand their needs and wants, get creative about how you engage them in learning experiences, and market to them before, during, and after learning or training to keep them interested.
  • Put Learning into the Flow of Work: One of the most important tenets of the learning culture must be that access to professional development opportunities is democratized throughout the organization. No one should need to have a certain job title or tenure to take full advantage of available opportunities.
  • Signal the Value of Learning: Building the business case for creating a learning culture is critical to addressing the many challenges posed by rapid technological change facing every company, team, and individual, including: closing skills gaps, retaining head count and attracting new hires, improving engagement and job satisfaction, spurring innovation and cross-team collaboration, and more.

Learning is the future of work. We’ve entered an era of unpredictable change and there’s no way for us to exist or thrive without continuous learning. I am hopeful that this book helps individuals, managers, and organizations adopt a growth mindset that not only helps them thrive despite uncertainty, but helps them thrive because of uncertainty.

Take the first step toward building a learning culture and order your copy of The Upskilling Imperative today at: theupskillingimperative.com.

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