20/20 vision: seeing the world clearer through the lens of learning
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being pleased with your lot in life. In fact, many experts argue that it’s the key to happiness.
Being pleased, however, doesn’t mean you should give up on learning anything new. In my experience, gaining new knowledge and skills only leads to a greater feeling of contentment.
I’ve always had a passion for learning myself, not just because it’s been great for my career, but because it’s also helped me to grow as a person. After I graduated, I spent some time working in technology before working in a boutique organisational development business. It was here that my view of learning was really cemented.
I was very lucky to work with a particularly inspirational business owner when I joined the business. As part of the induction, I was required to read the Allegory of the Cave by Plato - probably one of the deepest pieces of reading you can have as an induction program.
In the story, three prisoners have been shackled in a cave since birth, and their only view is of shadows on the wall created by people and objects behind them. When one of the prisoners escapes, he realises his entire view of reality was limited to only the information available to him.
While many experts still debate the point of this philosophical work, the message to me was clear - if you want to see the world as it really is, you need to view the world through a lens of learning - or you remain a prisoner.
Since then, I’ve been working with organisations to help them understand how new knowledge can empower their people both professionally and personally. Reaching this understanding
means showing business leaders that investments in learning and development can pay big dividends.
Prior to my current role with Cornerstone OnDemand, I spent several years as the Director of People Risk Services at International SOS. Working in risk management really highlighted to me how dangerous a lack of investment in learning can be for an organisation.
Many businesses spend the bare minimum on training for the sake of compliance and they fail to realise that they’re selling themselves short by not providing their people with the opportunity to learn new knowledge and skills.
As Zig Ziglar so excellently put it, “the only thing worse than training an employee and having them leave, is to not train them, and have them stay.” When you limit the learning opportunities of your employees, you’re essentially making them like the prisoners in Plato’s cave - their outlook is severely limited, and the chances of them making the best decision for your business are slim.
When you give people the chance to learn, you enable people to grasp the full range of possibilities available to them. This helps them to spot risks, while allowing them to choose from a wider range of exciting opportunities.