Insights on learning, leadership, and professional development
- Learn Today for Your Tomorrow -

October is National Learning and Development Month

Sandy Elvington
Sr. Manager, Managing at Oracle

My mom used to tell me that if you can read, you can learn anything and go anywhere.  I realized the truth of that when I was about 7 years old, and she took me to the library for the first time.  I was in awe that all those books were available to anyone who wanted to read them.  Through books, I went on grand adventures, visited different parts of the world, and learned all sorts of new things...and it put me on a path of lifelong learning.

Given that, I just heard the best news - October is National Learning and Development Month (only in the USA, but I'm encouraging that anyone in any country take advantage of it)!

Why is this a good thing?  Because it places an emphasis on continued learning; it says you don't stop learning when you're done with school; it encourages us to think outside our every day; and it means I can still buy fresh school supplies every fall (okay, I did that anyway).

Seriously, though, with the amount of content available on the internet today, we have a ton of ways to learn and to continue growing.  Think about what you do in your job every day - is there something that you learned by the end of the day?  Is there something that you'll do differently tomorrow because of what you learned today?  In today's business environment, you have to continue learning to be relevant.

In honor of National Learning and Development month, I want to encourage you to plan how you're going to learn in October and commit to that plan.  Some ideas to get you started:

  • Watch a TED talk each day to inspire the beginning of your day or to end your day on a high note.
  • Listen to a podcast - weekly or daily - on a topic of interest.  Check out the iTunes Management & Marketing preview to find something.
  • At team meetings, encourage your team members to share the things they are learning.  Check out my blog post on Yes, You Can Use My Lightbulb Moments for an idea on how to make this an ongoing thing.
  • Participate in the Oracle Leadership Challenge (this is internal for Oracle folks).
  • Get a small group together to talk about new ideas coming out in your field.  You could do this over the phone, over lunch, or via a social collaboration tool.
  • Attend a MOOC (massive open online courseware) on a topic of interest.  You can find free MOOCs on a variety of topics at Coursera and EdX.
  • Look at your learning options within your organization (for Oracle folks, check out the different options in the Oracle Learning Centers).
  • Find a YouTube Channel that is interesting and follow it.  Make a point of watching the videos and sharing what you learn.  Some channels to get you started:  Harvard Business Review, Stanford Graduate School of Business, INSEAD, Evan Carmichael, Oracle Cloud (you had to know that was coming).
So there you have it - multiple ways that you can take advantage of National Learning and Development Month.  You've got three days left in September - what's going to be on your learning plan for October?

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