This month’s Big Question over on the Learning Circuits Blog is about To-Learn lists. Here are the specific questions:
- If you have a to-learn list and are willing to share, and willing to share how you work with that list, that would likely be helpful information.
- As Knowledge Workers, work and learning are the same, so how does a to-learn list really differ from a to-do list? How are they different than undirected learning through work, blogging, conferences, etc.?
- Are to-learn lists really important to have? Are they as important as what Jim Collins tells us?
- Should they be captured? Is so how?
- How does a to-learn list impact something like a Learning Management System in a Workplace or Educational setting?
- What skills, practices, behaviors do modern knowledge workers need around to-learn lists?
I don’t have a specific to-learn list. What I do have is a skills-I-need-to-get list. It’s not written down. I have my eye on a career shift of sorts. To make it happen, I have been looking at job ads for this particular place I want to get to in my career. From the job ads, I take note of the common skills or accomplishments a person in that position would have. Those common skills go on my skills-I-need-to-get list.
Then I work on ways to get the skills:
- Is there a way to get attached to a project at work that will give me the skill
- Do I need to take a class to beef up my skillset? I felt a Master’s degree was something I needed, so I am in grad school
- Can I get the skill from volunteering? There are a couple of organizations where I volunteer my time, and they always appreciate the sort of work I do (techie stuff, training, web stuff)
- Can I get the skill by practicing it at home? I blog, I play with code, I set up websites…etc. Practice Practice Practice
Here’s something I think would be cool. This is actually part of my entry to EMC’s Innovation Conference. What if there was a way for me to traverse opportunities in my company, and compare the skill set needed for that position to my current skill set? Then I could make an action plan, at work, to advance my career and fill needs in the company. I wouldn’t feel I need to leave the company to advance, and the company wouldn’t loose their investment in me. We’re all happy, we all grow together.
I think knowledge workers need that sort of feedback – a snapshot that shows where they are right now with skills, and a road map of how to get to where they want to be at the next level.
If you had all of those sorts of skill sets attached to every open position, wouldn’t that lay bare all the training gaps in your organization? You could attach a way to learn to every skill set in your LMS.