Take learning out of the classroom and into the workplace, advises JP Guilbault, reaping the multitude of benefits which will naturally follow.
In his thesis, The Law of Accelerating Returns, futurist Ray Kurzweil says, “The history of technology shows that technological change is exponential…so we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress.”
Feeling better about feeling overwhelmed by the new technology popping up faster than you can master the last tech breakthrough? You should.
This acceleration of technological progress may sound a bit intimidating and, in our darkest moments, hopeless, to those of us tasked with keeping up with the latest tech. However, President and CEO of Community Brands, JP Guilbault, believes this type of negative fear around technology’s progress ignores the enormous potential for positive business and personal growth. Guilbault suggests that big change can bring big rewards if we begin rethinking the way we educate ourselves.
“There needs to be a big shift away from the classroom,” says Guilbault. “Yes, there are trade skills you can pick up from a class or online course, but the real learning comes through the doing of it in the workplace. Organizations need to embrace a ‘culture of trying’ because that’s where learning accelerates.”
Throughout this piece, Guilbault breaks down the ways in which organizations can create a culture of learning in the workplace and receive the multitude of benefits which will naturally follow.
“Whether you are eight years old or eighty years old—no one likes homework. At some point in all of our lives, homework had us wondering, ‘When am I ever going to use this?’” explains JP.
“Unfocused learning ultimately bogs people down with material that doesn’t align with their goals or future.” As a former educator himself, Guilbault understands this human pain point and advises a targeted approach, “don’t make learning be for the sake of learning. Give learning clarity and purpose. If you’re very clear about what you’re learning and what you’re going to want to do with it, you’re going to relieve the noise and find focus.”
Finding Our Own Teaching Moments
“Once we’ve established our learning goals and desired outcome of our expertise,” JP Guilbault advises, “the next step is to find the right catalyst to put it all in motion by identifying those types of engagements that leverage the skills you have today and expose you to new opportunities that expand your base of knowledge.”
“There is no better teacher than a problem in need of a solution.” Guilbault makes a point to note that, “organizations must shift their educational training approach to on the job learning as part of the regular workflow. By teaming up experienced employees, as mentors, with newer employees, as their apprentices, we are lessening the worry about making the time to educate after work and rather making the most out of all of the opportunities to learn within the workplace each day.”
An Educational Mindset Attracts the Talent of Tomorrow
“The fourth industrial revolution is here,” says Guilbault, “and executive teams need to ask themselves, ‘are we an organization that fears technology and automation or are we an organization that thrives on change?’ Having a clear, honest answer is going to directly affect their ability to attract talent.” Guilbault goes on to say, “by embracing change, you create a culture of innovation. If you’re not embracing change, to put it bluntly, I think you’ve got a boring place to work. Which one would top talent want to work at? I don’t think the stuck-in-its-ways organization is going to have great people lined up at the door.”
Balancing Risk and Reward
“That’s not to say that an innovative organization is all peaches and cream because it’s not,” affirms Guilbault. “Staying ahead of the curve and learning while doing brings a certain degree of riskiness. There will be failures,” he says, “but if done correctly, the benefits far exceed the potential perils. Risk and failure in a controlled experimental environment are going to result in an organization that is much further ahead in terms of its financial outcomes, its procurement of talent and ultimately, delivering on the needs of the customers or members it’s trying to serve.”
About Community Brands & JP Guilbault
JP Guilbault currently serves as CEO and President of Community Brands, the leading provider of business management, engagement, commerce & payment solutions to member-based organizations. With 2,800 employees serving over 130,000 clients in 34 countries, CB empowers people and organizations to grow stronger, succeed faster, and achieve their dreams- because powerful work needs powerful tech.
Learn about tech for good at www.communitybrands.com