Last year, my uncle, who is a successful industrialist and leader of a big fertilizer company, went to Harvard for an executive MBA program.
My cousin (the son of this particular uncle) had secured a spot for a full-time MBA program at Harvard. While going to drop his son for the orientation, my uncle got this idea and enrolled himself for an executive MBA.
On meeting him later, he told me that he was able to learn many new perspectives and ways of thinking through this program and has been able to improve his decision-making and risk-taking ability in the business.
This is an example of formal education.
However, it is important for every business leader to engage in constant and life-long learning. This is the only key to avoiding redundancy.
Here are some ways to engage in lifelong learning in context of business:
Read and analyze
It is very important to stay tuned to the latest developments in your industry. For this, it is important to follow industry-level analytical reports and trend reports. You can read market research reports prepared by third-party firms and consultancy companies. You can also stay tuned to important industry predictions and gauge how many of them are coming true. Constantly following industry trends will put you in a position such that you will learn to predict what will happen next.
Be active on social media
There will always be a certain group of people active online, who are relevant to each industry and field of work. They may be experts discussing their views, opinions and knowledge or they may be participants in the fulfillment process for each industry, who are sharing their concerns. You have to find the right groups online and be active where the discussions matter to you and your business. This will help you to learn something new each day.
Write a blog
Writing something regularly – a column or blog – will help you to put your thoughts into perspective. It will help you to share your expertise with others and gain new perspectives about what they think of your business. This will help you to learn more about what matters and improve your business practices thereby.
Network and attend conferences
Sometimes being on a panel or in the middle of a group of industry experts opens up many new avenues of learning. In conferences, you can network and also debate various points of views. Engaging in healthy debate is often the best way to learn.
Teach, mentor and give back
An unfailing way to continue your learning journey is to teach someone else a skill you possess or a subject you know. When the mentee comes up with his/ her own questions, you will also be forced to extend your boundaries of knowledge and come up with relevant answers. This is also a great way of giving back to the corporate circle and society.