Mark, over at Business Is Personal, talks about the importance of continuous learning. He urges readers to create a culture in their organizations where employees feel comfortable in devoting time to learning.
Many large businesses embrace this kind of culture, some even require it by making their employees undergo a minimum number of training hours per year.
With the number of rapid advances in today’s world, it seems almost stupid not to be a continuous learner.
But in a smaller business you may be saying, “Glenn, that’s great theory, but I don’t have the time to do that.”
Yes, you do. It’s not a matter of time management. It boils down to which priorities you decide are the most important.
Adding Learning To Your Schedule
Allocating a number of hours per week to stay abreast of goings on in your profession should be a priority. Or would you rather your competition innovate before you?
If you commute to work via bus or train, you’ve got time to listen to podcasts, to read The Wall Street Journal, and to skim through your trade’s magazines.
If you eat lunch at your desk as I do several times a week, you can surf the Internet for ten or twenty minutes.
If you drive yourself to work, you can listen to podcasts instead of the radio.
If you’re a frequent flyer, get a video iPod and you can download videos and podcasts. You can also take along a book or stack of magazines.
Going From Learning To Doing
This learning fuels your most important resource for maintaining excellent customer service—your brain. When you run across a new idea, you should start asking yourself, “Can I apply this to my business?”
For example, can you use Twitter to help your business improve customer service or to increase customer loyalty?
Set the example yourself. Be a continuous learner and encourage your employees to do the same. You’ll get a great ROI.