Learning to enjoy or enjoying to learn?
Imagine a company where not only competitiveness drives the constant capacitation of its employees but also, and most important, where the main interest lies in its members progress, both as individuals and as a team.
Suppose also that the spirit of such a place encourages people to share their knowledge, to help each other, to bring into question what is already known, to try alternative ways of doing things, to put into practice what has been learned already, attend conferences, take courses and also to expand the boundaries of personal knowledge beyond the company's scope. And not only for the obvious benefits of enriching everyone's knowledge but mainly for the pleasure of learning.
The latter is not just a subjective aspect of the learning process but a key that leads to develop a personal attitude which is valuable not only at the job. Moreover, when it is institutionalized it stops being just an attitude to be a global vision that guides the company.
Of course, an ever changing business environment like the software industry demands us to constantly update our technological aptitudes to embrace such changes. Indeed, in order to be competitive a company must steadily enhance its internal processes and improve all its practices.
However, it is always possible to reach some sort of plateau in the acquisition of knowledge, both at personal and organizational levels, provided that we can respond to demands in time.
Several years ago, at the beginning of my professional career, I used to start my working day with the challenge of learning at least three new technical things during that day. I did it mostly for fun but I also found it a way to expand my professional skill-set.
Over time, I kept this personal habit even when I already had the technical basis for performing my daily duties.
Today, I find myself working in an environment such as the one I have described above but as every day-to-day ambient it might go unnoticed by those who are immersed on it. Reflecting upon its character reveals its great importance for the people, the team and for the company, as the constant empowerment of the entire staff has a positive impact on the companys performance.
I still enjoy setting the goal of learning, at least, three new things. Amazingly, at the end of the day, it always surprises me when I confirm that it is still possible and enjoyable!