This is the time of the year when many individuals set their goals for the new year. Companies have already set their plans and target goals by now and will finalize them with some changes as the year comes to a close. Of all of the various goals set, I hope one of them is an increase in knowledge. This is a broad area and the specific knowledge to be gained will vary depending on the individual and business. However, without additional knowledge there will be no growth. Stephen Covey said, “Education-continuing education, continually honing and expanding the mind-is vital mental renewal. Sometimes that involves the external discipline of the classroom or systematized study programs; more often it does not. Proactive people can figure out many, many ways to educate themselves(Covey, p.295).”
How can knowledge be improved and the mind continually honed and expanded? Consider the following two avenues to increase knowledge.
- Read– Again Covey has said, “There’s no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature. You can get into the best minds that are now or that have ever been in the world(Covey, p.296).” Jerry Mills has stated, “In business, those who read books obtain a business advantage over those who do not. To compete in the future, the employees of your company need to be better read than the employees of your competitors. You can improve their lives and yours by doing so (Mills, p. 164,165).”
- Attend Seminars/Events– Throughout the year there are a number of excellent learning seminars that take place within the reach of most everyone. Many of these are industry related and others are more generic and focused on general business themes. The speakers and panelists often are experts in the field that is being highlighted, and they usually have thousands of hours of experience. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn. Additionally, you will learn from others who attend these events and gain from their experiences as you network.
Gaining additional knowledge is really not optional for those who want to excel. Peter Drucker said, “Today the new jobs require a good deal of formal education and the ability to acquire and apply theoretical and analytical knowledge. They require a different approach to work and a different mind-set. Above all they require a habit of continuous learning (Drucker, p.143).”
*Covey, Stephen R., (1989), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
*Mills, Jerry L., (2007), Avoiding The Danger Zone
*Drucker, Peter F., (2004), The Daily Drucker