I’ve been independent for many years now, and my drivers for learning are different to when I was in an internal role. Then, what I learned was largely dictated to me – either by my managers or by the industry regulators. Of course, I did follow up my own interests, but this wasn’t actively encouraged.
Now I tend to learn by recommendation. Maybe a LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook connection shares something that piques my interest and I take a look. Often my clients open my eyes: They use a model/theory that I’m not familiar with and (because its my job to create their learning programme on their behalf) I get up to speed with it quickly! Or, they recommend a book, blog or TedTalk that summarises the key messages they want to get across, and another door is opened for me. And of course, I can then take this knowledge to my next project/client.
Because I don’t profess to be an expert in anything specific, I can openly say to my clients “I’m not familiar with that” and then they get the pleasure of teaching me something new… Just as I get the opportunity to introduce them to new things. That’s one of the many things I love about being a collaborator and creating development programmes with/for other people – there’s always something new to learn! My contacts and clients simply don’t allow me to stagnate.