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Deep, sustainable development requires strengthening underlying health and well being, and creating a foundation upon which change and growth can stand. For this to happen, organizations and the individuals within them need to work together to create conditions that promote continuous growth.

Cultivate environment that supports learning

Organizations can facilitate professional and organizational growth and development by ensuring their systems and processes support information sharing and learning. In organizations that focus on learning,

1. Managers skillfully structure and staff projects to create learning opportunities. Individuals are challenged while being supported with the resources they need to learn and succeed.

2. People see a clear link between development and success. Assessment, compensation, and advancement systems are designed to encourage responsible risk-taking and reward growth and development.

3. Communities of practioners and learning networks are recognized, valued, and supported. Knowledge sharing not knowledge itself is power. People know who to contact for information and help. They are given time, tools, recognition, and rewards for sharing what they know and helping others learn. Withholding knowledge and support has negative consequences.

4. People actively involve others in their development. Leaders openly discuss their development goals and efforts. Everyone is expected to maintain and share a personal development plan. People have the skills and motivation to give constructive feedback.

Creating a learning culture usually requires only minimal changes to human resource systems and processes. The key challenge is changing what people believe because this affects what they do when no one is watching. Organizations could start by helping people understand how their work contributes to their organizationí»s success and how learning and information sharing creates value in their organization.
In addition, organizations should recognize people and groups who model desired behaviors. In most cases, people most value the freedom and resources to do more of they are doing (e.g., time to cultivate learning networks and encouragement to innovate). Assess your organizationí»s learning environment
Expect people to take responsibility for their own growth

In todayí»s global economy, leaders need to navigate through fundamental and tumultuous change without a map. Doing this requires core learning skills: assessing the environment, anticipating changes, identifying possibilities, developing plans, and correcting oneself amid action.
People accelerate their growth and development by

1. Recognizing their learning needs and responding to them creatively.

2. Involving others in their learning: drawing upon wide, diverse networks for advice and support, finding coaches and mentors, sharing their development goals with those around them, and actively seeking feedback.

3. Becoming better learners: understanding their learning styles, actively developing new learning tactics and strategies, and improving their ability to listen to and observe themselves.

Because Asian education traditions focus on helping students to absorb large amounts of prescribed knowledge, even the best graduates are often not skilled in planning their development or managing their learning. Investing in enhancing their learning skills often yields large dividends. Assess your personal learning and development strategy

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