Establishing a Habit of Learning

In 5 Steps

Establishing a Habit of Learning

5 Ideas for Supporting Employee Learning

to Empower Your Learners

5 Ideas for Supporting Employee Learning

6 Ways to Learn When Your Interests Are Always Changing

6 Ways to Learn When Your Interests Are Always Changing
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On May 12 in our Webinar titled “Putting Learners First” VP of Product Marketing Todd Tauber discussed how the balance of power in learning and development is shifting from HR and L&D to employees and managers. Here’s why we think its finally time to start rethinking L&D approaches and priorities.

1. L&D teams are struggling to connect with learners
People’s #1 job concern is obsolescence. 60% of workers – Millennials and non-Millennials alike – think the skills they have now will NOT be what they need in 3 years (Oxford Economics / SAP, 2020 Workforce). Learning and development are essential. However, in survey after survey, those same workers say the education and training they’re getting at work is not preparing them for whatever’s next.

What’s happening? There are two things are going on here:
– A lot of people simply don’t have access to training; less than half of college grads got any formal training in their first jobs, for example.
-The bigger issue is that a lot of the opportunities people do have are not well connected to their jobs, career plans or work habits.

2. Conventional L&D is too slow to keep-up with learning needs
The proof of that is in the data. Up and down the career path, organizations say they don’t have enough people with the right knowledge and skills.
– Almost 60% of employers think new college graduates are not adequately prepared for the workforce, and many of those kids agree!
– That skills gap balloons as people move into management and leadership roles. 74% of companies report persistent shortages of talented managers.
– 51% of organizations say they don’t have a strong bench of executives.

Why is this happening? The nature of work is changing:
– Routine tasks are being automated. More and more jobs require primarily creative thinking and problem solving skills, not just the ability to follow directions. As an example, think about machine operators. They’re not just pulling levers and pushing buttons anymore- they’re programming and monitoring robots.
-Everything is changing constantly. The half-life of many skills these days is just 2.5 to 5 years. Sales and marketing is another prime example. Data, software, social media and e-commerce have fundamentally changed how people buy everything from books and clothes to enterprise software and jet engines. Those changes and the effects are still unfolding.

Products, competition and regulations can all change in a matter of weeks. Yet, it still takes 5 to 12 weeks to create just one hour of interactive e-learning. Multiply that across a typical company with dozens of job roles at multiple levels, and it’s clear that L&D can’t keep up.

3. Traditional L&D is out of sync with how people really learn
What people learn is only half the equation, though. The other half is how they keep their skills sharp. Traditional L&D practices are stuck, stubbornly, in the past.
– More than 75% of what L&D teams do is still formal training, mostly in classrooms, with instructors. While a growing portion of that is virtual classrooms and self-paced online courses, that misses the point.

-Less than ¼ of workers say they’ve completed an entire course – of any kind – in the last 24 months.

Meanwhile, more than 70% of people say they’ve learned something work-related from an article, video or book this week.

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As BP’s director of learning innovation and technology, Nick Shackleton-Jones, puts it: Most L&D organizations are only beginning to think about shifting from courses to performance support. Meanwhile, employees already rely on their networks and Google to get most of what they need informally, in the moment. And they’re starting to integrate apps into the way they work, too.

4. Learners are now empowered to take control of their own learning
The above disconnects are turning into a big problem for a lot of L&D teams because employees and their managers are increasingly empowered – largely through the Internet – to take control of their own development. If they don’t get what they need and want from their L&D or HR business partners, they’ll just go get it themselves. Many already do that. Technology training is probably the best example:
– Over the last 5 years, Chief Learning Officers have cut IT training nearly in half — from 9% of their spending to 5%. At the time when technology has become more critical to business than ever before!
– In response, Chief Technology Officers have almost doubled training, from 3% of their budgets to 5%. Keep in mind IT budgets are generally much bigger than L&D budgets.
– And on top of that, almost ⅔ of IT workers dug into their own pockets for training and certifications.

This is not limited to IT, though.
– 43% of workers say they look for learning opportunities outside their company at least half the time.

Takeaway

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The big takeaway in all this is that conventional L&D methods just aren’t responsive enough to keep up with today’s learners. So it’s time to try some new approaches. That starts with changing some pretty fundamental attitudes about the role and priorities of L&D organizations. You know the issues, and in Part II of the webinar recap we’ll make you ready to be part of the solution.

 

Here’s the full Webinar: Putting Learners First

 

I imagine if Ernest Shackleton had a business card, it would read something like the title of this article. Allow me to explain.

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Antarctic Explorer

Ernest Shackleton was a master mariner whose goal in life was to adventure into the unknown. He literally wanted to go where no man had gone before: the South Pole.

In 1901, he put his money where his mouth was and joined an expedition bound for the Antarctic. To his great disappointment, Shackleton became seriously ill on the voyage. His dream would have to wait.

He tried again in 1907, but extreme weather forced him to cut his journey short again. In what can only be described as a supreme bummer, another explorer beat him to the punch only a few years later. Just like that, his dream of over ten years was dashed.

Devoted Dreamer

Down but not out, Shackleton was determined to up the ante on his previous goal. He wasn’t just going to reach the South Pole; he was going to cross the entire continent of Antarctica.

Shackleton knew this expedition was going to be far more dangerous than any of the previous. In fact, there are stories told of him placing an ad in the newspaper with the following copy:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.”

While most historians agree that Shackleton never did place the ad, the expedition went exactly as advertised.

Buckle up. It’s about to get real.

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Shackleton and his crew departed from South Georgia toward Antarctica aboard the ship Endurance on December 5, 1914. That was the last time they would set foot on land for the next 497 days.

Only a month into the voyage, the Endurance became wedged between miles of thick, floating ice. Knowing the ship would eventually succumb to the pressures of the ice, Shackleton and his crew abandoned ship and set up camp atop the floating ice. 497 long, cold days later, they made it to Elephant Island, which wasn’t exactly a paradise.

Frank Hurley, the official photographer of the expedition, gave his two cents about the island:

“Our wintry environment embodies the most inhospitable and desperate prospect imaginable.”

On a freezing island covered in ridiculous amounts of penguin crap, the men suffered from toothaches, frostbite, gangrene, infections, and mental and physical exhaustion.

Eventually, in an all-or-nothing, 16-day voyage on a small lifeboat, Shackleton and five of his men made it back to South Georgia. However, the crew’s problems were far from over. It wasn’t until August 30, 1916, after four attempts over more than three-months’ time, that Shackleton was finally able to return and rescue the 22 men stranded on Elephant Island.

Every one of the 28 men on the voyage survived the ordeal.

Shackleton may not have realized his dream, but his determination to overcome failure, his passion for exploring the unknown, and his devotion to the lives of his crew is something we can all learn from. Shackleton lived painfully true to the motto of his family: Fortitudine vincimus, which means, “By endurance we conquer.” The events of Shackleton’s voyage provide a solid source of hope for anyone who must endure any kind of hardship.

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As you can imagine, this short post comes nowhere close to describing the magnitude of the story. I highly encourage you to pick up Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing or South by Ernest Shackleton.

 

Story facts were pulled from the following sources:

http://www.biography.com/people/ernest-shackleton-9480091#later-years

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

When it comes to Learning and Development approaches, it’s time to put the Learner first. Here’s a quick recap if you missed our May Webinar, catch up and tweet us any questions or comments @degreed.

Let’s start with why. You may notice some problems or feel a need for change within your processes. Here’s why we think it’s time to rethink L&D priorities:

First, L&D teams are struggling to form connections with their learners. Here are the numbers: 60% of workers think the skills they have now will not be what they need in 3 years. Learning and development are clearly essential, however, 85% of employees do not feel like the training they get at work is preparing them for their next position.


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Second, the landscape of work has changed- and most current L&D systems can’t keep up with what people need to know or how people like to learn and search out information. Skills are quickly changing, more jobs require primarily creative thinking and problem solving skills- not just the ability to follow directions. What learners need to know can change in a matter of weeks, but it takes 5-12 weeks to create just one hour of interactive learning.

Learners get work-related information from articles, videos, and books weekly while traditional L&D’s are still doing mostly formal training- classroom and instructor style.

These disconnects all result in learners taking control of their own learning. Conventional L&D methods aren’t working for today’s learners- it’s time to try new approaches.

Here are 4 helpful ways to make the shift in mindset and provide learners with the information and tools they need.

1. Start putting learners first. This is a big mindshift, it means to put learners not just at the center, but at the beginning. Where they learn from others and from experiences more than they do in formal training. When you acknowledge there’s a problem in the current process, you can start working towards a solution- and investing resources differently.

2. Stop trying to command and control- start empowering. After making the shift to put learners at the beginning you’ll start to answer these questions differently about the role of the L&D department:

-Who’s responsible for driving L&D activity – HR and L&D or employees and their managers?
– When and where does learning happen – on a schedule at work or anytime, anywhere?
– What and why do people learn – for operational efficiency and compliance or to build strategic capabilities and performance?
– How do they learn – mainly through formal classes and online courses or in the flow of their work?

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3. Stop making learning one-size-fits-all, and start offering choices.

Give learners choices on the types of content they can consume. Create different options- think short videos and quizzes, 5-minute tutorials on management skills, animated role plays, etc.

4. Stop Making Learners Have To- Start Making Them Want To.

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Focus more effort on things learners care about-leadership, soft-skills and sales.  These are also the things that enable strategy and drive business performance. This doesn’t mean you need to stop operational and compliance stuff, it just means you need to make it a point to do them smarter.

Now that you’ve accessed the problem and had the mind-shift, it’s time to talk rewiring and getting to work.

The hard part: Doing the work to actually reinvent workplace learning. Transforming how L&D works all at once can be a huge job. It can take months and years, the key is not cost cutting and reorganizing, it’s investing time and money differently. Here are 4 tips for reinventing L&D.

1. Make it simpler to create (and curate) learning. Learning has shifted, it’s no longer broadcasted format, one-to-many. People are learning from crowdsourcing and collaborating, they’re learning many-to-many. A lot of learners need better tools for creating, curating, and sharing learning. Almost 90% of workers say sharing knowledge is an important or essential part of learning what they need for their jobs, yet only 1/3 of employers have invested in dedicated social learning systems.

2. Make it Faster to Find Learning. We’re all overwhelmed by how much information is out there, and we’re all impatient. If we don’t find what we need- and fast- we’ll move on. With so much learning content out there, it can add up to a lot of clutter.

3. Make it easier to access learning. Because making it faster to find the right content isn’t much use if your learner’s can’t access it. Make it mobile. More than half of workers say they would like to be able to access learning on mobile devices. While they may not all need it to do their jobs, they want it.

4. Make it possible to track all learning. Both L&D organizations and individual employees need better ways to track, measure, and value all of their learning. CLO’s feel the need and urgency to demonstrate the value of an organizations investment in L&D, but less than 30% of big companies capture much data on their informal learning activity. It’s awfully hard to manage L&D when you can’t see the whole picture.

It’s time to make a shift and take actions to empower learners with the right content and the right tools to learn, apply, and track it.  Here are the final 3 takeaways.

1. Conventional L&D methods just aren’t responsive enough to keep up with today’s learners or work landscape. It’s time to take new approaches

2. Modernizing workplace learning demands big shift in how we think about L&D- it starts with putting the learners first.

3. Putting learners first requires new, different, and better tools for:

-Creating and curating learning.
-Discovering and finding learning.
-Accessing learning.
-valuing learning.

And that means all kinds of learning- not just formal training. 

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What do you see in the future of L&D methods within organizations?

Degreed’s mission is to make all learning count, that’s why we make it easy for organizations and their people to discover, curate and track ALL their learning. For more information on how we do this check out get.degreed.com 

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This week hundreds of thousands of college grads will toss their caps and throw the gowns into storage boxes as they head towards the next stage of life: True Adulthood. A much needed break from years of classes, late night studying, and exams is well-earned, but what happens when the weeks slip into months and learning has abruptly ended?

After graduating, I experienced a stage of what felt like a great loss. I stepped into the shoes of my new full-time gig, I was learning there, but I was missing the push of learning and studying. This lack of learning stage left me feeling sad, and bored. Eventually I felt mentally stuck.

Growing our personal skills and understanding after graduation shouldn’t be limited to the training and learning we do in our new jobs (if we receive an offer post-graduation). We should be poised to set and stick to personal goals to keep improving ourselves, even if the work doesn’t result in a grade or final exam. Here are some ideas on how to grow after graduation.

1. Set the schedule. As a graduate, you are forever free of 7am Geology class, but you’ll find the best use of your individual time if it’s structured. Figure out what time of the day you’re the most productive and focused. Set 30 minutes to 1 hour a day during that time that you can use to experience learning.

2. Learn something that may seem irrelevant. Here’s a crazy idea: having the freedom to literally learn about anything you want. Consider topics that may not help fuel your career right now. Study something that makes you excited. Remember the lecture in English that peaked your interest? Read more from that author. Study watercolor, search out a new coding or design skill (you can find tons of open courses online if you want more structured learning, get more info on that here).

3. Measure it and be accountable. It’s hard to be motivated to finish a goal if you’re not going to measure it. Gone are the days of finals, but all the learning you do should count for something. Sign up for degreed.com and start tracking what you know and what you’re learning. Set goals on the platform for weekly articles, videos, or books to keep you on track. Grab a friend and take a community class or start a book together- having someone else to keep you accountable will make habits stick.

4. Passion Projects. Find a way to apply your learning and integrate it with other passions. Designing a website, selling your product on Etsy, writing blog posts about the books you’re reading. Whatever activities you’re passionate about doing- apply what you’re learning to those. You’ll be excited to do it and it’ll help you retain what you’re learning.

Learning doesn’t have to stop after the graduation ceremony. There are many different ways to continue pursuing education post-graduation, the key is to tap into your desire to learn and fuel that desire in the right way.

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In the age of endless self-documentation and instant gratification, it’s easy to fake passion. If the thing you loved to do was widely believed to be impossible—or people called you a crackpot for trying— would you still do it?

In the late 1800’s, most people believed aeronautical engineers were crackpots. It was widely believed that man-powered flight was impossible. Airplane crashes made for great stories, and journalists were all over that. Who doesn’t love to hear about stupid people getting injured by jumping off roofs thinking they can fly? (cough cough Tosh.0, Ridiculousness, AFV, Jackass… not much has changed in the last 200 years.) But the fear of embarrassment didn’t stop everyone from trying to fly.

The Race For First In Flight

“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.” – Orville Wright

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Orville and Wilbur Wright worked as a team for most of their lives. They started with a printing company, and later opened a bicycle shop. It was the bicycle shop that eventually enabled the Wright Brothers to experiment with flight. But they weren’t the only ones.

In 1887, a man by the name of Samuel P. Langley began experimenting with flight.

Langley held the highest scientific office in the country, so of course the media had an eye on his work. It was Langley who initially inspired the Wright Brothers.

Langley had a full staff of employees working on his machines, which he called Aerodromes. By 1898, with the Spanish-American war on the horizon, the military decided to back Langley and help fund his project.

With financing of $70,000, the support of the U.S. military, and the prestige of the highest scientific office in the country, Langley built what he coined the Great Aerodrome.

When the day came in 1903 to show off the fruits of his five-year labors, the plane crashed into the Potomac on take off. The press had a heyday with Langley’s failure. Embarrassed by the ridiculing stories and the withdrawal of support from the military, Langley halted operations and gave up for good.

Nine days later, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers carried out the world’s first controlled, sustained powered flight. But at the time, no one even seemed to notice. In fact, they weren’t even recognized as the first to flight until 1942.

 

Don’t Play It Safe

While there were many things, including the decades long legal battles, that determined who got credit for being the first to flight, I would like to focus on one intriguing aspect of the story.

When it comes to your passion, it’s more risky to play it safe.

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Langley was interested in flight, and would have loved to be the first to do it. But I’m not so sure he was as dedicated as the Wright Brothers. Why do I think that?

All of Langley’s flights were over water.

It makes a lot of sense. If your plane has an issue and doesn’t fly as planned, the safest place to crash would be a body of water. It’s the safe thing to do.

I think playing it safe may have lost Langley the race.

The Wright Brothers focused on control. They had done the research on flying machines. In 1899, the brothers even wrote Langley at his position at the Smithsonian requesting access to his aeronautical research. They credited Langley and his research for having given them a “good understanding of the problem of flying.”

However, Orville and Wilbur understood that the challenge wasn’t in sustained powered flight alone, but in controlled, sustained powered flight. This is evident in the fact that they invented an airplane control system, and later spit flaps (to slow down a plane in a dive), that were both eventually patented.

All of the Wright Brothers’ test flights were performed on the dunes at Kitty Hawk.

No soft water landings if they messed up, so they needed to be able to control the plane once it was in the air.

It’s like in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises when Bruce Wayne had to get out of the pit. He couldn’t do it until he took off the safety rope and sacrificed everything.

Passion is something that will lead you down the road to the happiest, but also the hardest days of your life. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. You’ll have to sacrifice a lot, but in the end, it’s worth it.

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If you have a passion for something, you won’t care if you don’t get any likes when you post about it. You also don’t listen to the critics who try to score a quick laugh at your expense. You believe in yourself, get to work, and eventually prove the h8rz wrong.

The seatbelt light is off. Get up and do something great!

 

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“Why don’t you cure leukemia?”

As a hematologist, this was the charge given to Emil Freireich when he arrived at the National Cancer Institute in 1955. He focused his work on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Children with ALL suffer from severe bleeding. In the children’s leukemia ward it would get so bad that kids couldn’t eat because their mouths and noses were bleeding so badly. Freireich elaborated on the grim reality of the situation in a 2013 interview.

“These children literally bled to death. They drown in their own blood. Now they’re 4-10 years old, they don’t know what the hell is going on. It’s really horrible.at that time leukemia diagnosis were death certificates. Median lifespan was about 6-8 weeks and 100% of them were dead in 8 months.”

Freireich focused first on the problem of bleeding. He knew if he could at least stop the children from bleeding, he could give all his attention to finding a cure for the disease. When he believed he had an explanation and a remedy for the bleeding, he took it to his superiors. Freireich was told the idea wouldn’t work. He stood firm in his belief and decided to go against the better judgments of many of his superiors.

It worked. The children stopped bleeding.

Up until this time, chemotherapy had really only been done using a single chemical at a time. However, those chemicals were never strong enough to overcome the leukemia on their own. Freireich knew there had to be a better solution.

But if using one toxic chemical didn’t work, who in their right mind would ever think to use more than one—especially on children? No one. That’s why the children and their families needed someone who would try something “insane.”

Freireich had a theory that leukemia could be cured with the same method used in the treatment of tuberculosis—administering multiple drugs simultaneously. The problem was that the cytotoxins used for chemotherapy were harsher. There was more risk with possible side effects. Many leading hematologists, including the world’s expert in hematology, thought the humane thing to do was to forego treatment and create a comfortable environment for the children to meet their end. Why do anything to prolong or increase a child’s suffering?

Freireich didn’t feel the same way. He was going to fight for his kids. The children were going to die anyway. Why not try and help? He chose to discuss his theories openly with the parents of the children he was treating. The parents were in favor of him at least trying for a cure. With a green light from the parents, he began his trials.

Using a combination chemotherapy regimen with three different drugs administered simultaneously—each with a unique purpose—Freireich began to see improvement. But the kids were still dying. It wasn’t until he added a fourth drug to the mix that he found himself on the brink of a cure. The first child he tried his four-combination chemotherapy on was pushed to the brink of death. She suffered immensely from the treatment. She eventually recovered from the effects of the chemotherapy, but later died of an infection.

Freireich went back to the drawing board and made adjustments to the chemical doses. Remarkably, in the very next trial, he got it right. Freireich had cured a child of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Today, a childhood diagnoses of acute lymphoblastic leukemia has a 95% chance of attaining remission.”

Freireich doesn’t deny that concocting a super drug by combining four toxic drugs was insane. He had to make objective decisions that meant possibly killing his patients, because he knew that making those decisions was the only way a cure would ever be found—if one even existed.

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We all have instances in our lives where we can take the easy way out. There are choices that are easy and comfortable, and then there are choices that are difficult and require work.

“…our formulation of the ethics of research was the same as the ethics of getting out of a [sinking] boat, I mean, you just did what you could do…there weren’t any options.”

I invite you to evaluate your life right now. Are there sinking boats you should be getting out of? It’s certainly easier to sink with the boat than it is to swim for safety. Don’t let the ease of doing nothing stop you from swimming. Make the decision to do what you can do and get at it.

In addition, like Freireichs’ combination chemotherapy, each little thing we do to improve our lives adds up. If we make enough little decisions to live better, we’ll eventually find success.

 

Difficult-Decisions

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Degreed was thrilled to participate and sponsor Human Capital Media’s 2015 Spring CLO Symposium at Trump National Doral Miami. The three day conference, from April 13th – 15th, brought together over 300 learning executives.

Degreed’s COO, Chris McCarthy, and Hellman Worldwide Logistics’ Chief People Officer, Kenneth Finneran, presented an outstanding workshop on The New Generation of “Bring Your Own Learning”, What Every CLO Needs to Know. During the presentation, they explained what the consumerization of learning means and how executives can create a “learners first” culture in their organization while maintaining security and visibility. The key takeaways from the presentation included:

The learning levy has burst. People are taking learning into their own hands.

Empowering employee learning is the next big movement in education. Those who embrace it will thrive.

Accountability equals love. Empower while enforcing learning outcomes.

The workshop also included a breakout session where the 60 attendees were asked ‘What can we do as learning leaders to support and empower our learners?’ and discussed solutions in creating a learning culture in their organization.

It was an honor to have Degreed be considered as one of the elite thought leaders and solution providers in the learning and development community. The quality of sessions, speakers, organizations and networking opportunities were outstanding

Read more on the CLO symposium presentations and learning cultures with this Miami Herald Article ‘On-demand courses help employees learn on their own schedules’

Check out the Bring Your Own Learning presentation here:

 

Did you miss our webinar on Building a Learning Culture? Catch up with this wrap-up and tell us your thoughts on learning cultures by tweeting us @Degreed

First, why build a learning culture?

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In 2009 Bersin by Deloitte surveyed 40,000 organizations to see how they used various HR & training processes and how they performed on 10 business measures. They discovered “Among all the HR and training processes we study, the single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.” The study found the following about High-Impact Learning Cultures:

-32% more likely to be first to market

-58% more likely to have skills to meet future demand

-37% greater employee productivity

Here’s how to start building a Learning Culture that can bring lasting payoffs.

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Of a survey we administered, 89% of learners would rather be given credit for their own learning than learn at HR’s direction. It is an impossibility for you to know the needs, desires, goals, and real-time challenges for every individual within your organization, so how can you be expected to tailor fit learning initiatives that are top down? You can’t. It has to come from the bottom up.

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For a Learning Culture to thrive, you must give the freedom to learn to the individual. It doesn’t matter what they learn, just that they are learning. Employees have goals and desires outside of our organizations, but part of their lives is their work. This means that while people will desire to learn about things like WWII history, and deep sea diving, they will also want to learn how to become better at their jobs within our organizations. Focus on making learning social, and implement it using these 3 key principals:

1. Trust. Trust that your employees want to develop new skills, and they will spend some time learning things that will improve their jobs within your organization.

2. Empower. Empower your employees to learn with time, money, and resources. For example, at Degreed, every employee is given $100 in FlexEd money a month to support whatever learning they want.

3. Personalize. Support people’s own unique learning strategies.

When the strategy, objectives, and policies are established and communicated within the organization, the culture and action can follow.

Here are the 3 big takeaways for building learning cultures:

1. Learning cultures focus on the needs of the employee and empower them to achieve their dreams.

2. For learning cultures to develop, it doesn’t matter what people learn.

3. Alignment is achieved through strong mission, strategy, & clear objectives.

Do you have questions about building a learning culture? Tweet them to us @degreed and check out the full webinar here:

 

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1. Ben Franklin came from a large family.

In fact, his father, Josiah Franklin, had 17 children with 2 wives. He was the 8th to the second wife but the 15th in total. He started to work with his brothers in a print shop at the age of 12.

2. Ben Franklin was a writer.

Franklin started out with a passion in writing and wrote many writings immediately after starting work. However, his older brother refused to publish his writings. After more work and effort, he was able to take his writings elsewhere to get published, many of which are famous today.

3. He was a volunteer fireman.

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He had a passion for “paying it forward” and giving back to the community. The department he volunteered for is called the Union Fire Company, but is now known as “Benjamin  Franklin’s Bucket Brigade”. After volunteering multiple times, he wrote articles on fire safety.

4. Ben Franklin is known for inventing the glass harmonica.

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He designed the glass harmonica, or armonica, in 1761. It creates musical tones by using different sized glass bowls. It’s kind of like the old-fashioned version of rubbing your finger on a crystal glass.

5. Franklin could speak 5 languages.

He taught himself to read French, Latin, Italian, and Spanish, after already knowing English. He was always looking for ways to self-improve and figured being fluent in other languages would help him in his future.

6. During experiments, Franklin was almost killed twice.

The only reason he survived was because he didn’t receive a strong enough charge. One time he was trying to help cure a paralyzed man with electric shock. The other time was a result from his attempt to kill a turkey with electrical shock.

7. He created the first insurance company in the colonies.

The number one adversary? Fire. The full name was Philadelphia Contributorship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss By Fire. The idea was so every man could help each other.

8. Franklin invented the rocking chair.

Next time you’re sitting in a rocking chair and thinking, “This is the life!”, remember our good pal Benjamin Franklin. He fitted the legs of his armchair with curved pieces of wood and made an invention that is still widely used today.

9. Ben Franklin owned his first company at the age of 22.

He was the owner of the Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper. His printing company also printed paper money for Pennsylvania and Delaware.

10. 20,000 people attended his funeral.

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This is a large number today, but especially back then it was huge. Franklin died on April 17, 1790. His funeral was well attended by people who had been touched by his life and looked up to his legacy.

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We’re constantly making new discoveries about the human body. Below we created a list of some fascinating facts about bones in the human body.

Scientists recently discovered a new body part that has eluded or remained undetected for over a century. As Science Daily reports, two surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have located a new ligament in the human knee. Dr. Steven Claes and Professor Dr. Johan Bellemans, after four years of research, discovered a new ligament and called it the anterolateral ligament.

1. Smallest Bone in the Human Body: Stirrup Bone

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The smallest bone in the human body is the stirrup bone, the stapes, one of the 3 bones that make up your middle ear; measuring 2-3 millimeters. It is shaped like a “U.” It is the innermost bone that receives sound vibrations and passes them along to the cochlea to eventually be interpreted by the brain.

2. Biggest (and Strongest) Bone in the Human Body: Femur

Femur

The femur is the strongest bone in the human body. It extends from the hip to the knee.  It can resist a force of up to 1,800 to 2,500 pounds. Only events of a large amount of force can cause it to break, such as by a car accident or a fall from an extreme height, taking months to heal.

3. Body Part with the Most Bones: The Hands

Hand Bones

The hands have the most bones — 27 in each hand.The hands and feet together make up more than half the bones in the human body. There are 206 bones in the human body; 106 of these are in the hands and feet (27 in each hand and 26 in each foot).

4. Most Fragile Bone in the Body: The Toe Bones

Toe Bones

The small toe bones break the easier and most often. Almost everyone has broken a toe, even a small one, in their life. And there’s really you can do about it, but let it heal.

5. Most Commonly Broken Bone: The Ankle!

Even more common than breaking a toes is spraining or breaking your ankle. It happens almost everywhere: on the field of play, on a hiking trail or trying not to trip over children’s toys. There is a difference between a sprained and broken ankle. Ankle fractures and sprains are both often accompanied by tendon damage.

6. Most Common Form of Bone Surgery: Arthroscopic Surgery

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Arthroscopic procedures on the knee increased 49% between 1996 and 2006. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure by which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and/or treatment using a tube-like viewing instrument called an arthroscope. Arthroscopy can be helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of many noninflammatory, inflammatory, and infectious types of arthritis as well as various injuries within the joint.

7. Most Common Bone Disease: Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease, which is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone structure. Osteoporosis can be prevented, as well as diagnosed and treated. Low bone mass is when bones lose the minerals that make them strong, especially calcium, which makes them weak and fracture easily.

8. Most Common Forms of Bone Cancer: Osteosarcoma

Bone Cancer

These are some of the most common types of bone cancer:

  • Osteosarcoma  start in bone cells and found most often in the knee and upper arm. It is diagnosed most often in teens and young adults.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma is seen in younger people between the ages of 5 and 20. It most commonly occurs in people’s ribs, pelvis, leg, and upper arm.
  • Chondrosarcoma occurs most often in people between 40 and 70. The hip, pelvis, leg, arm, and shoulder are common sites of this cancer, which begins in cartilage cells.

Although almost always found in bone, multiple myeloma is not a primary bone cancer. It is a bone marrow cancer. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones.

9. Weirdest Disease of the Human Bone: Disappearing Human Bone Disease:

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The clinical terms for this disease is massive osteolysis. It’s more commonly known as Gorham’s disease. Regenerating bone after a fracture is overtaken by the process of absorbing bone and the bone is broken down into almost nothing. The bone just kind of disappears, as the name suggests. What’s perhaps most mysterious is that a number of cases of Gorham’s have ended in spontaneous remission. The disease itself disappears.

 10. Broke the Most Bones over a Lifetime: Evel Knievel

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Evel Knievel (USA, b. Robert Craig Knievel), the pioneer of motorcycle long jumping exhibitions, had suffered 433 bone fractures by end of 1975. In the winter of 1976 he was seriously injured during a televised attempt to jump a tank full of sharks at the Chicago Amphitheater. He decided to retire from major performances as a result.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to have only one No. 9. Thanks Jared!

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