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Guiding Agile Careers

Our approach to learning & acquiring knowledge

Acquiring knowledge results from a complex process that is social, goal-driven, contextual, and culturally-bounded. We get to knowledge — especially ‘actionable’ knowledge — by having desires and curiosity, through plotting and play, by being wrong more often than right, by talking with others and forming social bonds, by applying methods and then backing away from them, by calculation and serendipity, by rationality and intuition, by institutional processes and social roles. Most important in this regard, where the decisions are tough and knowledge is hard to come by, knowledge is not determined by information, for it is the knowing process that first decides which information is relevant, and how it is to be used.

 

This not a simple, linear programme or path. Learning, acquiring knowledge and career progress, is more creative, messier, harder won, and far more discontinuous. 

 

Are you prepared for agile careers?

From our observations we have seen clients do four things that accelerates talent success. These are:

Put people in control of their own career and learning

Remove ambiguity, enable people to take control and responsibility for their career and learning - they are the only ones who can truly decide what success looks like for them. This also takes the onus off the employer to spoon feed people but then requires them to provide people with the right opportunities.

Equip them with the skills to be self-directed

Provide them with the opportunity to develop their self-awareness and ability to develop their own vision of success. This requires them to be able to develop a growth mindset and pro-active habits to make things happen. Without these skills, there will not be mass-adoption. Once established the organisation benefits from people who know how to do the right thing.

Provide them with a toolkit and support

Support mass adoption by providing a consistent approach through a toolkit or playbook to support implementation. Without a toolkit, the approach will not deliver the full potential benefits. Focus the organisation's effort around designing, developing and deploying the toolkit.

Make the experience enjoyable and fulfilling

Motivate people to overcome the inevitable challenges, create an environment where everyone supports each other to succeed. This is not necessarily a soft/easy place to be. Feedback can be painful to hear at times, but a 'support and change' environment draws those with ambition towards it and accelerates success. The achievement is the reward, but the journey towards it and the support along the way are often the real motivators. This in turn creates motivated and engaged people who are more likely to stick around. 

What Are Career Moments?

In our daily work lives we don't think about our career constantly. In fact, given the magnitude of the decisions we make about our career, some would argue that we do not spend anywhere near enough time thinking about it. There are time though when our career does come to the forefront of our minds, we call these 'career moments'. They may have been forced upon us as we are starting out in our first job or are between roles or assignments, or a conscious choice if our current work or job is not to our liking, or we are attracted by new opportunities. 

But, beyond these forced moments, we believe that people need to trigger the right timing of these 'career moments', making them a positive experience that is self-initiated, or a conscious, meaningful step in response to change in circumstances.

 

By raising awareness of common human biases in these moments, people can be prompted to make better decisions and manage smoother transitions that ultimately lead to long-term career success.

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