November 6, 2018

Nurture a learning mindset to achieve transformation

We need to keep learning in order to grow. Learning not only benefits us personally but also benefits all of society because we use knowledge to improve the world around us.

It is because of learning that we have the light bulb, to name just one life-changing advance. It is also learning that allowed the discovery of electricity to power the light bulb. All the advances that have made our lives better exist because of learning.

In order to continue developing ourselves and our world, we need to keep learning. This learning can come from our own daily experience or through reading, classes and asking others questions.

Our world is changing faster than ever and the only way to stay relevant is to keep learning. But learning alone cannot create change, so we must aim for transformative learning.

According to a study by LinkedIn Learning, transformative learning “is the expansion of consciousness through the transformation of worldview and capacities of the self. It’s an act of changing how we see and do things”.

Transformative learning is beneficial in many ways, and can help equip us to thrive in the new world of Industry  4.0, where artificial intelligence and automation will play a greater role. As tedious and repetitive tasks get automated, this opens up a new set of jobs in which learning new skills and being able to apply them at work will be crucial to the organisation’s growth.

Other benefits include an increase in engagement among people in the organisation as well as an enhancement of creativity and an inevitable push towards innovation. But learning isn’t always easy, and sometimes we tend to procrastinate rather than pushing ahead with developing our knowledge.

The fact is, learning can sometimes be looked as a boring chore. This is why we need to develop a learning mindset. This involves embracing the idea of lifelong learning and showing keen curiosity about our world today in order to transform ourselves, our organisations, communities and even the world.

Continuous learning is important for the growth of an organisation. Here are a few ways to nurture and strengthen a learning mindset so you can transform yourself and your organisation and bring about positive change.

First, understand that the learning of each individual is different, so in order to nurture that learning mindset, understand what is most effective for yourself and your organisation. This can be difficult in large organisations with hundreds or thousands of employees, many scattered in different locations.

To meet this challenge, consider blended learning in your organisation. There are many ways to approach this depending on your needs and those of the organisation. However, blended learning gives you and your people options when it comes to how you want to develop certain skills.

Second, keep in mind that failure means you’re actually learning and using that learning through practical application. Transformation doesn’t happen when you simply learn something and keep it to yourself. Real change — whether internally or externally — happens only when you apply what you’ve already known and new things you’ve learned to your work.

As Morihei Ueshiba, the Japanese martial artist and founder of aikido, said: “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”

Third, keep in mind that it is with learning that you can master anything. But in addition to this, understand that mastery comes only with consistency and practice.

Fourth, seek out feedback. You’ll never know what you’re missing or doing well if you don’t solicit the views of others. Simply assuming cannot help you transform yourself and it won’t make your learn progressively.

You may sometimes not get the feedback that you’d like to hear, but it doesn’t mean you haven’t learned anything. All it means is that you tried but something went wrong somewhere. This is something you’ll never know if you keep everything to yourself. Feedback also allows you to understand what you’re doing right so you can continue practising and eventually mastering the skill or subject.

When it comes to transformative learning, the key words are learning and application — you learn new things and you apply them at work.

In order to move forward in this fast-changing world, we need to integrate transformative learning in our organisations. However, your transformation can only unfold if you have the right learning mindset that will keep you on top of your game at every single opportunity or challenge you may face.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC (formerly APMGroup) Southeast Asia’s leading Executive, Leadership and Innovation Capability Development Center. She can be reached by email at or