Take ownership of your learning!
15 May 2017

Take ownership of your learning!


categories: E-learning, People

This blog was originally posted on the author, Mike Osborne's LinkedIn profile. Read there.

This little impromptu blog comes after seeing a post from the Training Journal on Twitter that has obviously struck a nerve:

Unfortunately, I have heard phrases like these far too often, as I am sure many of you have too:

“I haven’t had any training”,

“company [x] doesn’t develop it’s staff”


“I’ve been at my company for [X] years and have never been sent on any courses”.

In a similar way to #TJwowThe Training Journal, I also challenge individuals who bounce around phrases like this with

“… What have you done do develop yourself?”

As I noted on Twitter:

My question is…

Why wait?

There are more cheap, if not free, learning resources on the web than there ever has been! I can rattle off examples as Coursera, Khan Academy or even YouTube for that matter [I myself quite like the Ted Talks] just to name a few.

No technology excuse!

What’s more is that so much of this learning is available on whatever device you use, wherever you are in the world – be it on your PC, tablet or smartphone. You essentially have a global library of information at your fingertips and at your disposal.


  • Long commute? Consider a podcast
  • Can’t afford to pay for your own training? Why not browse what’s out there for free? Yes, it may be more basic than what you’d get paid for, but if you’re just starting out – is that really a problem?
  • Don’t have time? Listen to something whilst you work! Better still, check out microlearning!


For those of you that don’t know what Microlearning is, here is a short definition from the eLearning Industry:

Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. The learners are in control of what and when they’re learning.


L&D is here to help!

Thankfully I am not alone in my thinking. Shortly after my little Twitter rant, Niall Gavin responded to me Tweet with…

… and I am pretty sure that the subject of self-directed learning has been the subject of the weekly #LDInsight chat on Twitter on more than one occasion.


For those of you interested, #LDInsight is run by L&D Connect: A community of Learning and Development professionals, coming together to grow our capabilities, thinking and development of the profession.

Each week this network of L&D professionals meet on Twitter to discuss a brand new question/ challenge for L&D using the hashtag #LDInsight.

(For anyone interested in joining these chats they take place on a Friday morning 8am-9am UK time [GMT], and the chats get posted on Storify later that day.)

The Challenge to those in Learning & Development

As Niall has pointed out in the comments:

There’s still a big challenge for L&D and Managers to assist people in becoming self-directed learners, to point them at techniques and resources and to recognise, encourage and indeed, reward individual effort here.


Don’t get me wrong – I am not claiming that organisations have no responsibility in developing their employees (in fact that’s claim I would openly disagree with).

Instead, I am simply putting forward a notion that employers not developing you as, an individual, is not an excuse for you to hide behind when it comes to your personal development.

Yes, there is a lot of crap out there – and not everything you read and watch is up to date or can be taken as fact. However, there is a goldmine of information on the web of almost any subject imaginable. All you have to do is look!

I am also pleased to say that the trends indicate that employees are starting to take ownership of their own learning, as highlighted in this infographic from ProfitAbility below:

Note: You can find more creatives like this on ProfitAbility’s Pinterest page.

End of rant.

If you get this far, thank you for reading!

Please do let me know where you stand on this – whether you agree or disagree (or perhaps you just think I’m being a little harsh) by getting in touch on LinkedIn.

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