Inspiration from education

posted by Jeff | Sunday, February 9, 2020, 9:15 PM | comments: 0

I am a huge, huge fan of Masterclass. I know it isn't cheap, but it's worth every dime. The instructors are experts in a great many fields, not just creative, but also in business and science. The intent is not to become experts or achieve the level of the instructors, it's to have access to the wisdom and knowledge of people you wouldn't ordinarily get to meet. What you do with the information is entirely up to you.

This is the reason that we go to conferences in the software world. Being around the same people all of the time can make you dull. That's not a slight against them (except when it is), it's just what happens. Knowledge and wisdom comes from experience, and it's the one thing in life that you can't just naturally obtain independent of your environment. You have to "see the world."

We naturally gravitate to these learning experiences in our spare time, which if you think about it, reinforces that one of our greatest intrinsic motivators is in fact learning. Diana didn't know anything about quilting ten years ago, and today she wields a $10k long-arm machine like a boss. I'm that way with photography, and it could not have been a thing without learning from a great many resources.

It's my belief that as business leaders, we should take ongoing education more seriously. Admittedly, my line of work suffers from a serious gap between experience and need, so I might care about this more than practitioners of other fields. But in any business, it stands to reason that investing in your people in a non-trivial way is a thing where everyone wins. You demonstrate commitment to your people and they get better at their jobs. There's that old legend where a CEO asks the COO, "What if we teach them and they leave?" and the COO says, "What if we don't and they stay?"

Education, experience, learning... these are all undervalued in our culture even though they solve so many problems. We need to stop missing these opportunities. Critical thinking and observable evidence combined with an understanding of history can go a long way toward making us better humans.


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