Development Advice for Entrepreneurs

Paolo Giuricich, Organisation Development Consultant

What does it mean to develop professionally in 2019? This question brings to mind an article published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) a few years back, listing all the skills required to succeed by 2020 during the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, which is considered to be occurring right now.

The skills list includes: being able to solve complex problems; think critically; be creative; managing people; working collaboratively with other people; being emotionally intelligent; having astute judgement; ability to navigate multiple services; negotiation skills and mental flexibility. Take responsibility for your professional development, own your decisions and consistently reflect on past actions, and this will set you in good stead for success in your chosen career.

In your journey there are tons of opportunities for learning along the way. While in training or employed in a specific role, you will automatically pick things up: as a sole trader or individual entrepreneur, you need to actively drive the learning process yourself. The most successful independent professionals are those who commit time and energy to their own personal development, and never pass up a moment to learn and evolve.

Take responsibilty for your professional dvelopment

Many of the skills outlined in the WEF’s article can only be gained through experience and time; emotional intelligence (EQ), for example, is not something you can study. Indeed, I consider this to be not a separate skill on a level with the others WEF identified, but a fundamental skill upon which all the others are built. Emotional intelligence is the foundation upon which it is possible to build, learn and develop professionally.

Modern Learning Tenets address the fact that HOW we learn has evolved, by introducing new approaches, including: informal, flexible learning; ongoing, self-propelled learning; contextually appropriate content that learners can relate to; media that makes learning quicker and easy; collaborative, group-based learning where appropriate and ‘bitesize’ information learning.

Many of the skills outlined in the WEF’s article can only be gained through experience and time; emotional intelligence (EQ), for example, is not something you can study.

However, although the latter route is more challenging, being able to assess what you need and seek out your own learning opportunities is a learning curve in itself. This skill involves being able to create a ‘Learning Matrix’, which is a multi-faceted overview of your learning trajectory, how you organise yourself and the learning styles that work best for you and your chosen career path.

Your Learning Matrix must take into consideration: social awareness; self-branding; ability to integrate with other cultures and systems; networking, and leadership skills. It needs to be thoroughly flexible and adaptable to the changes to your learning as the years progress.

2020 is nearly upon us, and we are now very definitely in a new age of industry. The need for human input is no less strong, but we must adapt to fit around the new. In what ways will you go above and beyond the standard requirements and create the Learning Matrix to propel you on your journey?

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