Prioritise what you learn

Prioritise what you learn

If you know and understand the importance of continuous learning, how do you focus on what to learn. With the benefit of social media, globalization and the internet, you have a range of several million business books, over 3000 TED talks, 10 000 MOOC’s (massive open online courses), hundreds of thousands of online articles, and millions of self-published books and blog postings.

The modern leader in business has very little time to learn, so having a system that helps you to prioritise what to learn becomes critical to your development.

One approach is to apply a time-utility analysis to the subjects that you are interested in learning. This would be similar in form to a cost-benefit analysis.

“Time” is the length of time it takes to learn, effectively. “Utility” is how much you will probably use the desired skill. Combine time and utility and you get a simple 2×2 matrix with four quadrants:

  • Learn it right away : High Utility; Low Time to Learn
  • Schedule a time to learn it : High Utility; High Time to Learn
  • Learn it as the chance arises : Low Utility, Low Time to Learn
  • Decide if you need to learn it : Low Utility, High Time to Learn

 

Closing Thoughts

You can use this approach for yourself, or across a team, department, or even your entire company.