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What do you do after you learn something?

At some point over the last week, I’m willing to bet there was a time – even if only a fleeting instant – in which you said: “huh, that’s interesting, I didn’t know that.”

Maybe you read something in the last week. Or listened to a podcast. Or attended a workshop. Or spoke with a colleague.

What did you do with that new piece of information?

Did you pass it along to someone else? Did you tweet it out to the universe? Did you try to do something new or differently or better at work? Did you say to yourself: “I learned something new, my day is complete” (and then promptly forget about it)? Did you file it away, thinking: I should do something with this later (and then perhaps forget about it)?

When I have downtime, I read a lot of articles and blog posts and links I’ll find on Twitter or LinkedIn. I try to stay up to date on the latest trends in learning and development by attending a webinar or two each month. I’ll engage in Twitter chats a few times a month. Looking back on all this “learning”, I realized that I don’t often do much afterwards.

With this in mind, I declared in late December that my 1-word resolution for 2015 would be “execute” – spend less time in the act of learning and more time acting on what I’ve learned.

Earlier this week, when I read an article by Jane Hart entitled The Modern L&D Dept requires other skills than instructional design, I grew excited immediately. I’d been looking for a new way to frame the learning and development strategy on my team and this image from her post struck a cord with me:

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I spent some time with a colleague thinking through how we might apply this to what we’re trying to do (here’s an image of today’s flipcharting session):

Learning Strategy

It’s nice to stay on top of industry trends. It’s fun to share ideas on a theoretical level with colleagues at the water cooler or in a Twitter chat. But the magic happens when there’s an opportunity to apply this self-directed learning on the job.

Monday, I’ll share a second example of a way that I’ve been able to implement something I learned into my work. If you’re looking for a fresh way to conduct post-evaluation training and derive meaningful feedback from such Level 1 “smile sheet” evaluations, be sure to tune in.

In the mean time, tell me: what’s one thing you’ve learned so far this year… and how have you put it into action on the job? I’d love to hear it in the comments section.

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