business Sep 01, 2016

It’s Sept 1, 2016 – summer blew by and is coming to an end.  Kids are heading back to school.  It’s a good time to plan my own learning/professional development.  I don’t know about you, but I am wired that every September I feel it’s a start of a new year.  A new year to learn. 


As a child in grade school your learning was pretty much set out for you.  As you moved along to high school – you got more choice as to what you wanted to learn.  And then after high school the sky is the limit.  But every September you start off on a new year long journey of learning.  I loved it.  I did go to university for an extra long time.   Three degrees later.  20 years of building businesses later…..and I still am planning my year of learning starting today.

I am known in business circles as a business book junkie.  But I have also been known as a groupie of Verne Harnish, Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, Geoffrey Moore, and Brad Smart.  Too name a few.  Any time any of these thoughts leaders were close by or speaking at a conference I was there.  In particular in the early days of Verne Harnish doing Mastering the One Page Plan Workshops – I attend 2-3 per year of the same workshop with my team.  Verne did not have a book at that time (now he has three books – his latest being newly released “Scaling Up”) and I just wanted to take away all I could to grow my business.  Interesting enough – every time I went to the workshop – I was in a different place in my business, in my thought process, and my team as well.  Each time I walked away with something new, something actionable.  This is still true today.  

Not only do we as CEOs need to be learning but the whole team should have a development/learning plan for the year.  The more you can provide opportunities for your team to learn together the faster your team will grow together.

What is the best way to get a learning/develop plan started for your team?

  1. For every member of your team create a professional development for the year starting with the leaders. In my companies we would review this every quarter.
  2. Create an educational budget for every person in the company. If you are a newer company and do not have this luxury – you can easily setup book clubs. Leverage your team for internal workshops, lunch and learns, etc.
  3. Search locally for workshops, conferences and learning opportunities that would meet the professional development needs of your team for the next year. There are so many workshops going on everyday in large urban areas it can be overwhelming.
  4. Bring in a thought leader to your annual planning meeting or quarterly meeting or the whole company.

The key to this planning is to ensure there are opportunities for everyone to learn.

My plan for this year is to attend three professional development Summits – October 2016, April 2016, and May 2016.  Read two new business books a month and lead as many public/private workshops as I can. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have attended more than 20 Mastering the One Page Plan/Scaling Up Workshops and now as Gazelles Certified Coach I have lead over 100 public/private workshops.  Whether attending or leading I always walk away with something new.  I know many teams who have implemented Scaling Up for 1 to 3 to 5 to 10 years still attend a workshop once a year.  It’s a great refresh for the team.  Its gets everyone back on the same page.  It brings focus for the year ahead.

As my learning journey continues – I am excited to be leading a Scaling Up Workshop in Vancouver, BC on October 20, 2016. 

If you want to add this day to your learning plan – Click Here to Register

Hope you can join me in Vancouver, BC.

Happy Learning!