Professional Development

An Entrepreneurial Approach To Learning

The learning journey to a CA(SA) is clear. Training contracts have abundant learning opportunities and professional environments provide role-based learning opportunities. Entrepreneurial learning is self-driven and determined on immediate skill requirements to sustain business

As the professional journey evolves, the ‘formal’ learning opportunities become fewer and a ‘self-driven’ learning approach is imperative. Self-driven learning is work-environment and context dependent and plays a pivotal role in learning effectiveness.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) was singled out as being an explicit skill by the WEF, but in my view, many of the priority skills are principally grounded in EQ and EQ is pervasive to all learning.

Professionals learn differently, in the fast-paced and digitised business context.  Taking charge of your learning in this evolved world requires a refreshed outlook on ‘how’ and ‘what’ learning is crafted. The bygone era of the formal training course/workshop has changed.

Modern learning tenets (the ‘how’ of learning) therefore requires differing approaches.  These include: flexible and informal learning; continuous and autonomous learning; relevant and relatable content; instant and intelligent content and delivery media; and community driven and co-created learning, culminating in ‘right and bite-sized, brief and beautiful’ learning.

The ‘what’ of learning is driven by the work environment of the professional. Role-based employees traditionally pick from a menu of learning options available and through discussion with a performance manager, select learning events and conclude a learning plan. For an entrepreneur, this luxury is non-existent. An entrepreneur will find learning opportunities, based on critical needs, just in time.

Professionals’ ability to develop their EQ supersedes technical ability, and now needs to focus on creating a bespoke ‘learning matrix’ in line with their development aspirations. A learning matrix is a multidimensional individual and organisational co-created learning journey that is future-oriented to 2020 skills and will be used to support future careers and immediate needs.

The learning matrix should include: social consciousness and ethical pervasiveness; personal brand development; cultural integration and adaptation; business ecosystem navigation and systems theory understanding; leadership capability; and relationship and network rejuvenation. These areas will ensure relevancy as professionals as we move forward. The learning matrix should be fluid and flexible to your learning needs through the year, as the underlying context changes.

How can we create magic for our own learning agility and propel ourselves into the workplace of the future, beyond formal CPD? What will your learning matrix for 2018 look like?


As a professional in 2018, have you considered your own development? In January 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published a roadmap of the 10 skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by the year 2020. In order of priority, these skills are complex problem-solving; critical thinking; creativity; people management; coordinating with others; emotional intelligence; judgement and decision-making; service orientation; negotiation; and cognitive flexibility.

Taking ownership for your continued development without a structured professional environment will be critical to your success and growth trajectory this year and beyond.


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