Resolve to Learn

Recent neuroscience research indicates human brains can produce and retain new neurons far longer than once thought—essentially throughout a person’s life. Neurons facilitate overall brain function, so keeping them alive and flourishing is crucial to overall health and enjoyment of life. But doing so takes effort including healthy diet, exercise and what Neuroscientist Dr. Tracey Shors calls “Effortful Learning”—challenging, tested, and sustained (over time, not just a single event). Examples include learning new computer software, a foreign language, or a complex-arts skill like knitting. Other studies suggest such learning may defend against dementia and memory loss. Additional articles reviewed indicate lifelong learning empowers and enhances overall well being. In a world that often seems out of control these are powerful antidotes to environmental stresses that negatively affect wellness!

Professionally, it has never been more important to take personable responsibility to learn and develop new skills. Surveys show employers demand top-notch skills of job applicants and would rather leave a position vacant than hire and train someone. Applicants with outdated skills are not competitive, so professional development is a perpetual, ongoing necessity to survive in this uber competitive global economy! Opportunities exist for those who rise to this challenge. Identify the skills you need to remain current and competitive by surveying your chosen field and networking with other professionals. With solid information, map out a plan to continually learn new skills and stay on top.

Organizations also benefit from a commitment to meaningful learning. An organization’s collective “brain trust” needs to be challenged, poked, and prodded to expand beyond its comfort zone. Organizations can grow complacent and unable to accurately gauge and manage their competitive circumstances. Leadership must commit to continuous, impactful learning; talent must be supported and expected to push boundaries and innovate. Not doing so invites competitors to swoop in and steal customers and top performers. Complacency encourages skills decay as the most talented members of the brain trust (think of them as individual neurons) leave in search of other opportunities.

MSEC offers a variety of learning resources to support professional and organizational goals. The 2015 training schedule is chock full of learning options: classes, certificate programs, the vigorous Executive Leadership Program, custom Leadership Academies, and training for nationally-recognized credentials (PHR/SPHR, etc.). All provide new skills to boost careers and enhance operational excellence.

Include the MSEC Library in this rich portfolio of learning resources with materials covering essential business skills such as:

Communication

  • How To Deliver a Great TED Talk
  •  Crucial Conversations

Leadership

  • The Next IQ: The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders
  • Leaders Eat Last
  • The Athena Doctrine

Organizational Excellence

  • Deep Dive
  • Good To Great
  • Great by Choice

Journals providing consistently excellent articles:

  • Harvard Business Journal
  • Organizational Dynamics
  • Performance Improvement

To access MSEC Library materials, call 800.884.1328 x5330 or email jmcdonough@msec.org.
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Shors, T. J. (2014). The adult brain makes new neurons, and effortful learning keeps them alive.
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 311-318.