When you enter Digicorp’s office, you will find bunch of wooden frames in the reception area.
One of them reads, “Growth and Learning is life” and second one reads, “Teach and Learn Twice”.
When we decided to focus on building a strong culture at Digicorp, these two became part of our five core values. Frankly, out of the five these two are the least practised at Digicorp. May be because we have not worked hard enough on them.
But today, I see them as the most important values for any organisation doing creative work. In this post, I want to share my thoughts on the importance of these values and how we are implementing them at Digicorp.
First, let’s ask why these values are important?
Learning is the most important and unique skill that human beings have. When you stop learning, you stop being human. Especially in the creative jobs where we are engineering / designing solutions, we should have a strong zeal to learn at every moment from the surroundings. This defines “Growth and Learning is life”.
And, there is a limit to how much one can individually learn. We can overcome this limit by collaboration. Open source movement in software industry is the biggest example of collaboration. You can find solutions to most of your problems online. What an amazing collaboration and teaching mechanism! What you know does matter but your attitude towards learning matters more. Teaching others help you get better with your fundamentals and thus “Teach and Learn Twice”.
Now let’s see how are we implementing these values at Digicorp.
We have tried different methods in the past for imparting these values in our culture. There were monthly knowledge sharing sessions by team members, implementation of Yammer as a company wide collaboration tool, English communication training by an independent tutor etc. These efforts have made a difference.
Recently in a meeting with my team, we discussed many things, from the object oriented fundamentals to a simpler user experience and how to implement them. After the meeting, I realised the clear difference between teaching and learning.
Teaching is a time bound process whereas learning is a timeless attitude.
Teaching is initiated by a teacher whereas learning is self-initiated.
Teaching has a limited potential whereas learning can have an unlimited impact.
Whenever we try to teach our team via a seminar or knowledge sharing session, the effect goes away as soon as it gets over. We somehow want to build a culture in which everyone develops an attitude to learn from their surroundings and apply in their work. They should also become proactive to share their learning with others.
I am still not very clear on how to go about this. We have started a small initiative in our team by asking two simple questions to everyone at the end of the day.
- What new things did you learn today?
- What new things did you share with your team today?
To me this is just a beginning, there is a lot to be explored and experienced. But let’s start small and think big.
Please share your ideas and thoughts on this topic. Help us develop this very important aspect of culture at Digicorp.