Those who know Ken well, know that he has a passion for on-going learning. He distinctly remembers a scenario more than 20 years ago that solidified this stance. He was at a company that offered all employees a $1,500 training and learning investment each year which could be pursued with input from both the employee and their manager. He happened to be talking about how excited he was to have this training funding allocation, and how he was looking forward to researching the options for investing those training dollars for his development.

One senior member of the group that was part of the conversation gave him a skeptical look and said that the training investment didn’t mean anything to her. When he asked why, she quipped “I’m over 40 years old and have 20 years experience in this business. There is nothing I don’t know.”

He left that abrupt ending to the conversation thinking that he hoped he would never ever feel that way, no matter how old he was or how much experience he had. It’s been a primary tenet he keeps to this day!

The challenge for many people who embrace learning, but may not have access to a training/development fund for their personal growth – is how can they still keep learning and growing?

The good news is that learning is constantly surrounding us if we just take the time to recognize those moments of insights and how we can grow from them. Here’s a simple way to add some moments of learning back in your routine and career:

STEP ONE: Register

Each Friday afternoon, block out 15 minutes to reflect back on your past week and those moments that were most memorable to you. Perhaps it was a project deliverable that went extraordinarily well, or a meeting that bombed. This first step is to simply remember the events that most stood out for you. Ideally, you’d be able to come up with at least three memorable events.

TIP: You don’t need to limit your events to things that you personally accomplished. They can simply be an event where you were a participant and passively listening.

STEP TWO: Reflect

In this same 15 minute timeframe, take a look at the memorable events from the last week and think about how you can specifically learn from them. For example, if it was a project deliverable that went well, what were the factors that contributed to success?

  • Was it someone’s presentation?
  • Was it because of collaboration?
  • Was it the simple or detailed documentation?
  • Was it the positive feedback or encouragement from participants or leaders?

TIP: There are so many possibilities in this step. The key is to capture the 1-2 factors for each memorable event that you think were potential learning moments that could help you in the future.


Come back to your memorable events and learning moments that you captured the following Monday morning. This gives some breathing room from the Friday 15-minute exercise, and allows you to look at these insights as you tackle a new work week.

TIP: The key here is to think about some of the actions and initiatives that you need to tackle during the coming week, and how you can apply at least one of these learning moments to your upcoming actions for the week. For example, if you saw something in someone’s presentation last week that inspired you, how can you apply similar ideas/approaches to a presentation you are giving this week?

You can certainly apply more than one learning if you are feeling ambitious, but we recommend starting with only one to make sure you actually follow through and apply it.

It sounds simple – and it is simple!

The main recommendation is to think about how to apply your learning in the short-term and have it be tangible (as opposed to thinking vaguely like, ‘I want to be a better presenter’).

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If you started this practice by April 1st and were diligent about keeping up this practice for the rest of 2024, you’d end the year with 39 new learning moments that would help with your personal growth. A bonus benefit would be to compile all of those learning moments that you captured and applied, and look at the list in its entirety at the end of the year. We’ll bet that you’ll be impressed with your learning and development plan!

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