At ITX, we spend a healthy amount of time defining and solving challenging problems, in ways that move, touch, and inspire the world. That’s our mission, that’s our WHY. And our commitment to that mission translates into the concepts and behaviors we consider to be important: our values, HOW we do things.
One of those values – which is of utmost importance for a technology company like ours- is Mastery, which we define by saying, “We grow to deliver more powerfully”. Over time, we have come across authors that take a similar approach, and we have embraced some of those concepts because they help us to explain the way we see the world to our team members, to our colleagues, to our clients, etc.
The most recent example is the concept of the Growth Mindset (from the insightful book Mindset, by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck). A growth mindset is characterized by a strong belief that talent and intelligence can be developed, which in turn powers a desire to learn, and translates into a tendency of:
- embracing challenges rather than avoiding them
- persisting in the face of setbacks rather than giving up
- seeing efforts as the path to mastery, rather than a fruitless endeavor
- learning from criticism rather than being upset by it
- finding the success of others inspiring, rather than threatening
As a result of those tendencies, we are able to reach ever higher levels of achievement, with a greater sense of free will.
But of course, it is not enough to have the tendency: you need to transform it into a habit by encouraging it, nurturing it, and channeling it appropriately.
One of the latest ventures we have identified for this purpose has been our use of an online training platform that enables anyone on our team, regardless of their location, time zone, or background, to independently continue to learn at their own pace. After some research and after considering the recommendations from our team members, our platform of choice is Udemy. We started with 100 seats, and we increased as our team grew and as platform adoption expanded.
Aside from our team’s innate desire to learn, and the quality and variety of the contents available in the platform, there are a few additional steps that we’ve taken that have made this initiative very successful for us:
- We created some recommended training to re-baseline the expertise across teams
- We leveraged the platform as part of the individual development plans of our team members
- We created communication channels so that our team can talk about the courses they enjoyed most, the instructors to follow, and encourage the discussion
- We leveraged existing channels to share updates on new courses available
- We shared the engagement stats with our team so that they could see how the rest of the team is learning
- We utilized Udemy to build relationships with candidates by sharing some courses with them and showing ITX’s commitment to Mastery from the very beginning of the relationship
- This also sent the right message to candidates regarding the continuous commitment to learning that is expected of each of our team members.
Some of the results we have achieved since we started at the beginning of 2017:
- 82% overall organization adoption (users who have completed at least one lecture)
- More than 2,330 hours logged in collectively
- Average of more than 14 hours of training per users
And all of this on a very busy year, where we broke past records in all aspects of our performance (including hiring). Not a small feat!
Over the past few months we have been working closely with Udemy and other tools to explore new features and new ways to generate value for ITX, for our team, and for our clients, and we look forward to discovering new ways of inspiring our team to continue learning.
Simon Sinek (2011, December 27). Start With Why. https://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/1591846447/
Carol S. Dweck Ph.D. (2007, December 26). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/0345472322
Sean Flaherty (2016, October 21). Connect: Creating a Mission Statement for Your Software Product.
Sean Flaherty (2016, September 1). The Continuous Innovation Mindset.