In my 20 plus years in the technology industry I have gone through more learning and development programs than I would like to remember, some good, some not so good but I will always try and find at least one new idea or something I can find useful in every training program, course, call or video I enrol in, however that has not always been the case.
Let's start by talking about my early days of learning, I was the typical daft kid at school, not the most intelligent lad in the class but I would like to think I did the best with what I had, my school reports would have a common theme.
'He can do so much better'
'Daniel is a nice boy but struggles to stay on task'
'If he committed to learning rather than day dreaming he would do well'
Curiosity didn't kill the cat, it made it better !
I remember the day as clear as if it was yesterday, I was attending a meeting in London with a customer & a technology vendor when the discussion moved from how we can be better as a supplier, which I have to admit I was good at making them feel comforted and happy, to the details of a new technology offering that the vendor was interested in pitching to the customer.
To coin a phrase I was 'wet behind the ears' when it came to the details of what the technology we sold actually did for the customer. I had always relied on the customer having the knowledge of what they wanted and we would just do our best to supply at the best price and in the best possible time frame.
However this fateful day turned my life around and I do believe that I am where I am today because of this meeting and I am forever thankful for that.
As the discussion turned to technology architecture and quite frankly something I just didn't understand, I started to go back to my school days of day dreaming while the teacher talks, but then I thought to myself that this customer is a biggie and it is probably important for me to listen to the conversation, nod in agreement even if I have a clue what they are saying.
While sat on the train on the way home from the 'big smoke' I started to write up my meeting notes to share with the account manager the next day. In total embarrassment with the little I could remember of the technical conversation I had a sudden realisation that I needed to up my game. In big letters in my note book I wrote 'Learn about technology' as a reminder to me that I needed to dedicate some time to professional development.
Wow if the teachers from City School were there they would have said 'I told you so'. Well rather than focus on what I didn't do at school I just thought, some people learn at different speeds and at different times in their lives, this was mine albeit it came in my mid 20's.
some people learn at different speeds and at different times in their lives, this was mine albeit it came in my mid 20's.
Thirst for knowledge
After my first session of 'technology learning' I was hooked. It all started with data centre solutions, servers, storage, networking and Microsoft licensing (for which I had some knowledge of already) I must admit I really enjoyed it.
Then I enrolled in a leadership course where I was so out of my comfort zone it was a real eye opener. That program gave me some good grounding for leadership but I thought to be a leader in the technology industry I need to understand the nuts and bolts more than how to lead people, I think I had a decent angle on leading people already.
Like an addiction learning is a drug, when you have some you ultimately want more and will not be rest until the junkie in you is satisfied, well until the next fix is required.
From that fateful day I have committed to both personal and professional development and it is something I ask of everyone I work with and the people who lead my teams and organisation.
Hard to keep pace
Technology is moving at an alarming rate and what you did yesterday will not be what you do tomorrow, this is what I love about the technology industry. This in itself is a huge challenge when it comes to training & development. I do believe that the more knowledge across your teams the better you will perform.
I love this video, it shows the pace of development we face today, what is next is the question ?
The Simoda way
In our drive to deliver our mission which is to help customers solve issues, address challenges and achieve objectives through technology, personal and professional development is a key to success.
I encourage everyone in the business to take time to learn something new every week, something that will help them in their personal and professional lives. I believe that training and development should be available for everyone not just for the chosen few who the business think are 'stars'.
We talk about 'leadership for all' and this means that everyone in Simoda has access to the training, development & leadership resources / learning I have acquired over the years, couple that with our training commitment to our vendors & partners then I do believe that Simoda are a perfect choice for anyone who values knowledge.
So finally here's to Miss Jackson, Mr White, Mr Fletcher, Mr Sanderson, Mr Ward......... I am officially committed to learning and not daydreaming.
If you are interested in joining a company that supports personal & professional development then reach out because Simoda might be the company for you.
Thanks for reading