In Layman’s Terms (A Non-Architect’s Point of View)

I was talking with a well-respected business leader and asked her how she manages to keep her employees engaged in a highly competitive environment and she told me that they do weekly learning. Sometimes its 15 minutes, sometimes it’s a full day, but every week the team learns something together.

Since I deal with the finances at Architects DCA, I have to admit my first thought was: that sounds expensive. Being the over-thinker that I am, I automatically started thinking about whether her opinion could be right. I know I am a serial learner.

I call myself a generalist because I have some deep expertise in a few things and I know a little bit about a lot of things. I know things like how:

  • The federal financial services Acts are all basically the same but have some clauses that are seriously different (I’m thinking of you section 416(1) of Trust and Loan Companies Act); and,
  • When you make a list with semicolons the last bullet should be preceded by “and,”

Learning, education and training is a continuous part of life. Sometime we do it officially. Continuing Education is now the norm for most licensed professions. That was not always the case. There was a time when Eminence-Based opinions were considered to weigh much more than Evidence-Based opinions.

But things change quickly and continuing education is supposed to help us stay on top of new information and emerging trends. It’s supposed to help us ensure that our opinions are as well-informed 25 years into the job as they were 10 years into the job.

My favourite part of my previous job was conducting privacy-impact-assessments. These let me do a deep dive on the data flows of new products and services which allowed me to learn a whole lot about one aspect of one project. It was awesome because with each project I understood a little bit more of the big picture. Like doing a puzzle over years of my life by finding one piece at a time.

I know I am a sample of one, but I have to believe she (my buddy from paragraph one), is right. I think she’s on to something. Continuous learning inside or outside of a program is a key ingredient to success – ooh look: I may have just learned something!