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Always learning

The interwoven relationship between training, personal growth and professional development is explored in a recently-discussed thesis

Learning alone in order to be able to grow better. It’s not a question of isolation, but rather the ability to assimilate knowledge. Including – and indeed, above all – after school education is over. It’s a matter of focus, technique, and being open to others. An all-round cultural matter, which is also becoming increasingly apparent within companies every day. These are the themes upon which Giuseppina Cuccurullo has based her thesis, “Agile Self. Learning in azienda. Pratiche di formazione e sviluppo per promuovere l’autosviluppo in azienda (Agile Self. In-company learning. Training and development practices for promoting self-development within a company, discussed at the “Riccardo Massa” Department of Humanities for Training, Master’s Degree Course in Training and Development of Human Resources at the University of Milano-Bicocca.

The exploration begins with the observation that “in a fluent and constantly evolving market, the individual finds him or herself forced to become the owner of their own learning process, ‘from outside to inside the company’ (i.e. no longer only during their core job)”. As such, the individual is therefore not only a learning worker, but also an Agile SelfLearner , and therefore, a person who is “able to define his or her own development needs and identify how these can be met in a context which is increasingly rich in stimuli, with companies or organisations created to offer ad hoc services”. This situation encourages both personal and social growth, although this must not only be clearly understood but also carefully managed.

Cuccurullo thus addresses the theme from a theoretical point of view in the first instance – looking at the fundamental aspects of the Agile SelfLearner and training in organisations – and then from a practical point of view, addressing three real-life situations: those of Sisal, Heineken and Docebo. Indeed, the author’s objective is to “explain how organisations are taking steps with regard to training in order to promote self-learning, with the ultimate goal of responding to a need for survival and continuous innovation”.

From all this, she observes that personal learning processes are now essential elements, not only in the growth of the individual, but also in order to strengthen production organisations. In her conclusions, Giuseppina Cuccurullo writes the following: “Agility, and therefore the speed in gathering and manipulating information in order to respond to survival needs in a timely manner, is becoming a key feature in the learning landscape”; but she then goes on to highlight “how thin the boundary is between what people learn outside the company and reuse in their work and what they learn through the development plans established with their respective managers. This boundary, which is as yet undefined, could lead to new rules being established within the context of the psychological contract in the long term, which in turn could define how much of the individual know-how gained outside company time and without the company’s support the company has a right to, and also to what degree the company has the duty to create a temporal space in which the person in question has the right to manage his or her own learning responsibly, with an awareness of how he or she will use it with regard to the goals of the organisation”.

Accordingly, it is conceivable that a new corporate culture could be founded upon the processes and rules of all-round learning.

Agile_Self-Learning_in_Corporate_Environ

Giuseppina Cuccurullo

Thesis, University of Milano-Bicocca, “Riccardo Massa” Department of Humanities for Training, Master’s Degree Course in Training and Development of Human Resources, 2019