Building a culture of continuous learning: what it means

We hear a lot about continuous learning. But what does it really mean?

It doesn’t mean continuously taking courses – although studying can be part of an individual’s personal and professional continuous learning strategy.

It doesn’t mean continuously training people – although training may well be part of of an organisation’s continuous L&D strategy.

It means everyone constantly acquiring new knowledge and skills in many different ways –  both planned and unplanned, formal and informal, at work and outside work.

Continuous learning therefore requires a new organisational learning mindset – one where LEARNING is not defined purely as a traditional training/educational activity, but in terms of the 4 D’s:  DIDACTICS (being taught); DISCOVERY (finding out for oneself), DISCOURSE (interacting with others) and DOING (having experiences).

Continuous learning therefore requires a new organisational learning culture, where

  • individuals take responsibility for their own continuous self-improvement, learning and development to stay relevant in their jobs – and not rely on being spoon fed by their organisations
  • where managers take (much more) responsibility for the growth and development of their people in their daily working lives – and not just pass this off to their L&D department
  • where L&D teams build, enable and support this new organisational learning culture – after all they can no longer provide everything everyone needs to do their job and prepare them and the organisation for the future – and in doing so establish a new relationship with the business.

To help organisations build and establish this new mindset and culture I’ve produced 3 complementary online resources:

  1. A Professional’s Guide to Modern Learning: 50 tasks to help you become a Modern Learner – to help individuals take charge of their own continuous self-improvement and self-development.
  2. Grow And Develop your Team: A Guide for Modern Managers – to help managers have a more active role in the growth and development of their people.
  3. Modern Workplace Learning 2019: A Framework for Continuous Improvement, Learning & Development – to provide guidance to L&D teams on how to build a culture of continuous learning and improvement in their organisation.


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Jane Hart

Jane Hart helps organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning - through public workshops and bespoke consultancy. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and is the author of a number of books including Modern Workplace Learning 2019 as well as the resource for individuals A Professional's Guide to Modern Learning. Jane was the 2018 recipient of the ATD Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development award. You can contact Jane at