Female worker touching technology screen

The importance of continuous learning for leaders

Why updating your skills equips you to handle the ever-changing industry

3 minute read
Female worker touching technology screen

For leaders looking to rejuvenate their thinking in the business world, they must remain up-to-date with current trends.

With advancements in theory and technology always shifting the way businesses operate, resting on your laurels and sticking with the tools you learnt years ago could leave you behind the times.

Nowadays, it is not just about being qualified – it is about being sharp, ahead of the game and maximising your value to organisations.

So, how can you stay ahead of the curve?

Staying up to date

According to RentPay General Manager Shane Lavagna-Slater, if you want to keep up with the modern workplace demands, your knowledge needs to be regularly refreshed.

“A fundamental principle of this is to be current and across emerging trends both from an academic and practical perspective,” he said.

Much like keeping physically healthy, being an effective leader is not a one-and-done scenario – but a matter of consistency.

“It is not a one-off investment – as it requires continual updating of knowledge and skills to remain relevant, up to date and valuable,” Dr Lavagna-Slater said.

Through regular updates of the latest academic research and theories, he said you could remain at the head of the pack, even when technology threw new advancements at you.

“A good example is the advent of, and recent widespread use of, artificial intelligence,” Dr Lavagna-Slater said.

“If you became a leader five years ago or more and didn’t stay current with industry trends and developments, you’d be behind on the application, advantages and risks associated with your industry and organisation."

“Further learning is required to refine your skills and stay ahead of the curve.”

Adding value to organisations

By staying the sharpest knife in the drawer, Dr Lavagna-Slater said you could help carve out your company’s path to success.

“Lifelong learners tend to add more value to their organisations and in their positions than those who don’t,” he said.

“Constantly updating the frameworks, principles and research underpinning an executive’s decision-making is an extremely valuable competitive advantage.”

Whether you are looking for a new position or aiming for your business to stand out against its peers, staying on top of the latest learning will always give you and your company an edge.

Where to from here?

“There are a range of professional qualifications and certifications you can pursue to remain up to date with modern workplace demands,” Dr Lavagna-Slater said.

“Leaders should consider the institution, the speakers and content, and ensure it tops up their knowledge base, as well as keep them informed of upcoming trends, research and thinking.

“This will add the most value to the existing foundation they have already established.”

A notable option is the Australian Institute of Management Western Australia + University of Western Australia’s (AIM WA + UWA) Elevate Program, which is designed specifically to enhance the learning and decision-making skills of professionals from all industries and sectors.

Open to both new and experienced leaders, this program provides an update on current literature, methodologies and the practical application of cutting-edge thinking.

Guided by UWA academics and distinguished industry speakers, participants will engage in thought leadership sessions, build their professional networks and sharpen their abilities.

By challenging their thinking in new areas, program attendees can confidently take to the business world knowing they have the most advanced tools in their arsenal.