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How I learn: Rob Jones


As part of TrainingZone's CPD month we are asking training professionals to share how they learn. Here Rob Jones shares how he keeps up-to-date with the latest thinking in learning and development.

So the brief given to me was "How do you keep up to date with skills and knowledge?" and the answer should be straight forward but unfortunately it isn’t.

I am one of those people who when confronted with something I don’t know I ask . . . usually one of my team, a colleague, a supplier, a friend or in recent times someone out there on a social network, so although the medium has changed the inclination is the same. Given the openness of some of the networks, it’s amazing the information you can source, the support you can receive or the opinion you can garner relatively easily.

"On top of reading more formal academic style articles I read lots of everything both offline and online."

I try and stay ‘in person’ networked either formally or informally but must confess I am wary of the myriad of invites I get to two-day conferences in Europe which are "guaranteed exclusive" yet spam mailed. I tend to find things that people I know have used before and take a recommendation.

Over the past two years I have been working on an MSc in Organisational Behaviour so that would definitely count as keeping up to date with knowledge due to the sheer weight of journal articles that needed to be read and digested but from a skills perspective it has given me both the skills and confidence to hit Google scholar, find relevant articles and interpret them to my own ends.

On top of reading more formal academic style articles I read lots of everything both offline and online. I am a relatively recent inductee to the world of blogging and to those who remember him, TheHRD is to blame and My Hell is Other People is the first blog that I read regularly.

There are now several I read regularly and rather than being a source to search for specific information they are more a source of challenge, inspiration, a different point of view or just simply a laugh. Given the depth and breadth of my role I often find the most random things provide inspiration or a great idea so I don’t confine myself to HR, learning and development or organisational behaviour.

Previous articles in this series:

Rob Jones is head of learning and development at Mothercare. Rob graduated in life sciences and immediately headed in the opposite direction from a lab towards people. He has worked in talent roles including leading the transformation of the recruitment function at Mothercare before his current role which has the opportunity to drive change across the global workforce. Rob blogs at Masters or bust, and when not working he enjoys watching rugby (especially when Wales win), travel and presents a weekly show on hospital radio.

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