Please refer to the first post in this series Power Platform and a Growth Mindset of Learning – Part 1
There are now about 26 different applications that make up the Microsoft Business Applications suite of products. I am not suggesting you need to learn them all, but you do need to decide where will you be focusing.
I recommend the following as a high-level way of determining your expertise. Put to one side your current skills in Dynamics 365 or the Power Platform and review all 26 applications available. Take each software application and write it on a Post-It note and lay it in front of you. Now remove all the Post-It with apps that you don’t get you excited.
For me, anything around finance and operations does not spin my wheels. So a quite few options may be left. The question I often get is, “of what is left, what I should choose?”
It’s quite simple, close your eyes and drop your finger onto one of the Post-It notes you have left and you will find that whatever it points to, will be right for you. Learn it like you will have to teach it to a thousand people until there is nothing more to learn and then go through the exercise again 😊.
It’s essential to understand the way your mind learns and then seek out learning experiences that meet your preferred style.
“Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.” –unknown
“We went from a culture of know-it-alls to a culture of learn-it-all’s,” – Chris Capossela
A quote from Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer which became a part of Microsoft’s culture and we should make it a part of our culture too.
As individuals, we are responsible for our ongoing education and learning development. It is not our employers’ responsibility to spoon-feed us and we need to decide where we are going in our careers and then chart a course to that destination.
Doing training dictated by someone else means you are serving their goals and agenda. And as they pay you, they have completed all responsibility to you, and they owe you nothing more.
You need to decide on the journey you want and chart your learning to get to your destination.
As an employer, I think you will agree the old methods are no longer in step with the rate of change we are experiencing. I think there needs to be a rethinking of how learning and training facilitated.
Some companies fund or partially fund gym membership for staff as part of wellness programs. Is it time to consider a new model that will similarly empower staff learning?
I think on top of considering the way staff learn, the training models provided needs to allow for ongoing consumption of learning.
There has been too much emphasis on just-in-time training and learning on the job, and not enough on mastery of skills and our client’s projects are often a poor reflection of this.
Rather than learning by mistakes, is there a better way?
“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” ―Abigail Adams
In the past 18 months, Microsoft has started providing more learning resources free of charge than ever before. Not just to Microsoft Partners but also direct to customers.
- Content needs to be developed, showing clear technology training pathways.
- We have forgotten what “Beginner” looks like. We think that everyone comes from a technologist background rather than the newcomer to technology, influential subject matter experts (SMEs) first and technologist second.
- I think Microsoft can fill the learning gaps if they carry out empathy mapping of the audience that uses not only their technology but also creators and makers.
One last thing, you need to be clear about the massive difference when it comes to Microsoft certification and developing practical skills.
Microsoft certifications are worthwhile for your CV, and it shows a desire to maintain one’s qualifications. In my opinion, certification alone does not foster the skills you need to be successful.
Practice, study, practical application, and reinforcement is how you develop skills.
Don’t confuse qualifications with learning.
“I’m still learning.” –Michelangelo