How Nimble Learners are Growing Our Company

By Thor Flosason

Most of us, myself included, started our learning journey in a traditional school setting. Teachers shared their knowledge and we did our best to absorb it. For a long-time, this model carried over into the workplace. If we wanted to learn new skills, we usually looked through a catalog of offerings and signed up for a course or seminar. But that’s no longer our learning model at Kellogg.

The Learning team at Kellogg is responsible for helping our colleagues around the world become “nimble learners,” the self-directed, self-motivated, lifetime learners we need to propel our company forward. To meet our growth goals, Kellogg needs employees who have a growth mindset. We need people who embrace challenges, persist through setbacks, and learn from criticism as well as the successes and failures of themselves and others. In other words, we need nimble learners.

Thor Flosason with Tony the Tiger

Thor and his favorite colleague.

At Kellogg, we define nimble learning as “being able to learn and understand things quickly and easily, using both successes and failures as learning experiences.” We know people have busy schedules and the demands of their jobs are constantly changing. That’s why we’re creating real-time learning opportunities. By bringing learning closer to the moment of need, Kellogg can help provide our team with resources to more quickly acquire and immediately apply new knowledge. And it’s up to each and every one of us to understand that learning is ongoing and continuous.

For example, last year, we launched the LinkedIn Learning platform of on-demand, online video courses. Since then, my colleagues have completed more than 16,000 courses, and watched almost 500,000 training videos, immediately improving themselves and our business. LinkedIn Learning is completely flexible, so a salesperson can view a 10-minute video between customer appointments, or people like me can schedule an hour a week to meet our immediate learning goals.

Earlier, I mentioned that a key element of our approach is learning from successes as well as failures. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” I couldn’t agree more. We learn more from one failure than a string of successes. This is a message we’re working to embed across our nimble learning culture.

While I’m especially proud of our learning journey at Kellogg, anyone can become a nimble learner. But it is also about being intentional about what we learn to truly help us build skills and knowledge that we can then apply. Here are a few suggestions for how to do that:

  • Identify your goal - what do you want to learn?
  • Find relevant content - seek out useful articles, videos, subject-matter experts, etc.
  • Practice - If your goal is to be a better presenter, practice your new skills with someone you trust who can provide guidance.
  • Actively seek feedback - compliments are nice, but true feedback is much more valuable.
  • Reflection - It’s often helpful to ask yourself questions like “what were the most interesting discoveries, what are some barriers that might prevent me from using what I learned, and what was the most enjoyable moment?” Doing so will help you move from the acquisition phase to application of your new learning.

Now that you know how we are approaching learning at Kellogg, best of luck on your continuous learning journey.

Thor and colleagues visiting Kellogg’s Mexico location

Thor and colleagues visiting Kellogg’s Mexico location.


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