Autumn is about New Beginnings


By Nancy Zentis, Ph.D., CEO, Institute of OD


Autumn is about starting new beginnings and change… Have you started to plan for your new beginnings?

Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Life-long learning involves social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, self-sustainability, and self-actualization, striving to be the best, career competitiveness and employability.

  • Are you ready for the future? Do you have what it takes to succeed?
  • Do you consider yourself to be a life-long learner?


The pace of change is accelerating, and it’s estimated that 70 percent of all new jobs have not yet been invented.  Jobs in the future will require us to embrace life-long learning in order to keep up with the pace, work collaboratively with diverse people on multiple continents, and invent new ways of working together to solve new problems and impact changing organizations.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

Some of the most successful people in the world are life-long learners.  They adopt a mindset of lifelong learning to become the best they can be to maintain a cutting edge above the rest.  A few noted life-long learners are Walt Disney, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bill Gates, Shaquille O’Neal, and Barack Obama, and two Hollywood Stars – Natalie Portman, and Emma Watson.  Surprisingly missing from the list are women who are dedicated to lifelong learning – which I find surprising as the 72 % of females obtaining college degrees exceeds the number of males – 65.7 %.

As Brian Tracy says, “Your ability to expand your mind and strive for lifelong learning is critical to your success. By dedicating yourself to learning, you can achieve all of your lifelong goals. All it takes is a commitment.”   The most successful people read an average of 2-3 hours per day. They belong to organizations that value and benefit from learning and keeping current in new ideas and sharing information.

Knowledge is critical to success.  Your ability to expand your mind and devote yourself to lifelong learning is the key to breaking any success barriers that may be in front of you.

Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperativeThe key is to acquire new skills before the old ones become obsolete.

“Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment,” says Andrew Palmer, The Economist.  Many experts suggest that while college provides a pathway that leads to higher paying jobs, the ability to increase wages rates over the last 12 years has decreased.  The current trend is to find alternative ways to acquire new skills and experience to be eligible for higher paying jobs and career opportunities.  To be successful, you need to be prepared for change.


How can you become a life-long learner – dedicate yourself to continuous self-learning and personal growth?  It takes commitment, drive, energy, and also determination, and patience.


  • Are you a lifelong learner? Do you have the skills to keep current of changes into today’s job market?  Did you know that half of leading organizations (55%) consider lifelong learning a priority?


  • What are you doing to achieve your lifelong learning goals? Do you have a learning plan for your future?


The best advice we can give to those interested in entering the field of Organization Development is to be committed to lifelong learning.  You’ll need to be well versed and up to date on business, strategy, influence skills, change management, process improvement, measurement, human interaction techniques, assessments instruments, data analysis, teamwork, and conflict.  There are over 65 OD interventions and tools, and it is necessary to understand the new trends in the field in order to excel.

Here are some tips to get started on your learning journey:

  1. Keep up to date with your current field. Read a current book or blog, attend a professional meeting, research current topics, network.
  2. Learn something new to add new skills and knowledge to your tool bag. Do something you’ve never tried before.  Attend an online training program and acquire new knowledge.
  3. Test your assumptions or beliefs about something you thought to be true and challenge yourself to change. When looking to increase your ability to be more innovative, try thinking out of the box.
  4. Do some research and identify learning opportunities in your field. Find out what the skill requirements are and where there are job opportunities.
  5. Make a commitment to taking a journey of learning and recognize it as a key to lifelong success.
  6. Identify your strengths, identify your improvement areas, and create measurable goals and action plans.
  7. Discuss with a mentor or coach. Gain feedback.
  8. Start the journey! Set the plan in motion and measure the results.


Learn how you can gain a Certification in Organization Development!


Gaining a certification shows your commitment to your profession and prepares you for greater opportunities to build your reputation as an expert in your field. 


How do credentials help you advance in your career?   A current trend in recruitment suggests that as part of the hiring process, recruiters are looking for people who have additional professional credentials to determine if the candidate has the background and experience required for the job based on a set of industry standards and competencies.

Employers are looking for qualified candidates who hold recognized credentials to assure that they are highly competent. Having a credential can help to increase career opportunities and earning potential.  Certifications also provide a sense of professional and personal achievement.  Individuals benefit by being a part of a larger community of practitioners who are committed to higher ethical standards and professionalism.


The Institute of Organization Development offers online OD Certification Programs and Professional Development webinars to help continue your lifelong learning journey.


65% of the participants who have completed our OD certification programs have achieved a high return on their investment in learning – through career advancement, promotions, and new career opportunities.” Dr. Nancy Zentis, CEO, IOD.


Select an opportunity to meet your needs:


  • Attend one of IOD’s free webinars to learn more about the field of OD.
  • Attend one of IOD’s Professional Development Workshops to gain valuable skills and tools that can be applied immediately.
  • Join, IOD’s Professional Network and attend events, and gain access to OD tools.
  • Connect with one of our professional OD staff members and receive coaching on how you can create your career plan.
  • Attend one of IOD’s Certification Programs and gain a certification in only 8 months. We offer 8 different Certification Programs each offering 24 HRCI credits.


Make lifelong learning a priority for 2019!  Register today or contact us to at to discuss your learning journey.



Happy Fall!


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