Hyper-Learning: The Key to Career Differentiation
VP Product Strategy at Optum
Around 10 years ago I started using a technique that allowed me to differentiate myself as an individual. This technique allowed me to do rapid research, which in turn granted me the opportunity to apply what I had learned, and ultimately it enhanced the effectiveness and capabilities of the companies I worked for. I developed an approach to hyper-learning and this ability was critical to my success. Nowadays, I take this method and teach it to individuals, teams, startups, and enterprises alike.
I read over one hundred books a year and apply what I have learned almost each and every day. But I tend to choose these books carefully by first researching which subject area I would like to hyper-learn. Therefore, I must initially look towards the resources at my disposal. I will begin by doing academic research. Then I move to researching books on Amazon, but I will only look at 5-star books. With each of these top rated books I will rapidly scan them, not reading word-for-word but instead identifying patterns within the book to see if I should actually give it my time and go super deep in on it.
"How to research and hyper-learn a subject area"
If I decide to go deep into a book then I will move into pulling out different frameworks for application. I create constructs for the frameworks and then apply them to in-the-job circumstances. For example, Radical Candor is a book that details a simple 2 by 2 grid ranging from deep empathy to direct communication with different spectrums in between. I take this given structure and then vow to apply it in my next meeting. All of a sudden I've become the expert in the room on this topic area. I've dedicated time to do the research, I've done the rapid learning, and then I've actually applied it to a real life situation. This is all a very expedited process.
"Pulling out frameworks for application"
The last part of my technique is what I call a teachable point of view. Once you have rapidly learned, created constructs, and applied it, now you can teach it. You can teach this hyper-learning technique to individuals, to teams, or to your enterprise. When I teach this methodology to people, whether they are early entry folks or people late in their careers, they are stunned by the effectiveness and potential of it all. I recently taught a group of 10 mentees over a months time and to see the way their thinking changed was dramatic. Many people said 'nobody ever taught me this'. They started to see the tremendous value that this technique could bring to their company and to their career.
"Creating teachable point of view"
- Your ability to hyper-learn is critical to your success. I read over 100 books a year and apply many of the great ones in my everyday workflow. Hyper-learning has been the key to my success whereby I quickly learn and then apply it. Further still, I teach this technique to startups and enterprises and consistently see effectiveness of its methodology.
- Hyper-learning anything in a very short amount of time allows you not only to make more effective decisions but it also allows you to be a leader in the room on different topic areas. You now have the ability to create a point of view that nobody else can form. You will then be recognized as a pioneer in those areas and looked up to for information and know-how.
- This technique can be applied very quickly. If you build muscle around it you can leverage it right away and you will see dramatic and positive changes.
- Many people will read a book, recommend it, but do nothing with the information that it provided. If you're not applying the knowledge that you gained then you create no momentum and ultimately the material loses its effectiveness. You need to follow the process through from start to finish in order to see the desired results.
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VP Product Strategy at Optum
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