Step Into a Learning Zone to Realize Your Full Potential

Kei Tsuda By Kei Tsuda Director, Customer Programs and Marketing Dell EMC Education Services April 14, 2017

A 2016 survey involving 1,400 North America based IT Professionals and Managers found that 72% of the respondents were taking more training than required by the company.[*]

Although I did not participate in the survey, I consider myself as part of the group of 72%. I don’t wait for my manager or HR/corporate learning department to tell me what training I should be taking next.

How about you? Are you in the 72% group who proactively pursue training or in the 28% group that follow the requirements and guidelines set by your company to decide what topics – and how much – to learn?

Here’s a quick checklist I used to see how I fit into the grouping:

How often do you do the following?

  1. Watch ‘how to videos’ on YouTube and/or watch TED Talk videos
  2. Take courses from technology providers, like Dell EMC
  3. Take courses from online learning platforms, for instance, Lynda.com
  4. Take Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by colleges and companies, like Dell EMC
  5. Attend events and seminars such as Dell EMC World 2017

If you checked off 3 out of 5 listed learning activities, I think you are clearly in the 72% group – learning more than the company asks you to learn. I checked 4 out of 5 but I have the advantage of working for an organization whose primary business is education.

Are you feeling left out? No worries. I am representing Dell EMC Education Services and we can get your learning started. But before we do, let’s get in the Learning Zone.

What is a Learning Zone?

It’s not a playground for your toddler sons and daughters. Although I have seen some kids-friendly businesses bearing this name.

This is a concept shared by Eduardo Briceño in his recent TED Talk titled “How to get better at the things you care about.

In his talk, Eduardo shared the concept of Learning Zone / Performing Zone and how ‘We need to know when we seek to learn, and when we seek to perform.’

This is a simple but profound statement. I think what he’s saying is ‘You need to consciously switch your mind between the two zones.’

Why and how should we switch into the Learning Zone?

If you are busy doing, doing, doing – preparing reports, deploying IT services, on the phone talking to your colleagues, customers, managers… you are in the Performance Zone and that’s when you are most productive. However, you are less likely to expand your knowledge or gain new skills.

In order for us to switch our mind into the Learning Zone, Eduardo suggests the following.

  1. Create low-stakes islands in an otherwise high-stakes sea (work environment)
  2. Execute and perform as we’re expected, then reflect on what we could do better next time (as often and as frequently as possible)
  3. Lead the way… start lowering the stakes and let others feel safe to do the same

How do we go about doing what Eduardo is talking about? How do you get good at switching between the two zones? I will be doing a few rounds of Tech-Talks at Dell EMC World in May to explore some approaches in front of live audiences. If you are headed to the event, please look for me and join me at the Dell EMC Services booth. We plan to record one of the sessions that we can share with the online audiences later in May.

Take advantage of Dell EMC Education Services and realize your full potential.

You don’t have to wait for my Tech-Talk in May to start your learning. Now is a great time to get into the Learning Zone. Dell EMC Education Services team members are hard at work to prepare new and exciting learning opportunities for everyone.

  1. Our content development team is working on a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on IT Transformation and you are welcome to enroll for Free at educast.emc.com
  2. If you are headed to Dell EMC World – Las Vegas in May, engage with us in advance and during the event. We are offering
    • Free exams and education consultations, readiness sessions
    • On-Demand course/lab demonstrations
    • Free trial access to our On-Demand Learning Center
    • and more…

The MOOC and Dell EMC World are just a few examples of the low-stakes islands in an otherwise high- stakes sea (work environment). Engage with Education Services today. We can share additional ideas to create an environment where reflecting and practicing becomes an essential part of your learning cycle and career development. Take a key step towards realizing your full potential.

[*]Dell EMC conducted a blind survey of 400 industry professionals and 351 customers and partners in 2016. Both groups were a blend of Dell EMC Proven Professionals and non-certified professionals in technology, banking, manufacturing, healthcare, government, education, retail, entertainment and other industries.


Kei Tsuda

About Kei Tsuda

Director, Customer Programs and Marketing Dell EMC Education Services

Kei has been with Dell EMC since 1999. He started his career in Japan and served as a presales professional, enabling sales in financial sector and supported channel partners including Dell Japan. In 2001, he took the opportunity to lead and established EMC Japan training center to serve all audiences with their training needs. In 2003 he brought his regional business execution experience to the US to help expand the global Education Services business.

In the US, Kei has taken on various leadership roles to drive the expansion of Dell Education Services business across presales, global services partner enablement, portfolio management, to the current focus on customer programs and marketing.

In recent years, Kei has started to share with his peers (including customers and partner) the best practices for learning program execution. The following 3 key ideas are at the center of his engagement practice to help realize the full potential of learning in today’s transformational work environment.

1. Always see things from the learners’ view - not from the program providers’ view
2. Come up with a learning execution strategy – not just a learning strategy
3. Explore multiple ways to drive learning activities as everyone learns differently

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