If you find yourself at a cocktail party with Sarah Novotny ask her what she does for a living. Her answer will surprise you. She won’t answer with the name of the company where she works (NGINX), nor with her vocation (community leader). Not at first. Those are roles, they are not what she does.
When you ask Novotny, “So, what do you do?” She will respond, “I learn.”
I recently watched a recording of Novotny’s talk at the Stretch Conference and, when I heard this, I took notice. After all, my “vocation” is learning and development, so her talk about building a culture of continuous learning was right up my alley. According to Novotny, a culture of continuous learning requires collaboration and curiosity. If you have people on your team who are collaborative and curious, continuous learning comes naturally and performance will be high — the best way to select people who are collaborative and curious is through storytelling.
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