From the CEO: The value of lifelong learning

AME | August 13, 2021



It’s back-to-school time again: an exciting time that is brimming with possibility.

There are middle school kids reluctantly loading their backpacks with new school supplies and wringing the last ounces of fun and freedom that summer offers.

There are some parents who are excited to get their kids out of the house and back in school, while others are sad to be leaving a piece of their heart behind as they drop off their child at college.

And those in-coming college students, themselves, are nervous and anxious and excited to face the unknown of their next adventure, while other recent high school graduates are eagerly starting apprenticeship programs and technical schools that will prepare them for the many emerging new collar careers.

This season always reminds me that education should never stop.

One of the best ways to help yourself and your organization is to be a lifelong learner. Being consistently curious and seeking out new ideas, skills and knowledge can significantly enhance your life, your career and your enterprise. Continuous learning is a game changer.

As we send our kids back to school, I hope you also take a moment to reflect on what you’re doing to continue your learning. Just like students pick electives and core courses, I encourage you to set a development plan for your year ahead. What courses, tours, conferences, and readings can you do to help supplement your existing knowledge and help you take the next steps in your career all while enhancing your organization or team?

For our part, AME is proud to partner with Tooling U-SME to offer turnkey training programs in 10 in-demand areas including additive manufacturing, plastic processing, engineering, welding, and more.

We’ve also partnered with Dominican University to offer “The Science of Operations” certificate course, which will run from August 31-December 10 and is taught by Jeff Bell, author of Factory Physics for Managers, and Bill Fierle, immediate past-chair of AME’s board of directors. (Note the date on the site is for the current session, but Dominican is now enrolling for the August-December session.)

This is, of course, in addition to AME's myriad workshops and tours that offer free and affordable training options, and the AME International Conference. As I’ve mentioned previously, we’re offering unprecedented bundle packages for the 2021 and 2022 international conferences that include six months of on-demand streaming access to training materials, which will allow you to extend your learning into 2023.

Continuous improvement practitioners know the importance of continuous learning. Take stock of your areas for improvement and your skills gaps. Acknowledge the things that make you curious and the things you’d like to know more about. And think about your organization’s improvement needs and how developing your skills can help.

As we move through another back-to-school season, actively seek out ways to gain the information that will help you and your organization for years to come. Be a lifelong learner and you’ll accelerate your continuously improvement journey and avoid personal and professional stagnation.

As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.