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What does a washing machine have to do with learning?

This is not a story of a washing machine, but I bet you will get the connection on what competence and washing machines have in common.

Frans Askensen
Frans Askensen

Head of Learning Business Area Digital Services

A while ago, my wife told me that our washing machine was not working and that it showed an error signal. As the engineer I am, I checked the manual first and figured out that the problem was the draining pump. It was not working. After calling the service center and understanding that the reparation fee is almost the same as buying a new machine, we decided to buy a new one.

But no, this was not feeling right. Can I fix it myself? How?

I started by searching on YouTube. I browsed the group where the subject of discussions was washing machines. I learned how to open the machine, but I had problems, so I addressed that in the group and got advice how to proceed. (actually, it was not so complex). I got a new pump and I replaced the broken one.

Now, the machine is working perfectly. My wallet did not suffer so much, but the key point for me was the feeling. I felt so proud of myself for being able to fix. I did it with the knowledge that I needed to require and by having the right attitude. By the way it is not that my wife is helpless and I am the one who knows everything and fix everything, she fixes a lot, but this was not in her interest, just to say she is a master in MS-Excel, so anytime I need to go advanced, then she is my savior.

What I am talking about is the competence, which is a combination of having knowledge, skills and having the right attitude.

We need to get the knowledge, when we need it, with immediate and simple access, we need to be able to discuss, collaborate and share our challenges and solutions with each other.

This approach is what we have in mind in Ericsson when we talk learning. Easy access to knowledge, when you need it. Know who the experts are, then be able to collaborate and practice. We have learning portals that provide a Learning Lake for the employees to swim in and fish, when the employee needs it. We focus on our collaboration sites to share experiences and learn from each other, we have a similar tool as YouTube for all employees to record videos on whatever they want to share, we provide opportunities to practice. And we have on-line faculties, where experts share their knowledge with other employees. And we can fix all issues with our washing machines ourselves.

Visit ericsson.com/careers to learn more about working at Ericsson.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Frans Askensen
Frans is the Head of Learning Business Area Digital Services at Ericsson in Kista, Sweden.
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