Leading the Way With Lifelong Learning

BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT   |   8 minutes  |   June 23, 2020

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The world is changing, and finding the time to adapt and upskill is both daunting, yet crucial. It’s now more important than ever that the global workforce has the tools needed to remain relevant. Online education has made lifelong learning a reality for many working professionals, and it ensures that as the labour market evolves, talent needs shift, and workforce trends emerge, leaders can meet new demands and prepare their teams for the opportunities that arise.

A past student of the Cambridge High Impact Leadership online short course recognised this need to innovate within her own field. Hanlie Linde enrolled in the course from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) when she realised there was a gap in her skill set, and in order to effect significant change, she needed to rethink her leadership foundation. In Hanlie’s case, her drive to continuously upskill has awarded her many career successes. With a range of online courses to choose from, GetSmarter, a 2U, Inc., brand, was able to empower Hanlie with the skills she needed most.

Hanlie started her career in the South African National Defence Force in 1994, but it was when she began working at the Stellenbosch Municipality, in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, as a labour law specialist in the office of the chief legal advisor that she knew she had found her true vocation: local government. It was the potential to change communities that drew Hanlie in, and it’s her leadership drive that has brought her to the position she’s in today – the municipal manager for Bergrivier, which is situated in South Africa’s West Coast District Municipality.

Leadership within local government is a critical component of driving efficient outcomes. When ignored, its absence is blatantly obvious and often crippling for communities. When Hanlie came across the University of Cambridge High Impact Leadership online short course, it was an obvious choice:

“Being a leader in a fast-changing world, I wanted to learn the newest trends in the field of leadership and liaise with other fellow leaders from around the world. When I saw the course outline, it immediately resonated with me. The catchphrases I liked were: innovation and communicating with influence. These highlighted what I wanted to implement within my municipality, but I didn’t have the capacity or the time to map it out.”

Guided by industry experts and the CISL faculty, who have extensive experience in supporting global business leaders to bring about change in their organisations, Hanlie was able to implement processes and practices that pioneered change in her own context. It was this need to adapt for an evolving working environment that led her to continuing her education.

“We’ve always been seen as an innovative municipality, but there’s more I want to do. There are innovative projects I want to implement,” Hanlie explains. “Something I want to do is start each meeting with my leadership team by asking a question: What did you see in your division that you want to change? I’ll then follow up with two more questions: Why haven’t you changed it yet? How can you change it?”

She adds, “A highlight for me during the course was when I had to discover and design my personal values. I am used to assisting organisations with crafting their values, but it was good to discover mine. I now have put them up in my office in a frame and live them daily.”

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Hanlie found the capacity to innovate and the time to learn with GetSmarter’s flexible online learning structure and dedicated support team. She’s developed the leadership skills to navigate her municipality through disruption, and continues to shape and influence a growing community.

In today’s world, learning is critical to advancing within your career. With a wide course portfolio offered by GetSmarter, you’ll be able to lead your own lifelong journey of learning and gain the confidence to take on your next career challenge. By partnering with the world’s leading universities to select, design, and deliver premium online short courses, GetSmarter aims to ensure you, like Hanlie, are equipped for the challenges of tomorrow by addressing the skills gaps of today. Whatever your industry, role, or experience, learn to thrive in a rapidly changing world and set the foundation for your success.

Invest in your future today.