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Stop Learning, Start Dying

Victoria Richard: Lifelong learner, design thinker, exceptional leader. To say that working with Victoria has been rewarding is a huge understatement. Check out our deeper dive below, and be sure to check out Victoria's feature in this month's issue of En Root: Three Keys for Continuous Learning.

This month's theme is all about fostering a reimagined approach to education and competency-building. Tell us about how you model this in your work.

I truly believe we never stop learning. The old adage says "Stop living, start dying" - I think it should say "Stop learning, start dying." In any role I've had, in any organization, I've pushed for continuous improvement of our day-to-day, which sometimes means re-learning how to approach a problem, or learning new skills to do so.

At OutGrowth, we are committed to supporting the growth of others through transformational experiential learning. What do you think we as individuals and communities can do to support others to grow beyond traditional limits?

I think a really simple thing we all can do is to simply make time for brainstorming with others. Another really simple thing is to connect people in our networks with one another. That way, we are exposing others to different ways of thinking and providing mental space that is safe for thinking through "what if?" ... which is essential for any sort of growth.

Tell us about your most significant professional moment to date.

Honestly, I've had many! Being inducted into the CI Fellows was truly awesome, especially since I was the second-youngest person to be inducted (and one of the most junior folks, career-wise).

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?

I wouldn't say the experience itself changed me. But the reasons why I was chosen certainly did - I've spent a lot of time giving back to my learning communities (which was easy - they give me so much in return). I've met some truly amazing people and made lifelong connections with colleagues and friends through my involvement.

What is a step that each of us can take today to support the continuous education of ourselves and others?

This is actually something a mentor of mine suggested - make sure you are connecting with someone outside of your day-to-day network once a week. It doesn't have to be a major or long chat - just connect, and see what is going on with each of you. I bet if you do this often enough, you will wind up identifying areas where you want to grow as you start diving into problems you might share with others.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Be more patient! It's okay to wait a beat longer than you want to in order to see if you have missed anything.

What is your favorite quote or song lyric?

"My little soul will leave a footprint." -From "Little Soul" by Depeche Mode

Based on your experience to date, what are the top three career competencies that you believe are essential in 2021?

Emotional Intelligence, analytical reasoning, and knowledge of your customers/users.

What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2021?

I will be starting a new role at EBSCO information services over the summer, so I will be finishing up my data analytics certificate, with an eye on finishing out my design thinking training in early 2022!

Victoria Richard has provided insights, intelligence, and leadership across non-profit, corporate and legal industries. She was recognized by Special Libraries Association (SLA) CI Division twice with the Profound Impact and Outstanding New Leader awards, and was inducted as a member of the Council of CI Fellows in 2020.

A frequent industry speaker, she holds a B.A. in Communication Processes from the University of Connecticut, a M.A. in Communication from the University of NC at Greensboro, and a MBA and graduate certificate in CI from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.


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