How Best to Create a Culture of Learning | Sarah Nicholl

This podcast will give you the tools and techniques to foster a learning culture in your organization. Whether you work at a junior level or are an executive, Sarah’s guidelines can equip you to utilize leadership, AI, context and habit formation to incorporate learning into your routine.

Learning is like exercise. Once you develop a healthy habit, you need to keep going! But how do you foster a learning culture in your organization? In this interview, Sarah joins Kurt Nelson and Tim Houlihan to talk about her book “Learning Habits Drive a Learning Culture to Improve Employee and Business Performance“. Sarah discusses how organizations can establish a learning culture by focusing on learning habits.

Based around the famous habit cycle of cue, routine and reward, Sarah adds in the important 4th element of context. Leaning on the excellent work of Wendy Wood, Sarah emphasizes the importance of creating an environment in which your desired habits are supported as a much more effective tool than relying on willpower alone.

Learning in an organization is driven by leadership. By modeling learning behaviors and setting the expectations for a learning culture, leaders can elevate the productivity of their team. She discusses how team meetings, one-on-one conversations and social media can all be leveraged to encourage learning habits. But one thing particularly stands out about Sarah’s work is that she incorporates concepts from behavioral science like social proof, cues and rewards that can help make learning automatic and habitual.

If you want to keep learning from people like Sarah Nicholl on Behavioral Grooves Podcast, please support our work by contributing on Patreon. Thank you to all our listeners who already do.



(2:48) Welcome and speed round questions.

(6:16) Learning habits that contribute most to healthy organizations.

(9:03) Using learning to change behavior.

(11:19) How to incorporate learning into the team meeting.

(13:24) Context matters!

(15:16) How do you create a learning culture?

(19:01) What is the LEARN model?

(22:42) The impact of generative AI on learning.

(27:42) The value of social proof for learning.

(31:07) How behavioral science plays a part in learning.

(33:24) What Sarah learnt herself from writing the book.

(34:21) What music would Sarah take to a desert island?

(36:16) Grooving Session on learning.


© 2023 Behavioral Grooves

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AIRDATE: August 27, 2023 EPISODE 371

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How Best to Create a Culture of Learning | Sarah Nicholl