The New Need to Be Lifelong Learners

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

We are a generation who stand with one foot in the outgoing industrial era and one in the knowledge-based future. Training and education that prepared us well for careers in the past will not work in a faster-moving future. Now, we need to be not just lifelong learners, but engaged, active lifelong learners.

The move from industrial work to knowledge-based or learning work can be difficult to see because change does not happen uniformly. Instead, some organizations push ahead, while others lag behind. However, all industries are changing—and terms like “retail apocalypse” are invented to describe the trend in just one sector.

Some product companies have learned to generate revenue from digital services, while many traditional models are disappearing. While I drafted this article, gadget store Brookstone declared bankruptcy and Apple became the world’s first publicly traded trillion-dollar company, with Amazon close on its heels. Each are landmarks along the road to a different future and world of work.

People have been through similar transitions before. The Agricultural Revolution moved nomadic hunter-gatherers to farmers. They no longer had to wander around in search of food and allowed for permanent, full-time settlements, which changed humanity. I am sure there were many people who rejected the new way of working and elected to live out the …

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"There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out."

- Russian proverb

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