Keep learning to keep
Why continuous learning is your new
survival skill- and how to make it happen
Stephen Walsh of Anders Pink, formerly
of Kineo, makes the case for continuous
learning as the way to stay relevant in
the new organisation.
If you worked for AT&T 30 years ago, you
were probably feeling pretty good about
your career. You were working for the
company that once owned the patent for
the telephone. How cutting edge can you
get? You were trained once at the start of
your career, and that stood you in good
stead until retirement. Skills for life, job for
life. Learning is for newbies.
Flash forward a few decades. The
payphones are in the Smithsonian, and
AT&T finds itself fighting to survive.
It's chasing the tails of companies less
than 10 years old and losing to them. What
went wrong? In simple terms, it didn't keep
up with changes in its industry. It got
Ubered - or in this case, Googled,
iPhoned and Amazoned.
What happened? It didn't stay agile. You
can park that at the door of the CEO, or
you can say that it's everyone's
responsibility. To make the AT&T story
personal, think back on any piece of
knowledge, training or skills you acquired
10 years back or even as recently as one
year ago. How relevant is it today? It
doesn't matter what you knew yesterday,
it's how you're going to find out what's
worth knowing tomorrow.
For proof of this, pick up a copy of
Exponential Organizations: Why New
Organizations Are Ten Times Faster,
Better and Cheaper than Yours (and What
to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Michael S.
Malone, Yuri van Geest and Peter H.