I posted this a few places back in the spring – it’s from the Tagoras Leading Learning Spring Summit – but it occurred to me recently that it really should be posted here as as well. A brief overview of why trade and professional associations can and should dominate the market for lifelong learning. (Many, I find, take it for granted that they do, but that is not the foregone conclusion that it used to be.)
The learning landscape continues to evolve in very interesting ways.
I’ve noticed lately, for example, that artificial intelligence (AI) seems to finally be getting significant traction. Enough so that numerous notable figures like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk have expressed concern concerns about how it might run amok.
Why do you do what you do?
Why would anyone believe you can do a great job at it?
Why should anyone care?
Why would anyone pay you for it?
1. Can you answer all of the above in a brief but memorable way? If you can use a story and/or images all the better.
____ Not Sure
As educational content becomes a more and more of a commodity, it’s more important than ever to remember that access does not equal learning.
Hordes of people have accessed MOOCs. Few of them finish. And even fewer of them engage with the courses in a way that results in lasting learning.
As enticing as it is to think a Netflix-type model can apply to learning, a huge amount of research tells us there simply is no such thing as “binge” learning. Organizations that latch onto this concept and promote it are irresponsible.
Yes, you can accelerate some types of learning – somewhat – but the bottom line is that most real, lasting learning takes time and it takes work.
And therein lies an advantage.
Individuals who are willing to put in the time and do the work will thrive.
Organizations that are willing to do the hard work of truly being learning organizations will have a significant – often decisive – competitive edge.
Leaders who think in terms of leading learning – in their sectors, in their societies – will transform the world. Those who don’t will simply contribute to the type of dysfunctional mess we currently see in much of the U.S. political system.
So it goes in the learning economy.
Or attended a conference and struggled to remember the following year whether you attended it or not – much less whether you actually learned anything?
Or led your organization through significant market research and strategizing only to find a year later that things remain pretty much the same?
Common sense and lot of research back up the idea that we don’t retain very well what we don’t use. The simple (which is not to say easy) solution, of course, is to apply new knowledge or skills soon and frequently after they are acquired. This goes both for individuals and organizations.
In simplest terms, strategy is the means by which we travel from a current state to a future desired state. The realization of strategy is, by necessity, a learning journey.
Strategy presupposes that there are things we know, but also that there is a great deal we do not know. It gives us a framework for making decisions as we encounter new information, as we learn.
As a result of learning we should, of course, adjust strategy.
And so the process continues.