Last week, when I wrote about “What is Digital”, I talked about how we have to “Unlearn and Relearn” to evolve.
What are the opportunities you came up with to transform what you do and evolve?
Well, I have to admit that I remember the days when the the mobile phone didn’t exist! And sending a fax message was exciting!
Nothing to be ashamed of I guess because when each of you looks back on your life, you will have a similar realisation – how far we have come!
So, how much we will continue to transform and evolve!
Today, our children are playing games with their friends who could be anywhere around the globe. What they don’t realise is that by the time they become parents themselves, their children will think the technology that is used in the 2020’s is as antiquated as the telegrams and fax messages we relied on 20 years ago!
Adult education experts estimate that up to 40% of what tertiary students are learning will be obsolete a decade from now when they will be working in jobs that have yet to be created. Indeed, the top 10 most in-demand jobs today didn’t even exist 10 years ago. To say that we live in a changing world understates the speed of both the pace and the scope of ongoing change.
Of course. it’s not just technology that’s changing the world. Profound changes in demography and longevity have experts predicting that by 2020 there will be more people over 65 years old than under age 15 in the world’s developed countries. Add to this the social changes in family structure, the globalization of talent, and continued innovation in technology, and it’s hard to imagine just what the world and its increasingly mobile workforce will look like 20 years from now. Certainly nothing like it looked twenty years ago!
So, it’s not just about keeping up with the rate of change and the nature of the work we do, but how we do it and where. When anyone can work from anywhere, it changes the nature of work everywhere.
Traditional boundaries disappear and the global talent pool becomes more skilled and mobile, and your ability to adapt to change and proactively make changes in your life and your career is what will make a crucial difference to where you find yourself even just five years from now.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
While we’re all born with an intense desire to learn, somewhere along the line many of us lose our passion for learning. Whatever the reasons, once the basics are covered, many people tend to stick with what they know and avoid situations or challenges where they may mess up or be forced to learn something new, thus creating a safe, secure and comfortable (and confining) world for themselves.
So, they do their best to mould the changes going on around them—in people, events and the general environment—to fit with their current ‘mental maps.’ They may say they’re open to change, but actually do their best to avoid it. For a while, that strategy can work fairly well. What it doesn’t do is prepare them to adapt to a future that may well require an entirely new set of maps.
As any ex-typewriter repair person might tell you, refusing to acknowledge that the world is changing will eventually land you in a tough spot, with few options and a lot of forced learning (for instance, how to live on minimum wage).
When you resist learning, unlearning and relearning, the options available to you can narrow greatly.
When it comes to adapting to change, delay is increasingly expensive as you quickly lose your place in a world forever marching steadily forward.
Of course, it’s not about acquiring knowledge for knowledge’s sake. We can all acquire copious amounts of knowledge just by sitting on Wikipedia all day long. Your mobile devices alone give you access to more information at your fingertips that you can process in your entire lifetime, much less actually use.
In 1992 the internet was only beginning to emerge, few people used email and students were still using encyclopaedias to research assignments (remember them?).
It was a world in which technology had yet to revolutionize business; a world where working remotely was still a rarity and many people stayed in jobs for life. So much has changed since then, including the rules for getting ahead and to succeed today we must be in a constant state of adaptation.
That is; continually unlearning old ‘rules’ and relearning new ones.
That requires continually questioning assumptions about how things work, challenging old paradigms, and ‘relearning’ what is now relevant in your job, your industry, your career and your life.
Learning agility is the name of the game. Where the rules are changing fast, your ability to be agile in letting go of old rules and learning new ones is increasingly important.
Learning agility is the key to unlocking your change proficiency and succeeding in an uncertain, unpredictable and constantly evolving environment, both personally and professionally. There are countless things you may have to unlearn in your job, business and career, even in the course of the next 12 months, such as …
- Unlearn the designs you use.
- Unlearn the methodology you use.
- Unlearn the technology you use.
- Unlearn the way you approach your brand.
- Unlearn the way you communicate your value.
- Unlearn the way you deliver your value.
- Unlearn the skills and knowledge needed to get to the next level.
- Unlearn who your target market is, what they want and why.
- Unlearn how to get the most from your employees if you have them.
Unlearning is about moving away from something – letting go, rather than acquiring. It’s like stripping old paint. It lays the foundation for the new layer of fresh learning to be acquired and to stick. But like the painter who needs to prepare a surface, stripping the paint is 70% of the work while repainting is only 30%.
‘Everyone has to bring something extra; being average is no longer enough. Everyone is looking for employees who can do critical thinking and problem solving … just to get an interview. What they are really looking for are people who can invent, re-invent and re-engineer their jobs while doing them.’
– The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman-
People who find opportunities in a changing environment are those who are actively looking for them. The choice is simple: act or be acted upon.
Since change is the only constant we can truly rely upon, learning to navigate and adapt to it is not just important to our survival, it’s essential for us to thrive in the bigger game of life.
I will leave you with that thought.
With best wishes for your success and speak again soon.
P.S. Book a FREE Clarity Call HERE