“Once you stop learning, you start dying” – Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a Genius but not sure, if he was aware about not only how true that quote was at his time but also that it would become even more relevant about a century later, in the emerging time of Digital Transformation.
The secret of today’s successful people is not only lifelong learning but adaptive lifelong learning.
Many students spend years at school up to the university to acquire a knowledge and a certification, which is becoming obsolete and outdated drastically quicker and quicker at the actual digitalization exponential pace.
Although we all understand that learning some basis at school was and is still key, we have to teach our kids but also ourselves at work that curiosity and flexibility are some of the key skills to acquire and master to thrive towards a culture of what I would call ALL, Adaptive Lifelong Learning.
This insight is fundamental to succeeding in our emerging digital transformation economy, yet few people realize it. Luckily, once you do understand the value of adaptive lifelong learning, it is simple to get more of it. Just dedicate yourself to constant learning, upskilling, reaching out to your network and colleagues, reading and sharing as you go.
Knowledge is the new money, especially if acquired continuously and through ALL. But unlike money, when you use knowledge or give it away, you do not lose it. Sharing knowledge is multiplying, reinforcing and enriching your own knowledge. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free and instant. It can be converted into many things, including things that money cannot buy, such as authentic relationships and recognition. It puts your life in perspective by essentially helping you live many lives in one life through other people’s experiences and wisdom.
Working hard was the industrial era approach to getting ahead. Learning hard is today’s knowledge economy equivalent.
To train tomorrow’s people and leaders, schools and universities but also companies need to teach ALL, Adaptive Lifelong Learning skillsets. Those important skillsets, which would not only prepare the future working generation to be better equipped to the continuously moving working environment but radically change what I would call the static “MBA Culture” into the dynamic “Adaptability Culture”.
While lifelong learning is not really a new concept and successful leaders have applied it or better said lived it since many years, adding an adaptability culture is the new required flavor today. We need to stop thinking that we only acquire knowledge from 5 to 22 years old, and that then we can get a job and mentally coast through the rest of our lives if we work hard.
To survive and thrive in this new fast-paced era, we must constantly learn.
Adaptive Lifelong Learning is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity.
Start your ALL ritual today with these five steps
- Identify valuable knowledge early enough.
- Learn and master that knowledge quickly.
- Communicate the value of your skills to others and share, contaminate them.
- Master the skill of Adaptive Lifelong Learning
- Start again at point “1”
Concluding the same way that we started, with another Albert Einstein quote, which perfectly adds to ALL, Adaptive Lifelong Learning.
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” – Albert Einstein
This article is penned by Philippe Gerwill, Executive Consultant – Fusion Consulting; Executive Advisor – International Manufacturing Forum & A.Brain Group (China); Industry Advisor (Healthcare), AllThingsConnected & IoT (Singapore); Advisor at Antler (London) & WISeKey (Geneva); Mentor – Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (London); and Chairman at the Board – GeniusBiz Automation (Switzerland)