We have moved from an industrial age to the information age and are now in the knowledge age. Our ability to learn, adapt and apply knowledge effectively is becoming a key skill. Our abilities will no longer be judged by our past qualifications but by our capacity to learn and adapt.
I met someone I have not seen in ten years and during our conversation they said ‘I have not changed!’ This struck me because I am constantly challenging my mentees and businesses to ask, listen and think differently. I have changed relationships, careers, locations along with my behaviours and perspective. I am constantly surprised by what I hear myself say because of the connections I make in my mind, because of the knowledge I am continually absorbing.
I spent two years doing to courses and learning about social media such as twitter, Google+ and business development while I was evolving my business and testing my business idea. Although I had previously studied for my MBA and had grown a previous business I was aware that I do not know what I do not know and that the local economy is global and is accelerating at a pace. This gave me a head start on others that have less influence on my preferred platform but it enable me to talk to other business about the benefits and importance of being a new or growing business in a social world.
Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 bestseller Outliers, made popular the concept of the ‘10,000 hour rule’. Brian Tracy says ‘it takes 5-7 years of life-long learning to move to the top of your field’ http://bit.ly/18QYVeB. Most of us want to achieve mastery in our chosen field, to become an expert you gain a leading edge in business.
- 95% of people think that learning about new things boosts your confidence.(National Adult Learning Survey, DfEE)
- 71% of adults think that learning can lead to a better quality of life. (Attitudes to Learning, Campaign for Learning/MORI)
- 72% of us think we should devote more time to personal development. (Campaign for Learning)
Like a physical exercise, life-long learning is a habit, formed through regular practice, as much as it is an attitude. There are real benefit to being in the top 10% of people in your field they are the highest paid and most respected people in their careers and all this through dedicated personal development.
Learning is not just about economic success, it is the key to achieving our full potential and it has the ability to transform. I am constantly learning and changing. I would hope that the way I go out is nothing like the way I came in and my hope is that the challenges I meet along the way not only teaches me and changes me.
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.