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Why learning is important to our success

I loved this interview with Dr Astro Teller (real name) in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Dr Teller’s job title is Director of Moonshots at GoogleX. Moonshots are Googles big projects, outside the scope of business as usual. The mantra being x10 improvements on what’s currently out there.

The article talks about innovation and how the world is changing but it is his thoughts on what our (and his 4) children need to succeed in the future that caught my eye most. He says the following:

“What they need to know is not a specific skill. It’s how to learn, it’s how to think. There is no skill that we could teach them that I have any confidence will be relevant by the time they’re professionals, except the ability to think critically and the desire to be a lifelong learner.”

And does our education system teach those skills?

“Nope,” he shoots back. “I’m sorry, I wish I could say something more positive.”

I agree and it troubles me with a 12 and 9 year old that this is the case. Which makes it all the more important that we build learning and teaching cultures in our organisations. We have to get everyone understanding the importance of learning: that is them taking the initiative to acquire new skills and knowledge as opposed to training which is organised by the organisation.

Lots of companies are working to achieve this, yet most have not achieved anything near this. Some people do this; some leaders do this but most rely too much on training (or learning) that is organised for them.

And I have no magic bullet to provide a solution. I simply think that it has to be a continual emphasis on learning, converting 1 person at a time until it becomes the norm. Like any good movement, this can start anywhere but clearly senior people have the power to set an example that others follow.

So start a movement at your place and take control of your future. What you learn is up to you.

Richard Wentworth Ping
CEO Wentworth People

If you are interested in finding out how you can create high performance cultures in your workplace, contact Wentworth People here or call 1800 807288

We have been helping organisations build successful, enjoyable work cultures since 1989.