Wednesday, June 30, 2021


Rapid change and fierce competition demand everyone to continuously learn, maintain and grow their mindsets/expertise/skills. 

Learning renews ourselves. In the world of the mere mortals, we say: that is our unique gift. We are the light of knowledge and our light is also the goal of universal knowledge. It is our light that is helping in pursuing life's meaning. 

Digital learning is interactive, interdisciplinary, informal, inclusive, and integrated. Both at the individual and organizational level, if we fail to climb the learning curve, we will get static and lag behind.

The rate of learning = How quickly one can understand and generate insight, and turn experience into valuable output to spark innovation: As we all know the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" now is "CHANGE." The rate of change has accelerated and knowledge can be outdated faster than what we thought of, indicating that business leaders and professionals need to be learning agile, keep learning so they can keep growing, develop their skills and build up their competency. Growth is not possible unless people are willing to move out of their comfort zone, keep expanding their thinking box, gaining fresh knowledge and accumulate new experiences. The rate of learning directly impacts on your adaptability to change; creativity to generate new ideas and resilience to fail fast and fail forward. Continuous learning is not only a job requirement but also a great habit to keep our mind fresh and knowledge updated.

Limitations on learning are barriers set by humans themselves, as learning is a continuous process and everyone has enormous capacity to learn, if necessary, unlearn and relearn when the rules get updated, and fresh knowledge continuously emerges. Digital professionals today need to become continuous fast learners and adapt more readily to whatever changes life/work throws at them. But keep in mind, learning is the means to end, not the end itself; the healthy cycle of learning-thinking-understanding, asking-learning-sharing-creating, and connecting-collecting- collaborating, learning-doing-relearning, etc, provides diverse path to develop cognitive abilities, and build a unique set of professional competencies.

High organizational learning relates to high response in recognizing and addressing system constraints: Organizations with a learning disability will stagnate. Learning disability is often caused by a collective static or close mindset with “we always do things like that” mentality. Learning agility at both the individual and business level is a differentiated digital competency and the organizational culture shift. We must understand the concept of the true meaning of the organizational system, experience the art and practice of a learning organization. Learning agile organization leverages learning strategy as an effective constraint to stay focused on building the knowledge management capacity of the business. Be prepared, be flexible, and be skillful, ride the learning curve and build change as a dynamic capability.

Organizational leaders should make an objective assessment of their organization’s learning competency, addressing systems constraints. So they can build a fluidy organizational structure to enable information/knowledge flow; cultivate a culture of change; optimize their business processes to enable cross-functional collaboration. In fact, a digital ready organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks; when learning becomes the new normal; and when high organizational learning relates to high response to environmental change, so they can interact with the expanded digital ecosystem seamlessly.

Learning occurs through the experience of failing, and don’t waste the invaluable lessons from it: Learning is a constant process. We learn from past experience; we learn from others; we learn from failures, etc. Technically, failures should be avoided. However, in reality, failure sometimes is inevitable. In many cases, failure is part of innovation. If you never fail, you're never taking any risks to do something differently, or you're calling things successful that weren't, or you're exceptionally lucky. In the world of innovation, you will fail more often, many more times, than success. Failure comes to you, you need to overcome it, using it as a launch point for improvement.

Don’t waste the invaluable lessons. But how to learn from failure effectively? When a failure is detected, ask wise questions and learn from it: What's the problem, what's the root cause of the problem? Can you turn this into a success? Could you have detected the problem sooner? Besides a risk-tolerant attitude, take a balancing act to have enough failure and an open environment that encourages learning from failure quickly with calculated cost, without having failures that are too frequent, repetitive, or too expensive, etc. You can only fail better only if you learn from the failures. And then failing is something that prompts you to move ahead.

Rapid change and fierce competition demand everyone to continuously learn, maintain and grow their mindsets/expertise/skills. But there is no magic learning formula to fit every individual or organization. People need to discover their meta-learning style; manage their own time scientifically; and cultivate a healthy learning habit persistently. In the organizational setting, it’s important to develop a learning culture that has awareness and understanding plus setting a new behavior expectation of proactive participants. The future belongs to those fast and lifetime learners who can test and run, walk the talk, and ultimately become a digital master.


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