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Up-skill and re-skill, be ready for the new economy

Updated: May 7, 2020

Don't get left with Yesteday's skills, re-skill, up-skill - prepare for the new economy

Learning has long been thought of as something you do when you’re not busy. A manager or CEO view of, ‘if I’m paying you, you’d better be busy’. Was a pervasive view, one that belongs in the 1980’s, but no closer to the 2020’s than 1985.

“Is that work you’re doing?” No, came the sheepish reply “I’m learning.” Too late to flip to the spreadsheet screen now. If this rings any bells for you, for your past leaders and managers.

"I do hope for your sake, that they are past leaders, and your new job is working out just fine."

Learning since those days, was met with technical responses from the ‘new LMS’s’, breaking through more broadly in the 1990’s. The corporate world breaking into to new learning ground – delivering Corporate learning.

Courses, mostly focused on the classroom delivery techniques. Techniques of learn it now, understand it well, do in the workplace from this time forward.

A technique, however we knew then, but chose to ignore, would not work. A technique we now know very well, still does not work. And yet we persist.

If you still believe that courses delivered over a few days are the right approach – look away now, the rest of this is going to either offend or hurt your feelings.

The corporate challenge for LMS courses - presentation was based on the theory that learn it once, do it forever – Ebbinghaus told us about the forgetting curve in 1885.

Calibrated in days - not weeks, months or years

Take-a-look at the graph and realize this is calibrated in days, not months or years. What a waste of training investment…and yet we persist.

Add to that forgetting curve, the pressure of returning to your workplace with new knowledge. Knowledge that needs to be used, to get a sense of how the learned theories work. Expectations of, use of them under normal workplace pressure. When you know 'you must get this right'. The forgetting curve days turns into hours, perhaps minutes.

Maybe not even tried at all.

"Knowledge only becomes a skill after repeated, successful use, or it rightfully should be discarded."

Learning is one thing. Skills is the outcome of learning, experience, trial, knowledge and success. Capability and proven workplace skills. The view that learning and new skills are attained by attending a closed classroom approach, is entrenched in the ‘chalk-board-mentality’ of learning.

"For Corporate it must be said; I don’t care, and nor should you care, about learning alone. What you should care about is Skills, Re-Skilling and Up-Skilling your workforce, to face the new, unknown challenges. Learning does not achieve results – Skills do."

“The world is emerging rapidly into the 4th Industrial Revolution – one where Knowledge and Skills are the ‘High-Ground’, the currency to traverse the new boundaries it sets as business challenges.”

It’s time to change the game in the Corporate space for the old term of learning – move into new thinking that is Skills based.

Move the game away from LMS stories, values and expectations, of ‘the value of learning’. Move into ‘Skills.

“Skills are the underpinnings of both the very existence and growth potential of all business"

That is the high ground for Business in the new economy.

"Steering the business through unforeseen skill changes, new technologies potentially undermining your value as a business. Preparation is your defence, and your advantage.”

Be prepared for the unknown. Because, any preparation you can make, will determine your place in the new future, one we will all face. The speed with which you can up-skill or re-skill will then decide your place in that future market. Top, bottom or out.

The whole industrial change is picking up pace and dramatic change will hit hard. If you’re left wondering what happened. Trust me, you won’t need to worry for long. It will have moved to another place.

Remember business is made up of three kinds of people:

· Those who make things happen.

· Those who watch things happen.

· Those who just wonder, "what happened?"

Only your business can decide which types of folk you need most. If you consider Skills can help you now, to prepare, plan and grow the future you wanted. Let's talk.

John Driscoll


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+61 (0)8 8311 3713

Level 3 | 97 Pirie Street | South Australia | SA 5000

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