LIFE LONG LEARNING

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” - Alvin Toffler

It is estimated that children born today will have seven careers, live in seven countries, perhaps even speak seven languages. The average tenancy in any given job is decreasing rapidly. We have traded loyalty and 'jobs for life' for flexibility and adaptability. This means that Life Long Learning is firmly on the agenda. The ability to pick up new skills on the job, will become ever more in demand.

For us 'dinosaurs', Life Long Learning is necessary just to keep up with the Youth Generations who see workplace mobility as a given. For organisations, a "learning culture" is essential for the attraction and retention of "talent". The upwardly mobile and transient workforce demand development pathways and not necessarily promotions. But note, "training" and "development" are two quite different things. While organisations have become adept at training employees for well understood tasks and duties, the educational development - growth - of the individual is less well practiced. Those organisations that can genuinely engage and grow their employees will have a competitive advantage over their more traditional competitors.

For some individuals, Life Long Learning is a new paradigm, and takes some getting used to. The ability to Own-Your-Own-Career will be essential to workplace survival in the 21st century. It's important to remember the words of Eric Hoffer who said: "In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

We are now starting to realise that Life Long Learning is also essential "inner work" leading individuals to greater consciousness and awareness of the needs of the world about us.

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