Business Today

Rise And Shine

In an era of disruption, lifelong learning is the way to outpace obsolescence.
twitter-logo Joe C Mathew   New Delhi     Print Edition: December 30, 2018
Rise And Shine

If you have kids aged below five, 65 per cent of them are likely to end up in jobs and careers which have not been invented yet, says a recent Future of Jobs Report, published by the World Economic Forum.

One cannot rule it out as there are several jobs, right from driverless car engineers to YouTube content creators, which did not exist 10 years ago. We have also witnessed the drastic changes that PCs, smartphones and the Internet have brought in. If today's businesses and their workforce are not willing to keep pace with this rapid transformation, they will no longer be market-worthy.

So, how do we future-proof ourselves? Written by Kelly Palmer and David Blake, The Expertise Economy tries to find a solution and in the process, zeroes in on the need for a new way of learning, a holistic development of new skills and expertise, "transforming controlling cultures into ones that empower creative, innovative, smart people who are given the freedom and autonomy to work in a way that makes them most productive and allows them to learn and develop along the way". The authors rightly point out that in the new expertise economy, what matters is not how, when or from where you gain your expertise, but just that you do.

Blake and Palmer draw on their personal experiences to show why true learning (and not the fallout of an education system that incentivises people to master test-taking) is the best way to engage, compete and succeed. What they say is insightful as Blake is the Co-founder of Degreed, a six-year-old Silicon Valley company that offers a lifelong learning platform to individuals and organisations, and Palmer is the Chief Learning Officer there, preaching what should be practised by new-era CEOs and CHROs.

At times, the book attempts to promote an idea - that of unconventional and continuous learning tailor-made for an individual's taste - which underlines the core business of Degreed. But it makes eminent sense when they ask, "What does a degree in economics 15 years ago tell you about what you know and can really do today?" After all, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is entirely different, requires new skills and consequently, new types of learning whether you hold a degree or not. The book takes us on that journey and dares us to rethink the future as more and more companies aspire to create an environment where employees will learn new skills at a pace matching the change happening around them.

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