The ability to learn is the only lasting competitive advantage

Fridays Finds:


“Only in fairy tales are emperors told that they are naked.” – Warren Buffett – via @WallyBock

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” – Andre Gide – via @RonJeffries

The changing nature of work – via @pieriaview

Those who bewail the loss of our industrial base, sniff at service industries and think that only “making stuff” is proper work, are living in the past: the future of work lies in social activity and caring for people, not “making stuff” that we can produce for nearly nothing with little human involvement.

The job of a lifetime no longer lasts a

How had this [being jobless] happened to him?  He had worked hard.  Been successful.  What he hadn’t been was constantly curious.  It had been a long time since he had read anything outside of his direct field.  It had been years since he had pro-actively sought knowledge outside his small range of expertise.  He had become one of the best at a job that few companies were looking for any more.  It will take him a long time to dig himself out of that hole, not the least because, since he had not been trying new things, he has no idea what he might be interested in.  Simply put, he had stopped learning.

Pattern recognition, quantified self and big data by @eskokilpi

Companies are not managing their employees’ long term careers any more. Workers must be their own HRD-professionals. With opportunity comes new responsibility. It is up to the worker to construct the narrative of work-life, to know what to contribute, when to change course and how to keep engaged – much longer than we have been used to. To do those things well you have to develop a new understanding of yourself and what you are actually up to.

Note: These last three quotes give some of the reasons why Jane Hart and I have launched the Connected Knowledge Lab

2 Responses to “The ability to learn is the only lasting competitive advantage”

  1. Jay Cross

    Harold, I’m beginning to think the “competitive advantage” meme is unnecessarily combative. The ability to learn is prerequisite to living a fulfilling life.


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