Dear Reader

Business Development is a complex topic. In such case the questions raised are more important than potential answers. Therefore, this blog will focus on presenting questions. There will be answers, full or partial, to be supplamented by links presented when relevant. The answers from my experience will be clearer once the questions are clearer.

While this is not a discussion forum, readers are invited to comment, and the comments will help determine the topics and current issues to be explained in the future.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Life Long Learning

I have come upon an interesting article in Forbs titled: “Five Leadership lessons from James T. Kirk”. This is not a sci-fi article, but it derives leadership lessons from the character as portrayed in the series and reflects on their application in management / leadership.
The first lesson is “Never Stop Learning” and it goes deeper than just gathering information in your line of work. The example given in the article relates to information appearing useless that helped Kirk survive and beat his opponent. But it has a deeper meaning for me. You can never know what you may need one day or what will happen to you, you cannot rely on the availability of information sources external to yourself to provide the answer when you need it. While this may seem trivial, it would appear that we are not teaching our children that important lesson.
In today’s world, with the information highway, when data is available, knowledge, intrinsic has become neglected. The children are required less and less to know, and increasingly to know where to find the information. Why learn the multiplication table by heart when you can calculate it fast enough? Why learn to formulas, data, chemistry and historical facts when you can find them if you need them?
The problem arises when you cannot easily define the question required to solve a specific situation, or to evaluate which of the multiple choices is best for you. In fact by trusting information supplied by others, we lose a part of our independence, our freedom of choice. If you look at the example given in the Forbes article Kirk could have chosen other solutions, it was his knowledge that helped him choose the specific solution which brought him out alive.
Knowledge that was once revered and appreciated is much de-preciated because it is so easy to obtain information. But the knowledge, being the internalization of the information, is ever more important and will become more important in the future. The answer in education would be to instill the thirst for knowledge, the wish to learn more and not for grades and for better pay, advancement etc. but rather for the joy of knowing more. We embarked on the journey towards Knowledge by trying to understand the world around us, that voyage is not over – so we should keep seeking knowledge.