Monday, February 11, 2008

Ah hah! Moment for a Monday Morning

I have to confess I'm feeling a bit guilty because I'm at work and I'm reviewing my learning blogs, but for this 50-year-old instructional designer, I could not resist posting this ah hah! moment I just had.

I was reading Jay Cross's article in Chief Learning Officer magazine about Adaptation. The gist of the article is that we are at a point in time where the workforce is split between those who came of age during a period that still was dominated by the Industrial Revolution and its vertical hierarchy and younger workers who are identifying with the information age and are more accustomed to its more horizontal hierarchy.

But my personal light bulb went off when I got to near the end of Jay's piece in which he wrote:

This is not to say that networks will replace all hierarchies, for that leads to chaos. Someone has to sign the paychecks and mediate among the stakeholders. The challenge is to achieve the right balance, applying command-and-control as appropriate for stability and networks when they improve performance.

Traditional learning is bursting at the seams because there is always more to learn and unlearn. The amount of knowledge in the world doubles every three years. New discoveries invalidate former truths.

So shoot me for being dense, but it never occurred to me to think of learning as something other than linear. You pass through your toddler years learning from your parents, siblings, and other toddlers; you enter elementary school, proceed through middle school, high school, college, etc.

I always saw this as just adding layers of knowledge, I never considered that New discoveries invalidate former truths, meaning you had to cycle back to information you formerly acquired and overwrite it with new information, or perhaps retain the old information, but store it elsewhere as invalid or obsolete knowledge that can be used as a red flag to correct others who still labor under the misleading or obsolete information.

Okay, back to work.

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