Digital Transformation and Lifelong Learning

Keeping the saw sharp in the digital context

The big question is: why? Why give up a major advantage? For now I’ll call it ‘The Adult Paradox’ and it relates to an opportunity available to most of us.

Professor Gerald C. Kane, Faculty Director at Boston College featured in an interesting YouTube interview about a book he has co-authored, titled The Technology Fallacy.

The overall story relates to digital transformation in organisations and I haven’t read the book yet, but there’s one take-away from the interview that I’m particularly passionate about – lifelong learning and its relationship with remaining relevant in today’s digital economy.

The key statement is at 2:55 in the video and of course no need to reiterate his arguments here. Simply watch the interview, he makes sense.

We all hammer the importance of learning into our kids from an early age. Most responsible parents rightly won’t accept excuses on this, and of course the intention is well-placed. Tough love, we might call it.

But what strikes me as interesting and strange is that, in the vast majority of cases, though not all, when the busy phases of life move aside, temporarily or permanently, and an opportunity opens up, most of us have every excuse imaginable for not investing some of our available time and resources in maintaining and upgrading our relevance and skill inventory in our spheres of professional expertise or interest.

Particularly when at that later point in life we have such precious leverage as experience, focus, established skill-set, insight, judgement, maturity (hopefully), etc. Unbeatable.

I don’t think I have to go through some of the more popular excuses here, we all know what they are.

The paradox to me is that we are willing buyers of our own excuses, but our unfortunate (or fortunate) kids had no such luck.

The alternatives to grasping such opportunities? A quick look-around at where the world is heading, alongside a few tough questions, and they don’t look too attractive.

It’s a puzzle!