I recently gave a talk to a classroom of year 9 students in Perth. The theme was around understanding personal finance as a steppingstone to having their financial independence. As part of the questions, I commented on the fact that I am a lifelong learner, and always seeking to learn from others. More importantly, I believe that in general terms, university (or any post school study) teaches us how to think. It does not always teach specific deliverable skills.  These are learnt over time as our careers develop, but study has given us the knowledge of not necessarily what the answers are, but the tools to find the answers.

Be open to learning !

The main point of my comment was that these children need to be open to learning and adapting far more than any previous generation.

The question is why lifelong learning is becoming a critical factor in the cultures of tomorrow and the future of work. There are some amazing statistics about how high the percentage is of children starting school today who will end up in careers that do not yet exist. With that in mind, companies need to build a culture of learning that allows team members to up skill. The idea of up skilling implies an upward progression in the traditional hierarchy, whereas the term should probably or more aptly be called “new skilling” where team members learn new skills that equip them to do different jobs within the organization. Jobs that perhaps did not exist when they started working there.

up skill or new skill ?

I would like to believe that many people need challenge in their work lives, and this “new skilling” might fulfill that need.

The problem for team members and organizations alike is that “you don’t know what you don’t know” and how do organizations create this life learning when even for them it becomes a moving target.

Herein is the challenge and the opportunity. Organizations that create a culture of lifelong learning, a culture of creating a space for team members to grow and develop will be part of a rich and robust culture for the future. They will be creating the future of work being driven by a future of culture.

These organizations will create a space where team members can immerse themselves in the learning of new skills and new ideas to embrace the future which is sure to be disrupted.

These organizations will embed the idea of learning into their values that can be embraced by every person.

These organizations will rise to the challenges of disruption at speeds never seen before. These organizations are the future of culture and the future of work.