Love & Learn (#8)
A few weeks ago, we closed the doors of the 2018 House of Beautiful Business in Lisbon with a special epilogue on the future of learning—and we all felt that the moment signaled, in fact, the beginning of something. But what? There was so much to learn (about food, photography, neogeneralism, psychographic profiling, laughter, awe, fiction, money, and much more, and not necessarily in that order), and yet the process of learning has only just begun.
Too often, we surrender to the tempting notion that learning is about acquiring knowledge—the faster, the better—when in fact it is about forming an identity, about becoming someone, slowly, and not even surely.
In an interview with the Journal of Beautiful Business, Peter Senge, who was the first to view companies as learning organizations, put it this way: “The overarching principle (of learning) is to see your life as an ongoing unfolding process of discovering what you’re capable of, and what you’re here for.”
In his House18 talk, Gianpiero Petriglieri pinpointed “learning” and “loving” as the two key elements that differentiate us from animals—and machines. Now, arguably data-hungry machines have developed stunning learning capacities as well, but while their goal is to get better at either something very specific or everything, we humans want, as Petriglieri puts it, to get better at what matters. Learning is quintessentially about discerning what matters and what makes us better at what matters. In other words, learning is understanding what we love and why.
To become more effective learning organizations, companies may gamify, codify, or personalize learning. But to learn and grow they must allow us to be amateurs again, and to do something for the first time, without knowing better. To truly learn, we must be falling in love.
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