November 3, 2014 smz-blog

News flash: learning never goes out of style

Rookie Smarts

Is it still possible, even after decades of experience, to recapture the enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearlessness to take on new challenges?

Technology changes corporate landscapes and entire industries at an alarming pace, often making experience a curse. Careers stall, innovation stops, and strategies grow stale. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset according to Laura Wiseman’s new book Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. These days, constant learning has become more valuable than mastery.

It’s not that expertise isn’t helpful, but what’s interesting about this book’s theory is that success comes from constantly approaching work as a rookie.  In the author’s view, working perpetually on a learning curve can be a catalyst to thrive.

So how is this constant neophyte status a formula for success?  Like most good business books it starts with a few simple attributes such as having an inquisitive nature and asking good questions.  There also needs to be a willingness to be (intellectually) uncomfortable since all true learning comes with some form of discomfort. We learn when our world doesn’t work the way the world is supposed to work.

The world has become more cluttered and complicated so truth can come from many places. Someone who looks only at sources that confirm what they already believe is willingly missing out on a lot.

Long live the rookie in all of us.

Rich Williams, SVP/Strategic Business Development

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