"We’re entering a world that increasingly rewards individual aspiration and persistence and can measure precisely who is contributing and who is not." -- Thomas Friedman, NYT columnist, It’s a 401(k) World.
The Learning Democracy taught us that due to a work environment and workforce that are both changing dramatically, learners want/need more responsibility and control over their learning. We want autonomy and personalization too. Let us decide when, where and how.
Shifting responsibility . . .
This changing world means, according to Friedman, "Government will do less for you. Companies will do less for you. Unions can do less for you. There will be fewer limits, but also fewer guarantees. Your specific contribution will define your specific benefits much more. Just showing up will not cut it." He continues . . . "If you are self-motivated, wow, this world is tailored for you. The boundaries are all gone. But if you’re not self-motivated, this world will be a challenge because the walls, ceilings and floors that protected people are also disappearing."
Accepting responsibility for the education you need to succeed and being self-motivated to shape, consume and apply the learning is more critical now than ever. We must ask ourselves probing questions like this one from Byron Auguste, a director at McKinsey and one of the founders of Hope Street Group "how do I build my own competencies to be attractive to employers and flourish in this world?” If we don't, we fall behind, we fall through the cracks.
So the learning responsibility shifts to learner, but companies have a responsibility too. Leadership must inspire "individuals to act on their own" according to Friedman, and companies/employers must do a better job of identifying and articulating the competencies that best enable their employees to achieve success. As Friedman says in his column,“for students and workers to take advantage of the opportunities open to them in a ‘defined contribution’ world, they will need much better information to inform their decisions. Right now it’s much easier to evaluate a choice about buying a car or picking a mutual fund” than to find the competencies employers are looking for and the best cost-effective way to obtain them."