School Is Always In Session
by Gary Ryan Blair

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Learning Never Stops!

In the years to come, the case for learning with knowledge creation as its primary goal, will be overwhelming. Propelled by the competitive imperatives of speed, global responsiveness and the need to innovate constantly or perish, learning will be the essential hedge against extinction.

Learning must be the dominant responsibility of everyone. Your success WILL come from learning and its application.

Successful organizations will also require superior infrastructure for building, gathering, and disseminating knowledge. These organizations must be capable of delivering strategically relevant information to the right people in real time.

Perhaps most difficult of all, learning means surfacing and re-examing all those assumptions that operate today in your business and life.

Learning is about more than simply acquiring new knowledge and insights; it is also crucial to unlearn old knowledge that has outlived its relevance. Thus, forgetting is probably at least as important as learning.

Old cultural and psychological habits die extremely hard. Rooting out and challenging obsolete assumptions can expose critical discrepancies between external reality and internal mental models. It is these gaps that provide much of the creative tension and dynamic energy that drives learning.

Hallmarks And Prerequisites Of Learning:

This list is ambitious; ideally, it is not even fully attainable. Learning is a journey with no end in sight. But the conscious pursuit of learning and growth is what really counts.

INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY- A passion to understand the changing forces swirling around you, an eagerness to learn them faster, and a recognition that learning is an unending journey.

HUMILITY- A pervasive acknowledgement that no one can have all the answers. You must have a willingness to learn from others.

SELF-CRITICISM A logical extension of humility. A constant questioning of conventional wisdom and a keen awareness that success invariably sows the seeds of failure.

TOLERANCE FOR AMBIGUITY, COMPLEXITY, AND CHANGE - An acceptance of the fact that change is an inherent reality. Thrive on change; don't allow yourself to be intimidated by its rough and unpolished exterior.

EXPERIMENTATION - A willingness to try out new approaches, to monitor the results, and to incorporate the feedback into new initiatives.

HUNGER FOR FEEDBACK - A genuine eagerness to reach out and get performance feedback from a variety of sources, and a willingness to listen to it and make changes.

FAILURE - A view of experiments as desirable, mistakes as inevitable, and failures as offering the raw material of success. Learning is more a product of failure than of success.

CREATIVE SELF-DESTRUCTION - No advantage lasts forever. Render yourself obsolete before others do it for you. It's the price world-class innovators gladly pay for staying ahead of the pack.

Learning is the most strategically compelling task to which everyone should dedicate themselves. We are until we run out of time a work in progress. School is always in session!

Everything Counts!

Gary Ryan Blair is President of The GoalsGuy. A visionary and gifted conceptual thinker, Gary is highly regarded as a speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach. Visit The GoalsGuy at as well as their new lifestyle brand at

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