2018: The Year We Unlearned

Jen van der MeerBusiness Model Practice

Let’s start this year with a beginner’s mind.

Tap into our rookie smarts.

Shed the crustiest skin.

Slough away the thickest callouses.

Admit, for once, that we don’t know how this year is going to unfold: more unprecedented weather, politics, business transformation, and cultural change.

A recent study published by NC State’s Management School revealed key risks and concerns of board members and senior execs in 2018.

#1 on the list: The rapid speed of disruptive innovations outpacing the organization’s’ ability to compete without significant changes to business models.

#2 on the list: The resistance to change might restrict organizations from making necessary adjustments to the business model and core operations.

Tech disruption, business model adaptability, and resistance to change are ranked higher than cybersecurity, weather disruptions, macroeconomics concerns, and global geopolitical risk.

But we can’t address the threat of disruption, #1, without overcoming our fear and resistance to change, #2.

Especially when the fear of disruption is actually more damaging than actual disruption. 

A quote from the past from a late futurist tells us how to approach 2018:

“The illiterate of the 21st century,” Alvin Toffler wrote, “will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

It’s a double negative to drive home the point.

Alternatively put, those that survive and thrive will be able to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Let 2018 be the year we began knowing we didn’t know the answer, questioned rigid certainty, and celebrated unlearning.

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