In this, the fifth of my holiday articles whilst I’m away skiing in Finland, i talk about ‘agility‘. It’s a light hearted look at how our relationship with knowledge is evolving.
Our relationship with knowledge is changing. It used to be all about what you know, but now it’s more about your ability to find things out and to synthesise that knowledge i to meaningful action. Sure, we still need to know stuff, but we need to be better at adapting, more agile i our response to circumstances and change. Transformation is not something that happens now and then any more: we are in a constant and accelerating rate of change. Less epoch, more of a roller coaster.
Technology may be a driver for change, but it’s more than just having to learn new instruction manuals: mobile devices and tablets have changed not only how we learn and how we work, but also our fundamental mindset. Through primarily social, entertainment and communication channels our expectations have shifted: seamless, relevant and timely relationships with knowledge are now the norm. When I was studying postgrad, we used to fill in a form for Inter Library Loans, which would be posted off and, some weeks later, a photocopy of an article would arrive from America in the post. Today, i can barely wait 24 hours for a delivery from Amazon without angst.
Our agility needs to be around technology, using whatever is most appropriate whenever it’s needed, but also around what we do with information: how do we filter and refine what we discover? How agile are we at processing and communicating our findings? Can we learn to be more efficient nodes within the network, bright points of light where value is added, rather than just regurgitating in an endless stream of retweets?
What we know is less important than our ability to find things out and, crucially, to add value and take action as a result. It’s the age of agility in the realm of knowledge.