Everything and no one

Myths persist.

Here is an interesting observation:

(..)  you will surely find someone to tell you, "Eskimo has one hundred words for snow."

The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax was demolished many years ago, but its place in popular wisdom about language and translation remains untouched.

Or my personal favourite:

In face-to-face conversation, 38% of communication is inflection and tone of voice, 55% is facial expression, and only 7% is based on what you actually say.

This ignores the actual context and hypotheses of the original study completely – and consultants have made a living out of ‘teaching people that ‘communication is 70% non-verbal; or something along those lines.

And there are many others that persist.

The biggest myth of all is the myth of ‘experience’.

By definition, experience is a historical artefact.

By definition, the future is in the future and there is no guarantee that the responses and skills that got us where we are will get is where we need to go.

Having said that, experience is the foundation on which you build your future.

How does one stay relevant and master the rapid pace of change?

ONE: Stop relying on what you already know.

 

  • Recognise that there is a big difference between 20 years’ experience and 1 year’s experience 20 times over. And besides, the first 15 years’ experience is probably not too relevant anyway.
  • Relying on experience is a static process. Constantly testing the current scenarios against your experience and revising your knowledge and adapting your experience is a dynamic process.

 

TWO: Learn how to figure out what you need to know.

 

  • Society (generally) and social media in particular is geared towards acceptance, tolerance and generally doing the right thing. This means there is generally a lack of debate and robust argument. (A rant – well worth a read.)
  • Organic learning is that just-in-time, ‘social’ learning that takes place naturally. Learning to recognise it and use it to your advantage is a powerful technique.

 

THREE: Learn to ignore what you don’t need to know.

 

  • My advice is that you should ignore al unsolicited advice. We all have to deal with the everyday expert. (Harvard blog - well worth a read.) And, yes, this advice applies to me as much as you.
  • You will never get where you need to go when you constantly responding to unsolicited ‘inputs’, no matter how well-intentioned.

 

Nothing that we know today is guaranteed to be true or relevant tomorrow. You may have noticed that the word ‘learn’ is used a lot. So it should – because it goes to the heart of the matter: Learn to Perform.

In the spirit of constant learning:

 

 

The next time someone tells you something, ask for evidence – and make up your own mind. Having read it somewhere doesn’t count.

Because here is a piece of advice that will hold true forever: no one knows anything for sure.

Have fun

Dennis