Becoming a “Learning Animal” Google’s Modern Worker Model

By Dr. Dovi Weiss | October 02,2017

What does it take for an organization to survive in 2017? With technology contributing to the ever-changing dynamic industries, the modern day worker needs to learn how to keep up or be left behind.

Harvard Business Review published an interview with Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, and Jonathan Rosenberg, former Google’s SVP of products describing how Google manages their dynamic, creative teams.

Jonathan Rosenberg said: “I think that people don’t realize that, fundamentally, we’re focused on learning animals or generalists as opposed to specialists. And the main reason is that when you’re in a dynamic industry where the conditions are changing so fast, then things like experience and the way you’ve done a role before isn’t nearly as important as your ability to think.”

The most important two words in Rosenberg’s saying are “learning animal”. For an organization to survive in 2017 it should encourage its employees to become addicted to learning or “forever learners.”

The idea of learning while working was brilliantly expressed in the book The Three Boxes of Life. The theme of this career development book, written by Dick Bolles, is that our lives can be divided into three areas: Education, Career and Leisure.

Bolles provides an exploration of a typical person’s progression through the three boxes of life. Each box represents 1/3 of your life.

 

The book asks why our life should be divided into these three boxes; why not make learning, working, and playing part of every day, regardless of our age.

Bolles suggests to the reader that living in all three boxes simultaneously is the best way to avoid stagnation, remain flexible and get the most out of life. The most effective way to rearrange the three boxes of your employees to fit the 21st century is by using digital learning environments. Digital learning environment, if designed properly, can support professional-lifelong learner. This is due to the fact that modern learning systems are mobile, social and data-driven. They enable anytime, anywhere personalized learning. In nature the optimal living environment is essential for the animal’s well-being. It’s the same with organizations.

So, if you want your employees to become better learning-animals you must provide them with the proper digital learning environments.

Solutions like Time To Know Echo are making it easier than ever for all kinds of learners to be able to receive personalized lessons and their instructors or management to be able to create fantastic content that not only works but is fun and interactive.

the author

Dr. Dovi Weiss

Chief Scientist at Time To Know. Named one of 50 most influential people in education. Internationally known lecturer on education innovation and technology.