All in Vain: Building Ability to Adapt in the Generation Flux

Questions you are asked make who you are. Questions you ask make who you lead. This is how the future of learning is defined. What we learn at school will have very different future consequences of how we live our lives. When the machines replace what we routinely do, we will have abundant freedom and control over our decision on how to spend our time. We don’t compete with the machines, but must figure out how to live with them. 

Schools will not stick to the physical locations. As Albert Einstein noted, the only source of knowledge is experience, not textbook. YouTube can be a great teacher, too, accessible 24×7. Teachers will be a facilitator of learning with content derived from many different sources. It is a LEGO approach but with no specific instructions of what to build. Some could build a castle. Some could build a bridge. Teachers help learners reach their best potential and try to push the boundary. 

Students at Harvard Business School read 500+ cases upon graduation. Students are supposed to meet with their learning team with diverse backgrounds to prepare for the class and bounce opinions back and forth over the case. Professors don’t teach technical skills, but how to think and act like a business leader. Students are asked to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist. Professor never gives them answers, but engages and herds learners through the cases. Case protagonists often visit class and provide insight into a particular decision making process that they went through in the context of case studies.

People with a growth mindset believe that challenges are learning opportunities. Great leaders leave spaces for others to talk, decide, and make a mistake so that they can learn from it. Leadership can be a lonely journey and overwhelming. Constant educational nudges and snippets are a great learning tool for busy professionals to grow and get out of burnout. They choose their inspiration the same way they choose their collaborators. There are many great tools available for micro-learning that will help us to spend time more wisely. A whole purpose of learning is to grow. 

We are the generation flux. The generation flux embraces instability and enjoys recalibrating careers, conventional thinking, and assumptions. The vast bulk of our institutions are not built for the generation flux. The most important skill is the ability to acquire new perspectives and adapt. When ambiguity is high, we can’t stick to the past convention that won’t be relevant tomorrow. We collect and archive stuff for future reference. Thanks to the power of cloud storage and search engines, we no longer have to manage our own on-premises archive anymore, but we can’t afford to live in the past in the generation flux. 

No one is perfect. There are no perfect role models, either. Businesses will also rise and fall faster than ever. The quicker you learn, the quicker you can get on with your new life that you envision in the generation flux. You can’t make others change unless you become a seed for change. Any knowledge you acquire today has a value proportional to your skills that you have to deal with tomorrow. There are great learning opportunities everywhere if you’re willing to adapt. If you don’t know how to explain what you do and what you know and if your resume is a mix of different roles sometimes in contrasting areas that are not directly related to their initial role or prior education, you have a good chance to be called the generation flux. Your principles may revolve around being good at as many things as possible, rather than just doing one thing right. 

You can constantly communicate the purpose but can’t reinforce culture in the era of remote work. Making every stakeholder feel valued and engaged is not an easy task. Your stakeholders work because they are paid. You shall support every stakeholder to integrate their work and life, not segregate. You shall also create a comfort zone at work where people can keep their sanity. You shall also learn how to live with crises and find allies who can get through crises together. You are something the machines can’t replace because of your unique traits and attributes. 

Learning never stops in the generation flux as nothing guarantees your ultimate success. Great institutions, brands, and self-led entrepreneurship would shine more at the hike of uncertainty. Global scale challenges are here to stay. Therefore, we ought to adapt to change and turn crisis into opportunity as the gen-fluxer. 

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