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LEARNING TO UNLEARN

New college teaches thinking, learning and unlearning skills
Dateline: 21 September 2018

You’ve probably heard the old cliché: “By the time you’ve finished your business course or degree, everything you’ve learned will be out of date!” Well it’s true; even more so, today.

Now there’s a new college to tackle this problem: The UnVarsity College. It’s got nothing to do with the UN; rather it focuses on a new qualification, the MBL, or Master of Business Learning. It’s the business school of tomorrow.

“The problem isn’t learning, it’s unlearning. In every aspect of business, we are relying on mental models that have become outdated or obsolete, from strategy to marketing to organization to leadership,” says Dean Avery Wong. “To embrace the new rules of value creation, we have to first unlearn the old ones.”

Unlearning is not about forgetting. It’s about choosing a different way of thinking, of challenging the conventional wisdom. When we learn, we add new skills or knowledge to what we already know. When we unlearn, we step outside the established paradigm, and look for things we don’t know.

But unlearning, like most things, is a skill that can be acquired. Like lateral thinking, we can teach ourselves to develop the ability to always question, always look for new inputs, consider things from a different angle. We don’t condemn established logic out of hand, but we are always open to the idea that some new rule may be entering the game.

And very often, these ‘new rules’ are what really make the difference between pedestrian growth and exponential success. But don’t stop there; very soon, every new mental model will become outdated, and have to be unlearned all over again!

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Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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