No excuse for not knowing, no excuse for not learning

Although the 70-20-10 model for learning and development of Morgan McCall and his colleagues has been under discussion recently, I’ve always found it a useful framework. The model illustrates clearly that training can take different forms; that we learn roughly 70% from on-the-job experiences, 20% from other people and 10% from courses and reading.

And that last part has changed dramatically!

Learning resources are no longer scarce. The time that this kind of learning took only place in a classroom setting is far behind us. And although classroom training still has its valuable applications, the Internet, portables, mobile devices, content commons, collaborative platforms, and so on make learning possible anywhere at any time. With the Internet there is almost no excuse for not knowing, there is almost no excuse for not learning (of course in the assumption you have Internet access and your basis physical and social needs are satisfied). Those who are driven to learn can find many ways to learn.

Some months ago I started experimenting with digital audio recording technology (i.e. DAW – Digital Audio Workstations). First with Steinberg’s Cubase and now with Ableton Live. Both software programs are loaded with tons of features and possibilities. With no foreknowledge I started learning step-by-step watching YouTube instructional videos made by people ranging from semi-professionals up to – and most of the time – just very enthusiastic users and musicians. For the few very specific technical problems that I encountered the different user fora brought a solution. Amazing and admirable how many people like to share their knowledge. OK, for some it’s part of their personal branding strategy, but you really see a lot of enthusiastic people sharing their knowledge.

In our Western society, working on one’s employability became a continuous occupation. Alvin Toffler already forecasted this in 1970(!): “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”. Bass players have their particular way to formulate this. Bass player and music teacher Ed Friedland nicely said: “I’m still learning new things every time I play. When you reach the top of one mountain, you can clearly see the other mountains that lie ahead”. Or bass player Charley Sabatino answering the question “What are your musical goals?” in July’s BassPlayer magazine with “To continue to play, grow, and explore until 45 minute after they bury me.”

Speaking about a drive to learn …. If you are doing what you’re loving, who cares. Mastery is about loving the process and the journey, not the ultimate goal.