The Future of Work is ‘Learnability’

- Worker Happiness

by Management 3.0 Facilitator, Erick Masgo

Today, employability no longer depends so much on what is known, but on what can be learned, because the learning cycles in the VUCA environment, in which we operate are getting shorter and shorter. The world is changing at an exponential rate and robotization and digitization automate much of our tasks.

This means that we have to develop our skills to act and our attitude, to quickly learn what we need, understanding that we still do not know what that will be. In light of all this, we must develop our Learnability.

“Let’s be learning machines in the machine learning era,” Joan Clotet


What is Learnability?

It is the ability to continually learn and train yourself in order to become more employable and competitive.

Learnability Formula = Curiosity + Habit + Learning

  • Curiosity has to do with generating the need to constantly learn new things.
  • Habit, has to do with working and generating the habit of learning new things.
  • Learning has to do with crystallizing all that curiosity that we have and translating it into learning.

How can I develop my Learnability?

#1: Activate your Curiosity: Always ask ‘why’? By doing this, you will deepen the knowledge you have acquired and, above all, you will make sure that you understand and incorporate it. Also, ask the question: Why not? when it comes to new possibilities. It will open new options for you and force you to learn new concepts to confirm or disprove hypotheses that you have raised.

#2: Get Motivated: Change “I have to” to “I want”. The first entails obligation (extrinsic motivation), which slows down intrinsic motivation. In addition, it carries approval or punishment, so it encourages the fixed mindset. Focus on the “I want”: choose to do it.


#3: Focus on the process: The result leads you to judgment (is it okay, is it wrong?) The process is learning, it is the moment when you learn. Choose a project or process in which you are participating and write down a learning process each day.

#4: Know yourself as a learner: The more we know each other, the better we will know how we learn. The more focus we put on the moment of learning, the better we will know what works for us and what does not. What can most help one to define their learning path adapted to their way of learning, is to know the following:

  • Your learning ability based on the sense you use the most (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic).
  • Your ability to concentrate depending on the space you are in
  • Your retention and focus capacity depending on the time of day

Do you know what your chronotype is? Chronotypes help us identify the best time to learn. You can identify yours with this free online test:

#5: Exercise: Exercising activates the diffuse mode, which is what allows us to relay ideas in a new way, in addition to establishing knowledge in long-term memory. Exercising physically oxygenates our brains, thus increasing the neural connection, which allows ideas and learning, to settle in.

#6: Sleep Well: Sleeping regenerates our brain. It cleanses the toxins generated during the day, thanks to the shrinkage of neurons when sleeping. In addition, when we sleep, our brain “reviews” everything we have learned, starting with a quick repetition of the contents.

How can you promote Learnability in your organization?

  • Recruit candidates who have the ability for Learnability
  • Promote a growth mindset (the essential mindset to learn)
  • Explore the needs of your teams: How can they improve?
  • Bet on training “out of the box”
  • Encourage personal development
  • Create a book club. The more we read = more we learn = greater Learnability
  • Encourage positive thinking
  • Communicate success stories, inspire others
  • Promotes emotional intelligence
  • Encourage one-to-one meetings
  • Promote being close to the digital environment in any job function
  • Create a channel to share articles of interest
  • Encourages collaboration between different areas of the company
  • Challenge your teams
  • Embrace diversity
  • Organize sessions to share experiences and learnings

In Conclusion:

We know less than we think. Being aware of this would help us avoid many mistakes. We must be “lifelong learners” willing to learn continuously and agilely. To do this, we must combine formal and informal learning. And, most importantly, knowing how to define at all times, what we need to learn, what for and how to apply it.

Photo credit Element5 Digital via Unsplash

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