It has been mooted that the ability to learn is far more important than any one nugget of knowledge (Near Future Laboratory, 2009). Increasingly, the assumption that the ability to learn faster than anyone else will be the key competitive advantage for those wanting to succeed in the 21st century is becoming commonplace. This kind of thinking is being reflected in practise where many are working longer hours, taking shorter breaks and multi tasking more than they have ever before. In fact, research on urban behaviour reflects that we are walking 10% faster and talking 20% faster than we did in the last decade.
What are the consequences of this drive to ‘go faster’ for the future of leaning? Already we are seeing organisational requests for contact hours to be shortened significantly, on leadership development programmes. Much of the responsibility for the uptake of knowledge is becomingly increasingly the responsibility of the learner in their assigned projects back into the work environment.My response to this is that going Faster kills Innovation. It forces us to focus on what we know. It creates Killing Fields. People who Know there is a different way are frightened to voice their opinion, and in this system, cut themselves and their vision off from what could be possible. It is a desperate and ill-informing response to the Attention Economy - a newly understood space which should really generate collaboration and collegial support. Innovation is concerned, or should be concerned with the Fascination with Wonder. Anything else lacks courage.