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领导力

技术变革时代,需要什么样的终身教育?

Fred Swaniker 2019年09月10日

高等教育机构必须与互动式教学相结合,才能使未来的领导者为技术变革做好准备。

非洲领导力大学创始人弗莱德·斯瓦尼克与学生进行交流。图片来源:非洲领导力大学

在我与来自全球各地的企业高管谈话时,他们最担心的一个问题,是企业缺乏足够优秀的领导人才,能够带领企业在这个不断变化、高度动荡和充满不确定性的世界中开展竞争。各行各业的企业已经意识到,企业的未来发展,需要的是具有创业精神和能够协作解决问题的人才,以前的教育体系不可谓不成功,却已经愈发不能适应新时代的新需要。

十年前,谁能想象到有朝一日会有“无人机操作员”、“VR制片人”、“机器学习工程师”这样的工作?而现在,随着人工智能、数字化、自动化技术的影响力和效能与日俱增,这种变化的速度也只会越来越快。

然而,传统的高校教育并未跟上就业市场的变化脚步。很多大学的办学理念还是沿袭自将近一千年前,也就是大学教育刚刚诞生的时候。然而这个社会却早已发生了翻天覆地的变化。

因此,我们需要一种专门为21世纪设计的全新的教育机构。这种机构必须将重点放在我所说的“适时学习”上。

一个“适时教学机构”,必须遵循三个主要原则。

首先,它只有“开学”,没有“毕业”。你可以想象一下,你18岁时进入这所教育机构,但永远不会从这里“毕业”。起初的三四年,你每年要花8个月的时间学习,4个月的时间工作。然后在此后的职业生涯中,每年花1个月的时间,用11个月的时间工作。这家教育机构还会向你提供来自同事的持续的、适时的反馈,让你了解自己掌握了哪些技能,以及还有哪些不足。这种自适应式的学习方法,就是这家终身学习机构的个性化教学模式的基础。

其次,衡量教育成功与否的标准,不在于你考试的能力,而在于你“学习如何学习”的能力。来自麦肯锡全球研究所的数据表明,在当今这个瞬息万变的世界中,有50%的工作任务都可以被自动化取代。如果你有了学习新技能的能力,面对世界的不断变化,你就有了重塑自我、保持生产力的资本。

第三,你必须能够通过多种方式学习,而不仅仅是在课堂上学习。因为根据创新领导力中心的研究,人只有10%的技能是在课堂上培养出来的;还有大约20%的技能,是在你与同事、导师等发展关系的过程中习得的。剩下70%的技能则全部来自于经验。

简而言之,最好的学习方法,就是“从干中学”。在适时教育机构中,你的表现并不取决于考试的成绩,而是取决于你执行的项目,以及同事和经理人的反馈。在这里,你要构建原型产品、做实验、做研究、跟专家取经,就好像给专家做学徒一样。

这就是为什么医科大学的教育模式虽然偏向传统,但在培养人才上十分有效。医生们会告诉你,医学院最强大的地方,就在于他们可以开展临床实习。他们通过亲自做手术来学习手术,通过亲自与病人互动来学习怎样与病人互动。

这种激动人心的教学模式和教学趋势,已经可以在General Assembly等培训机构中看到了。General Assembly开设了数据科学等短缺技能的短期课程。此外还有优达学城(Udacity)这样的在线培训机构,通过短短几周的强化学习,就能在这里获得“课程徽章”和“纳米学位”。此类培训机构的缺点是,它们过度集中于科技和数据科学,而且很多课程只在线上开设,学员没有与其他同事和导师发展关系的机会——而这一点对他们的未来发展也是至关重要的。

不光是科技领域,所有的学科门类都需要引入“适时学习”的理念——我们人生的每个阶段也是如此。正因为如此,过去15年间,我们一直致力于打造一个终身的领导力发展平台——从非洲领导力学院( African Leadership Academy)的预科教育,到非洲领导力大学(African Leadership University)的本科和MBA项目,再到我们去年创办的全新的大型终身学习机构——ALX。

这些注重经验式教学的项目都取得了成功,令人深感鼓舞。比如今年早些时候,我们让100名中层管理人员参加了一个为期6个月的应用领导力发展项目,它融合了互动式教学与人际关系发展,同时又注重将新知识立即应用到实际工作中。在这100名经理人中,有15人在课程结束前就获得了提拔重用,其中一人甚至当上了他所在公司的CEO。

如今,“大学”与“现实世界”之间的界限正变得越来越模糊。如果企业想让员工掌握必要的新技能,首先要愿意让员工在工作和学习之间适时切换。而传统大学从设计上就从来没有考虑过这一点。因此,我们需要一种新的教育体系。

而那些勇于打破传统、勇于重新思考应该怎样开展学习的企业和高管,则将在新一波技术颠覆的浪潮中立于不败之地。(财富中文网)

Fred Swaniker是非洲领导力集团的创始人和CEO。他对本文中提到的企业并无投资或其他关系。

译者:朴成奎

As I meet with senior executives around the globe, one concern haunts them more than any other: the deficit in the leadership talent necessary for their companies to compete in today’s highly dynamic, uncertain, and volatile world. Organizations of all stripes are increasingly realizing that the education system that propelled their success in the past is failing to produce the entrepreneurial and collaborative problem-solving talent necessary to thrive in the future.

Ten years ago, who would have imagined that jobs like “drone operator,” “virtual reality producer,” or “machine learning engineer” would have existed? The growing influence and efficacy of artificial intelligence, digitization, and automation means that the pace of such change is getting faster and faster.

Unfortunately, conventional universities are not keeping pace with this rapidly evolving future of work. Many are based on traditions that were established almost a thousand years ago, when universities were first created. A lot has changed since then.

We need a new breed of learning institution that is designed for the 21st century. This type of institution must focus on what I call “just-in-time learning.”

A just-in-time learning institution is designed around three key principles.

First, it starts but never ends. Just imagine entering the institution at the age of 18 but never “graduating” from it. For the first three to four years, you spend eight months learning and four months working. Then, for the rest of your professional life, you spend one month learning and 11 months working. This institution equips you with continuous, real-time feedback from your colleagues to give you a sense of the skills you’re mastering and the gaps you need to address. This adaptive road map is the basis for your personalized learning at the lifelong institution.

Second, success is not measured by your ability to recall facts and figures, but by how well you “learn how to learn.” In our rapidly changing world, where, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, about 50% of current work tasks could be automated, the ability to rapidly learn new skills enables you to reinvent yourself and remain productive as the world changes.

Third, you learn from multiple methods, not just from the classroom. This is because according to research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, only 10% of skills are developed in a classroom. Roughly 20% come from developmental relationships with peers and mentors, and a whopping 70% come from experience.

Simply put, we learn best by doing. At a just-in-time learning institution, your performance is not assessed by exams, but by actual projects you implement and by feedback from your peers and managers. You build prototypes, conduct experiments, interview experts, and perform research. You apprentice under professionals.

This is why medical university education is one of the more conventional university education models that actually still works. Doctors will tell you that the most powerful aspects of medical school are their clinical rotations. They learn surgery by doing surgery. They learn how to engage with patients by engaging with them.

One of the most exciting trends approaching this model of learning today can be seen in training providers like General Assembly, which offer short courses in scarce technology skills like data science. Or look at online programs like Udacity, which deliver “badges” and “nano-degrees” in intense bursts of a few weeks. The downside of offerings like these is that they are overly focused on technology and data science, and many of them are only offered online—lacking the developmental relationships with peers and mentors that are so crucial to growth.

We need just-in-time learning in all disciplines—not just in technology—and at every stage of life. That was the inspiration for the lifelong leadership development platform we have been building over the past 15 years—from our pre-university African Leadership Academy to our African Leadership University undergraduate and MBA programs to the new, large-scale, lifelong learning institution we launched last year, ALX.

The success of these experiential-focused endeavors is encouraging. For example, earlier this year we took 100 mid-level managers through a six-month, applied leadership development program which blended interactive, peer-based learning with immediate, real-world application of new skills to their teams at work. Fifteen of these managers were promoted before they even completed the program, and one of them even became CEO at his organization.

The lines are blurring between the “university” and the “real world.” Companies must be willing to let their employees pivot between work and learning if they want them to have the skills necessary to remain relevant. Conventional universities were never designed with this in mind. New vehicles are needed.

The organizations and executives that are courageous enough to break with convention and rethink learning are those who will thrive in the coming tsunami of technological disruption.

Fred Swaniker is the founder and CEO of African Leadership Group. He has no investments in or associations with the companies mentioned in this article.

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