The Learning Paradox: Gaining Success and Security in a World of Change

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After co-authoring The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Canada, I began speaking at conferences on corporate strategies for survival and success. The book was released in 1990 - and was a Canadian national bestseller - but that same year, IBM began laying off people. Since 1990 IBM has laid off 200,000 employees - half its world-wide work force.

People bought The 100 Best because they felt, "if I just get a job with one of these companies, I'll be set for life." But once I ...

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New Published by Macmillan in 1998. **SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR** Very light shelf wear to cover, otherwise NEW. Quality Books...Because We Care-Shipped from Canada. Usually ships ... within 1-2 business days. If you buy this book from us, we will donate a book to a local school. We donate 10, 000+ books to local schools every year. Read more Show Less

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Overview

After co-authoring The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Canada, I began speaking at conferences on corporate strategies for survival and success. The book was released in 1990 - and was a Canadian national bestseller - but that same year, IBM began laying off people. Since 1990 IBM has laid off 200,000 employees - half its world-wide work force.

People bought The 100 Best because they felt, "if I just get a job with one of these companies, I'll be set for life." But once I realized that not even the best companies could offer job security, I began to ask, "How can individuals create job security amid such a changing market?"

Here's a simple fact: 80 per cent of the technology we will use in our day to day lives in just 10 years hasn't been invented yet! Don't believe this? Well, my six pound computer notebook has more raw computing power than IBM's largest mainframe of only 15 years ago - but notebook computers didn't exist 10 years ago! Netscape didn't exist prior to 1994 - and in November 1998 it was sold for $4.3 billion. The web is radically changing all businesses - and e-commerce is predicted to grow to $3.25 trillion by 2003.

In the past, a secure job came from working for a large, stable organization, preferably a monopoly or market leader in a stable industry. The longer your service (seniority in a union), higher your rank or the more specialized your knowledge or function, the more secure you were.

But today, everything that used to create security now creates insecurity! Large companies have been the largest net job losers in the '90's. Stable companies in stable industries are facing stiff competition from new challengers as a result of digitization, deregulation and globalization. Monopolies are crumbling. Even governments are outsourcing. Old-style unions that resist new practices decrease their members' security. Workers who haven't learned new skills in 25 years are more likely to get a pink slip than a gold watch. And if you have your PhD you likely know a lot about outdated stuff.

Job security today is based on learning, changing and accepting uncertainty. Paradoxically these are what we as adults fear the most! We have moved from a knowledge-based to a learning-based economy. This is the theme of The Learning Paradox. —Jim Harris

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What People Are Saying

David Cox
"This book gets your attention.organizations that fail to make the transition to the new IT paradigm will cease to exist. The book effectively highlights areas where your learning energy needs to be focused so you don't become a victim of the new learning-based digital economy. The Learning Paradox and the workshop questions will really help you get on top of the key issues affecting your business and professional growth.
Kenneth Clarke
Every day the future keeps coming at us whether we like it or not. The Learning Paradox provides individuals and organizations with the keys to unlock the right attitude and the mechanism for developing the necessary skills to go out and meet the future with confidence.
Rick Spence
Innovating and creating wealth in the 21st century will require new ways of learning and leading. The Learning Paradox takes the fear out of change. It's an inspirational guide that supplies the tools we need for exploring our full potential as individuals and members of organizations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780771575747
  • Publisher: Macmillian Canada Toronto
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Pages: 314

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    Useful, Informative, and Enlightening

    In 'The Learning Paradox,' Jim Harris weaves together topics including leadership, customer service, value, economy, information, technology, learning organizations, and environment. He shows how the current economy is changing the relationships between customers, organizations, employees, and managers. 'The Learning Paradox' is dedicated to helping organizations and individuals adapt to this economy. Harris divides twelve chapters into two parts. In Part I, Harris examines the paradoxes between the 'Old Rules' and the 'New Rules'. He discusses how security is now based on adaptability, not stability. He writes entire chapters on how leaders can become Problem-Finders and Opportunity Seekers, how to create sustainable enterprises, and how to create value within organizations. Part II is dedicated to the shifts in thinking required for an organization to thrive in the changing economy. He practices what he preaches in the value-added department: he includes discussion questions with these chapters. Readers can share the chapters with their teams and use these questions to discuss their organization's future. Harris fills his book with case studies and examples of how some organizations already are shifting gears, taking advantage of technological advances, and adding value for their employees and customers. His research is carefully documented and end-noted so his readers can easily learn more if they like. Harris' writing style is straight-forward and very easy to read. This book has been very useful for me in thinking about our organization's needs and future.

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