“School has traditionally been where you learn; job has been where you work. The line will become increasingly blurred.” – Peter Drucker in 1993’s Post-Capitalist Society.

I pulled this quote, one of Drucker’s countless, startlingly astute gems, from an HBR article about the balance of human employees and automated technologies.

It reminded me that rising technological trends such as automation don’t necessarily point us in one cardinal direction and deliver us to a fixed point as much as they start to bore out trenches through which new ideas and ways of working can eventually flow.

Lines like these are being blurred all the time and it’s important not to get left on the static side of things.

By the same token, if an organization is not continuing to learn, if its employees are not actively learning while at work, what is it doing? Is it possible to rest on your reputation and core competencies and not eventually be overtaken by someone more nimble and innovative?

I think Drucker was incredibly on target in his assessment of the blending of school and work. Last week I wrote about how what you learned in school and what you have on your resume only takes you so far. Today I want to offer a reminder that once you’re there, you’re still not there.

You need to make sure that you aren’t prioritizing task completion so highly that no one has time to take on a side project or step into another department. Organizations that excel will do so based on their innovations in the present, not what they have achieved in the past.

So, I ask you a simple question. Are you still learning at work, or are you just working at work? If the answer is “just working,” I encourage you to find ways to learn and encourage learning from your team. Your organization will benefit in the long run.

photo credit: Wrinkled Notebook Paper via photopin (license)