The Boston Globe published an interview with Jack and Suzy Welch today (the two will be speaking here at Bryant University on Monday, April 13th). I thought the excerpt below about the adoption of technology in the workplace was important to highlight.
Jack: Nothing is worse than the person in their 40s who says, ‘I’m not going to learn this.’ ‘I don’t carry an iPad.’ That will label you and put you right in the corner. Some people do it as a badge of honor. I’ve seen them myself, they walk around bragging [about not knowing much about technology].
Suzy: Why don’t you carry a placard saying ‘I am a dinosaur.’ You’ve got to dig in [and learn about things you don’t know] if you want to stay in the conversation.
I agree wholeheartedly. I can never understand the rationale of those who brag about being dinosaurs. "Oh, I don't get the whole Twitter thing." "I can't figure out how to sync my calendar across all my devices." "I don't really need most of the functionality of my smartphone; that's why I haven't bothered to learn about those apps." I think people put a target on their back when they make such statements. I understand that one does not have to embrace every new social media platform, and some will rely on certain devices more than others. However, bragging about being a dinosaur signals to others a reluctance to learn new things, make mistakes, and take risks. The last thing that many leaders want in their organizations want is someone who is not a voracious lifelong learner.