The Big Shift has large implications for both organizational learning and, possibly even more significantly, personal learning. The Big Shift is creating an environment in which our current knowledge is quickly becoming perishable. And this fact is going to require that we not only become life-long learners, but rapid learners.
The Bible is not changing. But, how the Bible is applied in our churches, the problems we are asked to solve, and challenges of our culture and contexts are changing…and they are changing rapidly.
Biblical and Spiritual leadership principles do not change. But the challenges of leading churches in the 21st Century are quickly changing and requires leadership that can keep up with the change.
Personal Implications of the Big Shift
“We discover, to our dismay, that the significant investments we made in education in the early part of our lives was just the beginning. In order to stay successful in a world of accelerating change, we need to find ways to learn faster, often in areas that we once viewed as quite peripheral to our professions.”
“What we knew yesterday—either as employees or in terms of what our institutions as a whole knows about its business—is proving to be less and less helpful with the challenges and opportunities we confront today.”
What we learn is quickly becoming perishable. Static knowledge has an important and valuable role especially in the church where God’s truth and His Word are the foundation of what we do and who we are.
But in terms of leading a church, things are changing so fast, and we are being called upon to do more and more, so we need to develop a stream or flow of rapid tacit knowledge acquisition.
Most of the new things we will need to learn are best learned while working with others, not from a textbook or lecture. You need a network and people to collaborate with, to co-create new knowledge and to learn from. You need the tacit knowledge that comes from collaborating and learning from others. A book can’t teach you how to ride a bike. A lecture cannot prepare you to take your first swim in a pool. This is tacit knowledge that must be experienced to learn.
And here is the key. Our current environment is asking us to solve an ever increasing array of complex problems, many of which cannot be solved through the simple explicit knowledge which we learned or currently posses, but rather tacit knowledge that is hard to explain and is learned through experience and often directly from the various people and connections in our personal networks.
So to keep our knowledge fresh we must be rapid learners of tacit knowledge. In other words, we must learn experientially from the source.
In my mind, it’s the similar to the differences between a search engine and a network.
|Historical Event||Participant who experienced it|
|What to do||Voice of experience that tells you how to do it and why|
|Public information||Behind the scenes|
|We have to know what we are looking for||Anticipates what we need and directs or provides it for us|
|Created||Co-create new knowledge|
|Find it||Attract it|
|Static information that is locked on-line||Dynamic knowledge that can cross over into touch space (face-to-face)|
|Explicit Knowledge and Information||Tacit Knowledge and Know-how|
That’s the “Big Shift”- It’s Rapid Tacit Learning.
Church leadership today requires we make the shift to rapid tacit learning to match the pace of change in our cultures, contexts, and organizational dynamics.
Church leaders are learners…but today…they must be very fast learners. They must be rapid learners.